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external hard drive recommendation


lauranoel
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I have always purchased Lacie thunderbolt external hard drives to back up my images from my MAC desktop.  I just went to go purchase a new one, and noticed they had terrible reviews.  Can you recommend a good one?  I usually get something with 4-6 TB storage.

I could be mistaken, but I searched and couldn't find this topic.  Thanks in advance for your help.

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I usually get 2 external hard drives so that I have 2 separate back-ups in case one hard drive ever has problems.  Is there any advantage to using one of these?  I'm wondering if I'm being too old school or maybe smart having two completely separate units?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1048667-REG

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1122992-REG

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There are multiple options with your links.

RAID0 - This type of technology is great for when you need a FAST Drive, such as when editing video. RAID0 takes the data blocks and divides them in half. One half goes to one drive, the other goes to the 2nd drive, but the two disks act as one large HD. As I've stated, the upside to this is SPEED. A RAID0 running on 7200RPM Hard Drives is much faster overall than using a single hard drive. There is no difference in speed when using SSD drives,  the performance gains are only when you are using traditional hard drives with spinning platters.

Major Downside to RAID0 - If one hard drive fails, the whole thing fails, meaning you lose everything. Benefits to RAID0, two 500GB Hard Drives become a single TB, so you get a "boost" in storage capacity, and of course speed.

RAID1 - Drive Mirroring. This will cut your total advertised storage space by 1/2. So that 8TB HD will becom a 4TB Hard Drive, with around 3.6GB available for usage after formatting, give or take a little. The benefit to RAID1 is when you right to one drive, it automatically copies to the other drive in real time.

Benefits: If one hard drive fails, you still have your files on the other hard drive.

Downsides: If you screw up and accidentally delete a file, a RAID1 will not save you, because when that file is deleted on one hard drive, it's automatically deleted on the second hard drive. In addition, if the data is corrupted on one hard drive, it's going to be corrupted on the 2nd hard drive. RAID1 is preferred for today's home-user looking for a bit of redunancy in real-time, but it has it's limitations. 

JBOD - Stands for "Just a Bunch Of Disks." I do NOT recommend using this mode for anything critical. It's almost as bad as using RAID0 for backups. Basically, for lack of a better term, hard drives are "Daisy-Chained." Both Hard Drives are linked together and when Hard Drive A fills up to capacity, things start writing to Hard Drive B and C and so forth. The reason people use this method is they are in a bind and need extra space quickly and have a Hard Drive laying around. The downside to this is stability, this JBOD method is really meant for the days of hard drives being small, like 10MB or 20MB or even 40MB. (That's megabytes, not gigabytes or terabytes) Today's drives are so much larger and cheaper than their 1980's counterparts, so JBOD really isn't needed these days. In fact, the only people that use this method that I personally know of are techie-guys like myself that use JBOD just to do it or "Just because..." with no real reason. A JBOD setup is fun for Nerds. LOL!!

So back to the two drives you linked to. Both are fine. The 8TB Drive will turn into a 4TB before formatting, and a 12TB drive will turn into 6TB when using RAID1. The downside is that it's one unit and if you really are paranoid about keeping data, it's best to purchase two units and keep one off-site in case of fire, floods, earthquakes, etc. Oh, floods don't always come from the creek next to your yard, they can come from a busted water-pipe that fills a room, etc. So that's the biggest thing that I can see with those models. As for which one? The silver aluminum case one. A fast 7200RPM drive tends to generate a lot of heat, and I like having the extra heat dispersion. Heat Dispersion makes fast Hard Drives last longer.

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