Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Comparison of External Hard Drives

Hard drive storage is generally a simple purchase process. Either your hard drive crashes and you need a new disk drive or you ran out of storage and need to buy a USB external or network storage. Now you have just one dilemma...which storage device do you purchase given all the choices?

There are three basic things that you need to remember when comparing hard drive brands and that is features, price and warranty.

This includes connectivity such as SATA, IDE and USB or network attached (ethernet connection). Most external storage drives are USB 2.0 or Ethernet, with USB being the most common for desktop applications at the home or office.

Other features include color, push button backup or flashing LED lights. Some hard drives are even fireproof and waterproof for just a few dollars more.

Most hard drives in the 500 GB range start around $99 and move up to around $129. If you catch a holiday sale you can easily drop that number down to $80.

Generally speaking all hard drives come with a one to three year warranty. Pretty standard across the board. Some hard drives also include a data recovery service warranty on top of that. This means that if you hard drive crashes (for any reason) that the company will pay to have the data recovered at a third party forensic recovery service such as OnTrack or DriveSavers. This added warranty protection is a true bonus for anyone in the market for an external hard drive.

A new hard drive on the market is the ioSafe Solo, a fire safe and waterproof USB drive that costs a few dollars more than a regular hard disk. It comes with a 3 year warranty and a $1,000 data recovery service with purchase price. We all know that the drive will fail at some point in time, so the extra dollars are worth the hassle when the drive crashes or your computer says goodbye.

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