External Hard drive for computer - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-08-30, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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External Hard drive for computer

I'm looking to buy and external hard drive for my computer, but I don't know which one is right for me.

What factors should i be looking for?

I own a mac desktop
- Memory 8 GB

I currently have 939.6 GB available of 998.98 GB

thanks
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-08-31, 04:48 AM
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What's your purpose? Backup? Certainly not for additional storage.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-08-31, 08:01 AM
 
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The first thing is to check what connectivity you have.
Thunderbolt? USB 3.1, USB 3, ethernet, USB C




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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-08-31, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes back up, not additional storage.

I have the same type of connectivity as seen on this website below

https://9to5mac.com/2016/02/28/apple...es-how-to-fix/

USB3, Thunderbolt, Etherenet
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-08-31, 01:54 PM
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If all you want is backup, especially if you do it occasionally, may I suggest a USB stick instead. Say 128 GB for around $25-35 on sale or on the web. You can easily hide it in your home, or at work or at a friend's place, backing it up periodically, or getting two and swapping them out after each backup.

These often go on sale for half price or less on certain days of the year like Black Friday or Boxing Week and occasionally at other times. During Boxing week of 2016, almost 2 years ago, I purchased a 128GB "Jumpdrive" for $25. At the time the regular price was $100. So, keep your eyes open for sales as they should be even less expensive now.

It may take a bit longer to backup to a stick, so just do the backup when you're ready to walk away from the computer for a while.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-08-31, 02:03 PM
 
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If you do it regularly then I would get an SSD of whatever size you wish in a USB3 capable enclosure or even, if available Thunderbolt.
More costly than a USB stick but faster.

I have three drives of different sizes in enclosures from a 128Gb SSD up to an old 1Tb spinner. Very useful and I do use the SSD to backup my Windows laptop...I can plug it into USB3 and still get reasonably battery life without having to also plug in the laptop.

Whatever works for you. A USB stick would be cheaper for sure.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-01, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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My old external hard drive is a g-drive slim 500GB

it's looks like this

https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2430368,00.asp

I keep it plugged it into my old computer 24/7, and it backups up automatically/constantly

I'm pretty sure with a USB stick I would have to constantly plug it into my computer and manually back it up every day which would be an inconvenience to me.

I want a hard drive that stays plugged into my computer 24/7 and backs up automatically every day without me telling it to to do so.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-01, 02:38 PM
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Don't confuse backup software with the drive itself. As noted in the article, the G-Drive Slim does not include backup software so that must either be part of the PC's operating system or was added later.

A dedicated backup drive is not necessary but may be the best option with some backup software. There are lots of devices that can be used for backups. Those include but are not limited to:
1. dedicated internal drive
2. dedicated external drive
3. network connected drive
4. other devices such as a flash drives
5. the cloud (internet connected storage)
6. a NAS device (network connected file server)
7. more than one of the above.

If the drive on the other PC is shared on the network and that PC is always on, that drive could be used. There would be no need for a new drive. I suggest using more than one backup device with the second one preferably being at another site. That could be on a device stored at another location or internet connected storage.

The Best Cloud Storage Services for Backup in 2018 Cloud and other offsite storage backups should be encrypted for privacy reasons. That requires backup software that supports encryption.

A flash drive can be left plugged in 24/7. The biggest issues with flash drives are speed and short lifespan if used heavily. I don't trust flash drives for heavy use applications such as continuous or daily backups.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-01, 03:39 PM
 
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Jumpplus has a lacie 120 GB SSD external USB3 drive for $50.
I bought one for my banking boot drive. It is quick and small.

You don't use a lot of data so that might be big enough.

Bob
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-01, 05:47 PM
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I would get a drive that is at least as big as the PC drive. That way, a couple of drive images and file history for personal files can be stored. The main drive may currently hold only ~60GB but that can change in a few months or years. Something smaller would do as a secondary backup for only personal files.

I much prefer networked storage for backups. It's available to backup all devices on the network and the data on it is available to all devices as well. It doesn't need to be that expensive. Plugging a USB drive into a suitable router will do for light duties. Plugging the existing backup drive into a router might do the job. If it's possible, the backup software would need to be configured for the new backup location. Not sure how compatible Macs would be with drives on a non-Apple router though.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-01, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classy1 View Post
My old external hard drive is a g-drive slim 500GB

it's looks like this

https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2430368,00.asp

I keep it plugged it into my old computer 24/7, and it backups up automatically/constantly

I'm pretty sure with a USB stick I would have to constantly plug it into my computer and manually back it up every day which would be an inconvenience to me.

I want a hard drive that stays plugged into my computer 24/7 and backs up automatically every day without me telling it to to do so.
That's good for drive problems if stuff is noticed when/if corruption occurs but not good if the house burns down or some other similar event. I trust you have that covered also.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-02, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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geez, my brain is starting to hurt after reading these long technical posts. I'm not really that smart when it comes to technical terms nor do I think I worded my question properly.

All I really want is a backup/external device that i could use just it case my computer crashes. Therefore (hypothetically speaking) i can unplug the external device from the crashed computer, plug it into another computer, download all the files to the new computer and do my work on the new computer

sorry if i confused the term backup device/and external hard drive. I thought they were the same thing.

- I have a mac with a 1 TB SATA disk
- 939.75 gb available of 998.98 GB

Just looking for suggestions on buying a device which is similar to my old G Drive and doesn't involve a usb drive. (although i will consider it) Also want something that won't cost lots of money seeing that I don't have anything super important on this computer

Bobmac: thanks for your suggestion, i will look into it.

PS: I'm not super computer literate so dumb down your suggestions for me. Speak to me like i just arrived on this planet :-)

sorry for the inconvenience, but i do value all your opinions.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-02, 09:57 PM
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What you are looking for is most likely a Time Machine compatible hard drive for the Mac. It's quite likely that the previous setup uses Time Machine for backup.

G-Technology still makes a G-Drive similar to the one you have up to 2TB in size. The G-Drive mobile USB-C model is USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatible.

Then there is the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive compatible with the Mac in 1TB to 5TB sizes. It has USB 3.0 and USB C ports.

A number of Seagate - Backup Plus Slim and WD - My Passport portable drives are made for the Mac and are Time Machine compatible.

Not sure what the issue with USB is but USB 3.0, USB 3.1 or USB C should work fine. USB 2.0 would not work with the above drives. Thunderbolt may be better in some respects but it seriously limits choices as most external 2.5" drives are USB 3.0.

How to use Time Machine to back up or restore your Mac
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-04, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok, thanks for the info

Thanks everybody for all your help.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 2018-09-05, 05:11 PM
 
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@Classy1

Sorry that I am late to this discussion. My wife has a Macbook similar to yours. She uses much more disk space, as she generates around 256GB of video every day monitoring her bird feeders which she edits each day down to a manageable size. I set up a Western Digital Passport drive for her to use. The Passport is powered from the USB port, so there is no power supply required. She just keeps it next to the touchpad. You don't need a special drive to use it on the Macbook. All you do is use "Disk Utility" to erase the existing drive partition and then create a new one that is HFS+, which is required for Time Machine. The "Mac Compatible" drives charge you extra to pre-format the drive as HFS+, which you can easily learn to do yourself. When you plug the HFS+ drive in for the first time, it will ask you if you want to use the drive for Time Machine and it will be used for continuous backups whenever it is plugged in.

In addition to her Time Machine backup, I occasionally make a disk image on another drive using "Carbon Copy Cloner" from Bombich Software. This software adds a little bit to the cost, but the advantage is that if your Macbook fails for whatever reason, you can plug the cloned drive into any Mac with the same or newer operating system version and boot directly from the drive image. There is no need to copy files to the second machine. Carbon Copy Cloner can also work like Time Machine to schedule continuous backups, but I've always preferred to use two different backup utilities just for the additional redundancy.

One small word of caution about leaving the backup drive plugged in all the time - if you should get infected with a version of ransomware that encrypts your files and asks you to pay for the key to unlock your files, it will also encrypt any disk attached to your computer, including your Time Machine backup. If you have a backup that was stored offline, you can just ignore the ransomware and restore from the backup. Now the incidence of ransomware on a Mac is pretty small so you may want to take the risk.

I hope that helps guide you in your decision.
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