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External hard drive recommendation (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
My hard drive just failed and I have potentially lost a whole load of stuff. I've enquired with a local 'file recovery' specialist and it will cost me a minimum of £450 plus an initial £95 assessment charge, to try and recover my files.

Anyway, I'm looking for any recommendations for a 2Tb, external hard drive to keep my backed up files on.
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
To be honest they are all much of a muchness. The guts all come from a limited pool of supplies. The most important thing is to set up an automated system to back things up. Windows has a File History system (MacOS has similar), leave your external drive permanently connected and you can configure File History to backup automatically, I have mine set to hourly. It only backs up what has changed so doesn't take loads of resources. As well as securing against loss it allows you to revert to older versions if you regret any changes you have made.

If you want to be ultra secure have two drives set up like that, and switch them over once a week and keep one off site or in a fire safe.

Cloud storage is a possible solution for select files but for 2Tb you would be paying £8 a month and the initial upload would take days.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
To be honest they are all much of a muchness. The guts all come from a limited pool of supplies. The most important thing is to set up an automated system to back things up. Windows has a File History system (MacOS has similar), leave your external drive permanently connected and you can configure File History to backup automatically, I have mine set to hourly. It only backs up what has changed so doesn't take loads of resources. As well as securing against loss it allows you to revert to older versions if you regret any changes you have made.

If you want to be ultra secure have two drives set up like that, and switch them over once a week and keep one off site or in a fire safe.

Cloud storage is a possible solution for select files but for 2Tb you would be paying £8 a month and the initial upload would take days.
Thanks for this, much appreciated.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

I keep important stuff on Apple's iCloud and have not reached my limit. For years, I had an external SSD startup drive, mostly to speed booting, but I shared files between the computer's HDD and the external drive, and I backed up both. It came in handy when I wiped one disc because of malware.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
Network Attached Storage (NAS) with RAID (array of disks with copies of the data). More expensive to set up but several advantages. One of which being (depending on system) that you can access files from your phone /when you're away from home
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I find these days that pretty well all my stuff - work and birding notes etc - is on Google drive so it's only really the photos I need to back up so i don't bother with anything more complicated than copying a month at a times photos across to an external drive. PC world seems as cheap as anywhere.
 

Jessie-66

Germany
I find these days that pretty well all my stuff - work and birding notes etc - is on Google drive so it's only really the photos I need to back up so i don't bother with anything more complicated than copying a month at a times photos across to an external drive. PC world seems as cheap as anywhere.
Imho you are a teacher and it is likely that you have confidential student data. Likewise, it is likely that your employer's data will not be seen by unknown third parties. After learning about the Google's and Alphabet's (mother enterprice) business model and studying carefully the Google Drive terms of service, you encrypt confidential uploaded data. May we know how and with what you do that?
Sorry, you are giving public "advice" and recommendations here, so you have to accept that things have to be looked at from more than one side (cheap, simple and convenient).

Convenient and halfway secure is to have data multiple times, offline and in several generations (versioning) at home and encrypted elsewhere. I don't care if it's at a notorious data octopus.
(Provided that 'home' is 'secure'.)


"Initially, Google granted itself the right to re-use user documents with its German-language T&Cs.[23] According to Google, this was a translation error.[24] The T&C section now assures copyright in its own content.[25] Google grants itself broad rights of use as well as publication, except "If you are in Germany and access Google products or services that are targeted at Germany."[26] It is not discernible from the outside at what point this condition exists.
Following the passage of the SESTA/FOSTA legislative package on 21 March 2018, Google blocked or deleted numerous pieces of "sexually explicit" content from Google Drive, citing its TOS.[27]"

 
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Steve Arlow

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I have 4 external hard drives to back up my photos and files. I've have two 4tb Western Digital Elements External Hard Drives go on me in past couple of years and one of the other remaining two is playing up so I've switched to Seagate 6TB drives.
As I found out a few years ago just having one drive as back cost me dearly when it crashed and I lost a stack of trip photos that I could not get recovered so now I have back ups to the back ups. If one goes then theres always another you can copy from to another .
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
Imho you are a teacher and it is likely that you have confidential student data. Likewise, it is likely that your employer's data will not be seen by unknown third parties. After learning about the Google's and Alphabet's (mother enterprice) business model and studying carefully the Google Drive terms of service, you encrypt confidential uploaded data. May we know how and with what you do that?
Sorry, you are giving public "advice" and recommendations here, so you have to accept that things have to be looked at from more than one side (cheap, simple and convenient).

Convenient and halfway secure is to have data multiple times, offline and in several generations (versioning) at home and encrypted elsewhere. I don't care if it's at a notorious data octopus.
(Provided that 'home' is 'secure'.)


"Initially, Google granted itself the right to re-use user documents with its German-language T&Cs.[23] According to Google, this was a translation error.[24] The T&C section now assures copyright in its own content.[25] Google grants itself broad rights of use as well as publication, except "If you are in Germany and access Google products or services that are targeted at Germany."[26] It is not discernible from the outside at what point this condition exists.
Following the passage of the SESTA/FOSTA legislative package on 21 March 2018, Google blocked or deleted numerous pieces of "sexually explicit" content from Google Drive, citing its TOS.[27]"

How my work data is stored is between me and my employer. It is the latter who decides that.
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
I have 4 external hard drives to back up my photos and files. I've have two 4tb Western Digital Elements External Hard Drives go on me in past couple of years and one of the other remaining two is playing up so I've switched to Seagate 6TB drives.
As I found out a few years ago just having one drive as back cost me dearly when it crashed and I lost a stack of trip photos that I could not get recovered so now I have back ups to the back ups. If one goes then theres always another you can copy from to another .
The convenient way of doing this is some form of network attached storage. If you have a NAS box with RAID, you can set things up so that you can swap in new disks as old ones fail secure in the knowledge that your information is being mirrored to the functioning ones. The simplest but most expensive way is to buy a NAS like those from Synology and populate it with disks (I did this).

If you want even more security you could periodically copy the information you store there to another location too—either a stand alone hard drive or cloud storage [expensive for even fairly small quantities, and there are hacking/privacy issues as noted above].
 

Muso

Well-known member
Scotland
The important thng is that any data which is not replaceable (nowadays very few pictures are non-digital) is backed up, however you choose to do it. I have one Seagate 4TB and one WD Elements 4TB external drives (deliberately different makes). I update these both at the same time directly from the camera, and one of them is only connected to the PC to do so. Afterwards, that one is not connected. If lightning hits the PC then everything connected is lost. Yes, unlikely, but the question is how much do you value the data which can be lost. Back it up!
 

John Nihon

_______________
I either purchase Western Digital (like WD Elements 4TB) or Buffalo portable hard drives for USB connection and that don't require a separate power cable. I've not, keep fingers crossed, had a problem with products from either of these manufacturers yet.
 

locustella

Well-known member
Is it true, that SSD disks can last much longer than HDDs, are mechanically more durable, saved files can last on them for longer period, but can't be deleted and saved so many times as on HDDs ? In other way than can be used for very long time provided that they are not used too much ? Is it safe to make backup on them more than once ? How many years files can last on a SSD disk ? According to the internet durability grows in this direction: QLC < TLC < MLC < SLC, but speed in opposite one. According to the internet because I have only one old 500 GB external HDD drive.
 
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