Categories: Science & Technology

Choosing A USB Hard Drive

July 9, 2015

Often, a typical USB flash drive isn’t enough for our data storage requirements. We could be required to bring a few hundreds of Gigabytes data and it would be much more practical to bring a USB hard drive. There are many portable USB hard drives available in the market and it is a good idea to choose one that fits our needs. The key factor that affects hard drive performance is the transfer speed and it determines how fast we could transfer files back and forth. Because we may often need to transfer large amount of data, it is important that we are able to do this quickly.

The data transfer speeds should be measured in Gigabytes per second and it should be the deciding factor when we seek to purchase an external hard drive. For this reason, it is highly advisable to avoid purchasing older models with legacy USB 2.0 connections. As a comparison, models with the newer USB 3.0 Superspeed could be three times as fast as the USB 2.0 models. Luckily, USB 3.0 ports in our computers should be compatible with the older hard drives with USB 2.0 models, so we shouldn’t be too concerned. In fact, USB 3.0 is already an industry standard and it would be rather difficult to find new laptops and computers that still have USB 2.0 ports.

Data transfer speeds could also be affected by other technology standards, such as eSATA, FireWire and Thunderbolt. Another aspect that we should consider is storage size. Some portable hard drives can offer 3GB of storage, 1TB models should be the most ideal for average users. Low cost 500GB models should still be available, but they offer the lowest price/GB ratio; so it would preferable to choose 1TB models or higher. For business purposes, we should consider models that have password and encryption protection. This is essential because external hard drives can be stolen or misplaced due to their portable nature.

Other than the password protection and encryption features, the hard drive should also have extra software to handle things like automated and periodic backups. This is especially essential if we want to use the hard drive to back up your date. Finally, we should examine the warranty of our portable hard drive and most manufacturers provide one year warranty, because any hard drive has a possibility to suffer some kind of malfunction. Although it may not be the most important characteristics, some users will consider that the design of their portable hard drive is essential.

This could be acceptable for people who often bring portable hard drive in various social-related activities, as an example when they want to watch movies with their friends. Business professionals who regularly perform presentation should also bring portable hard drives with proper design to enhance appeal in front of the potential customers. Some users may also prefer ruggedized designs with military-grade specs that can withstand exposure to water and dust without loss of data. The portable hard drive should also survive drops of a few feet.

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