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External hard drive recommendations


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15 replies to this topic

#1 tims4wins


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:15 AM

I'm in the market for an external hard drive. Main purpose will be to store digital pictures and videos. With a 5 month old baby, we're taking a lot more pictures, and my wife just got a Nikon DSLR camera and is taking some photography classes, so we'll have lots of pictures to store.

Probably looking for something that is both Apple and Windows compatible, as my laptop is an HP, but my wife has an iPad and may end up with some kind of Mac at some point.

Neither of us are incredibly tech savvy, but we're not total computer retards either.

Hit me with some suggestions so I know what to look for on black Friday... thanks!

#2 JerBear

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:20 AM

Do you plan on carrying the external drive around with you from place to place or just use it as extra storage?

If you just want external storage I prefer something like this: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817153066 with internal hard drives. You can just buy the less expensive internal hardware and swap them out as needed. Dump the pictures, label the harddrive, put it on a shelf.

#3 OttoC


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:24 AM

I have been finding 500GB Toshiba Automatic Backup Portable Hard Drives (USB 3.0 & 2.0 capability) on sale recently (under $70) and I use them to back-up my Nikon DSLR photos. I had to add a USB 3.0 card to my older PC to take full advantage of the 10x speed increase ($30-$35). They are formatted for PCs, so you would need to reformat one to work with a Mac.

These things are roughly 3" wide by 4.5" tall by 0.5" thick.

Edited by OttoC, 16 November 2012 - 10:26 AM.


#4 shlincoln

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:33 AM

In general I like to buy enclosures and recycle old drives I have kicking around.

What I want to know is why is it taking so long for bare Thunderbolt enclosures to hit the market? The only ones I've found are those Seagate adapters which is a bit...hacky if you don't have a Seagate external.

#5 Joe Sixpack

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

I like smaller drives that don't require an external power source...I just got one of these at costco for $140 - 2tb 2.5" WD Passport:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822236187

#6 24JoshuaPoint


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

I have a Passport and a Seagate Flex. I like both a lot. One thing i noticed which is cool on the Flex is you can get the drive with the wifi option. That way you can use the app on an iphone or an ipad and stream the data that is on the drive to the phone or apple device. (i think that's how it works). I'm not sure how much more that costs though.

#7 tims4wins


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

Thanks for the feedback so far. I think I'm leaning towards something portable like what Joe Sixpack recommended. How's that working out for you?

#8 weeba

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

Best Buy as a 3 TB Seagate on Black Friday for under $100 and a 1 TB for 70:

http://bfads.net/Ad/...-Buy-2012/Page5

#9 tims4wins


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

Thanks - correct me if I'm mistaken but the 3TB one is not portable, right?

#10 ifmanis5


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:08 PM

If you plan on editing these videos, make sure you get a 7200rpm drive. G-Tech's are great for those purposes...

http://www.videoguys...Page=1&SortBy=3

#11 SoxFanInPdx

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:12 PM

I bought this one a few months ago. http://www.amazon.co...external+drives

I run VMWare through this and still have plenty of storage space. Simple to use and I've had zero issues. If you are just putting pictures on it, you really don't need to get anything higher in memory.

Edited by SoxFanInPdx, 16 November 2012 - 04:12 PM.


#12 OttoC


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:33 PM

...If you are just putting pictures on it, you really don't need to get anything higher in memory.


Really? The RAW files (Nikon .NEF format) from my camera are almost 19 MB in size. If I post-process any in Photoshop and save in that format, they are almost 70MB in size. And there are Nikon DSLRs that have larger file sizes than my model and video files can get large, especially if they do full-HD. You really don't need anything larger but you may need more then one after a while.

#13 ifmanis5


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:56 PM

Really? The RAW files (Nikon .NEF format) from my camera are almost 19 MB in size. If I post-process any in Photoshop and save in that format, they are almost 70MB in size. And there are Nikon DSLRs that have larger file sizes than my model and video files can get large, especially if they do full-HD. You really don't need anything larger but you may need more then one after a while.

Yup, it adds up quickly. And keep in mind that 1 hour of Pro Res 720p HD footage is 66 GB.

#14 edoug

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:54 AM

You should also look into getting Cloud storage too. Here's a few.

http://www.zdnet.com...your-stuff/2198

Just a little insurance in case something happens to your hard drive.

#15 MoGator71

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:11 AM

Best Buy as a 3 TB Seagate on Black Friday for under $100 and a 1 TB for 70:

http://bfads.net/Ad/...-Buy-2012/Page5

Thanks - correct me if I'm mistaken but the 3TB one is not portable, right?


I have that Seagate and it's "portable" to a certain degree, I mean you can unhook/unplug it and move it around without too much fuss, but it's not portable in the sense that the WD Passports that don't need power are.

I've had a few external HD's over the years (Seagate, Iomega, WD) and never had one fail. I've even got one of those old Lacie 1TB dinosaurs that's basically 4 internal 500MB drives in a metal case, thing weighs like 20 lbs...but it still works.

#16 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

If you want portable, LaCie Rugged drives are great. No external power needed, designed to survive falls of up to 3 feet, and come in a variety of sizes. Using cloud storage as a back up is a good idea as well. I pay ten bucks a month for something like 110 GB from Dropbox and have been really happy with it.