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captainmidnight

best portable 2+ TB USB 3.0 drive for off site backup

7 posts in this topic

I need a portable drive that I use for off site backup. In particular, once a month I will fetch this drive out of my bank's safe deposit box, take it home, back up a bulk internal drive (old WD caviar black that is still going strong...), and then return it to the safe deposit box.

I need these features for sure:

  1. since my internal drive is 2 TB, I need this backup drive to be 2+ TB
  2. I am sick of slow backup times with my existing USB 2.0 WD portable drive, so USB 3.0 is a must

After those requirements, in principle, I next value drive reliablity. (I say in principle, knowing full well that it is really hard to judge the reliability of a given line of hard drives even if you know the manufacturer).

I next value drive performance. If flash drives were cheaper, I would get one, but I think for this application I am stuck with a hard drive. I really want a portable USB 3 hard drive with > 100 MB / s sustained speed across most of the drive. My backup will have a mix of file sizes to handle, but should be mostly sequential.

Other drive features, like ruggedness, slimness, and looks are icing on the cake.

My preliminary research has found a couple of possibilities:

But please open my mind to any drive that you are keen on. Most of the drives above are > 1 year old at this point, I think. Are there any new models in this segment that excite you guys? Anything from CES 2015 that I misssed? (For various resons, the announcements here, here, and here will not work for me.)

I have found it really hard to find any good, recent (< 6 months old), survey reviews for this drive segment. A slight exception is The Wirecutter's recommendation, which discusses some of the drives above. Here too, if you know of any good survey reviews, please inform me.

I am especially interested in reviews which include drive performance benchmarks.

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There's only a handful of models of 2.5" 2TB SATA disks being made that will go into those USB 3.0 external disks, so honestly, all performance is going to be very similar, and if your population is only one disk (or even two or ten), odds are very good reliability is going to look exactly the same between all the different models of disk, too.

Toshiba just announced an extra-thick 2.5" (15mm high, as opposed to the standard 2.5" 9.5mm or even the other extra-thick 12.5mm) 3TB disk if you need more space, but as it's a brand-new model it may not be in retail channels yet, and hell, reliability would definitely be an unknown.

Just posted on another forum, mini-review 1TB disks (so not quite relevant to you, but still of use):

http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1265307

Definitely some performance differences, but not much of any in real-world use.

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Outside of that Toshiba, I don't expect significant capacity gains for the 2.5" segment any time soon. If it were me, I'd buy the My Passport probably. Reliability is going to be a crapshoot in a single drive order. The WD drives are a little less expensive and the ones we test are generally used throughout the lab and we've not had one fail. You can definitely spend more for a fancy aluminum enclosure but it sounds as if you'd see no benefit there. One last idea might be a RAID enclosure with two disks, RAID1 would get you a little more peace of mind, not sure how critical that is for you.

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A 2-drive enclosure could also get you more speed with Raid 0. This obviously increases the failure risk, but that won't matter much if it's only a backup anyway. Apart from that, a 7.2k rpm 3.5" drive in an external enclosure is pretty much the only half-practical thing which could give you more speed. It's not as portable as a 2.5" drive, but if you leave its power supply at home it's not that cumbersome either.

MrS

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Hi,

I had recently bought the WD passport 2TB HDD from Hi2Buy . It is working really good till now. I got a really good deal for the HDD from Hi2Buy. It comes with a 2 year warranty. It comes with USB 3.0 Connectivity and Delivers Maximum Performance too. It has up to 2 TB storage with a lightweight design. It is really easy to carry with its compact design. I would really recommend you to buy this HDD.

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Have you considered USB 3.1?

There are plenty of USB 3.1 x1 PCIe adapters to choose from

e.g.:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100160874&IsNodeId=1&Description=%22USB%203.1%22%20x1%20PCIe%20adapter&name=Add-On%20Cards&Order=BESTMATCH&isdeptsrh=1

Here's a review at www.pcper.com by Ryan Shrout:

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Motherboards/ASUS-Previews-USB-31-Performance-Motherboards-and-Add-Card-Incoming

Also, we found that XCOPY works great if we use the "/l" command line option first,

then run it again withOUT the "/l" command line option e.g.:

xcopy folder X:\folder /s/e/v/d/l

xcopy folder X:\folder /s/e/v/d

Where,

X: = networked drive letter

From the experience of doing this for several years,

the first xcopy command with "/l" appears to cache

the file attributes only, and the "read only" mode

really helps to accelerate the second xcopy command.

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