The best hard drive for you

This is a question we often get. There are essentially two avenues a user can chose – hard disk drive versus solid state drive.

To decide which it’s really a battle of capacity and price. Solid state drives or SSDs are expensive and don’t store as much data as hard disk drives. Having said that, they are much more reliable and will take more punishment. USB 3.0 gives us much better performance from portable hard drives, but remember transferring 100GB of small files is going to take much, much longer than a single 100GB file. A rugged exterior is important if you are going to be physically transporting data on your drive. One thing hard disk drives (and solid state drives to a lesser extent) do not like is shock, especially whilst powered up.

BackBlaze are the World’s most prolific user of hard drives and solid state drives. Periodically they publish statistics from their data centres about the performance of all their drives. Guess what? They state that Western Digital drives are more likely to fail than Seagate, Toshiba and Hitachi! But why would this be? All drives are essentially the same aren’t they? The simple answer is no. Hard drives and solid state drives are like cars. Their manufacturing quality differs hugely. Add to this research, development and testing. Some manufacturers like Hitachi really spend a lot of time creating their drives and take pride in low failure rates.

Before deciding on which portable drive you are going to purchase, check that there are no issues. For instance Seagate BackUp Plus 3TB Portable HDD uses the ST3000DM001 model, which allegedly has a manufacturing defect causing high failure rates. Make sure you do your research beforehand! Having said that Seagates 2TB BackUp Plus Slim is rated as one of the most inexpensive, reliable and fast hard drives around.

Will we stick our neck out and say which is the best portable hard disk drive or solid state drive? With so many to choose from and users requirements all being different, it is difficult to settle on any single model. For us though, HGST or Hitachi as they were formerly known offer some of the most reliable products around and our clients have reliability in the forefront of their minds.