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How to choose an External Hard disk drive ? (Part 1)

written by IT Evangelist

Recently a friend keep asking my opinion regarding that he is going to get a external hard disk drive for his back up purpose and which brand is the best. I’m quite hard to point out which brand is the best among the hard disk because I don’t really have chance to try out every brands of the hard disks, but I got some small tips on how to choose an external hard disk drive others than the brand issue.

The idea of an external hard disk is having a hard disk drive enclosed with a hard disk case/enclosure.

Basically the differences for each external hard disk drive is as following,

For Hard Disk Drive :

1)   Brand & Price, this is a common and mostly the first question which may be raised out by most of the buyer, which brand is the best and having the

2)   Capacity / Storage Size, normally the price increase when the storage size increase. 3.5” Hard disk always have the bigger storage size compare with the 2.5” hard disk, the highest capacity currently is 2 TB.

3)   Physical Size / Form Factor, the general one for consumer market should be 2.5” and 3.5”. Consider the same storage size level, normally the hard disk with the smaller physical size will be more expensive compare with the bigger one. In the other words, 2.5” hard disk will be more expensive compare with the 3.5”.

4)   Access Time (speed), the measurement unit is RPM, as of May 2010, the fastest is 15,000 rpm. This factor normally having a close relation with the hard disk interface, e.g : IDE, ATA , SCSI or SATA hard disk.

For Hard Disk Enclosure :

1) Connector Interface :  General one should be USB( 2.0 or 3.0 ) , IEEE 1394 Firewire.

2) Brand and Price.

3) Form Factory, Enclosure for 2.5” hard disk and 3.5” hard disk.

4) Power Supply,  generally the 3.5” enclosure come with an power supply cord as a compulsory which you need to connect to the power source, while the 2.5” enclosure will have a power source cord as an optional.

5) Shock Resistance / protection, some enclosure come with this features and some might not.

After knowing the basic idea of what’s an External Hard disk drive, and before we proceed to get an external hard disk drive, following is some other factors we should consider,

1) What’s the main task of your external hard disk drive ?

Let’s think, your purpose of getting an external hard disk drive is for Backup data purpose, for Data Transferring purpose, or for both purpose.

If the main task of your hard disk drive is purely back up data, you might require a Hard disk drive with higher storage capacity, which is a 3.5” Hard disk drive with an enclosure with the high power, with this combination you may get the bigger storage size with lower price compare with getting a 2.5” hard disk drive. Also, normally the 3.5” enclosure didn’t come with the shock resistance, which means not encourage you to carry around.

2.5” hard disk with an enclosure which not required to connect to the power source  is an ideal product for people who need both back up and data transfer equivalently, and with condition his back up file is more on those document only instead of movie or heavy designer’s documents, e.g: .ai or .psd file. But if you’re purely need a device for transfer the data, you should consider a USB Flash Drive instead of an external hard drive.

2) What’s your daily job ?

As abovementioned, your job may reflect the type of the external hard disk you should acquire. E.g : If you’re marketing people who focus more on word processing, power point and excel, then it’s not necessary for you to have a high storage capacity hard disk, unless you use it to keep movie or photo.

If you’re an art director of graphic designer, a low capacity hard disk is definitely not suitable for you

3) What’s your computer specification and operating system at both your home, office and your environment ?

If you’re from a purely Windows environment, the enclosure with USB 2.0 or 3.0 might be the most ideal option for you. If you’re a Mac Enthusiasm, and you’re still using your old mac machine, you might prefer a enclosure with Firewire connector, which is relatively more stable compare with USB. Apart from it, please be understand that not every computer/laptop is support all the USB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and firewire, please make sure you primary environment’s computer is compatible with which kind of interface connector before you get your external hard disk.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011

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