Backup to digital storage is like insurance to driving, you need it even though you hope that you’ll never have to resort to it. Unfortunately, backing up is not required by law and I’ve seen a lot of accidents when folks lose their precious data. You can buy a new car but you just can’t buy back your lost memories, no matter how much money you have.
In short, I just can’t stress enough how important backing up is. The good news is it’s very easy, and cheap, to have a backup drive for your computer. Following is the top five external hard drive that I’ve reviewed recently that will make excellent home backup solutions. They are all affordable, easily to use, and works with both Windows and Macs. They also comes with helpful backup software for home users.
Note that these drives are listed based on review order with the latest review on top. They are equally great backup drives so pick one that fit your need – generally you want to get a drive that has the same or larger capacity than that of your computer.
Seagate Backup Plus Desktop
The Backup Plus Desktop external drive is one of the first on the market that offers up to 5TB of storage space. This is the top capacity for a single drive and is an excellent drive for those with lots of data. This is the only drive on this list that’s for desktops (it requires a separate power adapter to work) and is ideal for using at home.
The Backup Plus Desktop is very fast and come with automatic and user-friendly backup software called Seagate Dashboard for home users. The software works very well and, after the initial setup, takes care of backing up by itself without users’ having to get involved. At the current cost of less than $220 for 5TB (there are also 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB versions that are accordingly cheaper), it’s a steal.
Seagate Backup Plus Slim
The Backup Plus Slim is the portable version of the Backup Plus Desktop. Like the rest of the drives on this list, it’s bus-powered, meaning it requires only one USB cable (included) to work. With up to 2TB in a portable design, this is an excellent backup drive to use both at home and while you are on the road. Read the full review of the Seagate Backup Plus Slim.
Seagate Backup Plus Fast
The Backup Plus Fast doubles the capacity, the physical thickness, and the performance of the Slim drive above. This is currently the only USB 3.0 portable drive on the market that has 4TB of storage space and the performance faster than 200MBps. The Fast achieves this by using two internal hard drives (2TB each) on the inside in a RAID 0 configuration. Since RAID 0 generally heightens the risk of data loss, this drive should be used for backup only. And when you do, it takes very short time to back up a large amount of storage space. Other than that, it comes with the same Seagate Dashboard backup software same as other Seagate drives above.
WD My Passport Slim
The My Passport Slim is an excellent portable storage device. The drive is fast with the USB 3.0 speed of more than 100MBps and is very compact while offering up to 2TB of storage space. Like other WD drives, the Slim comes with WD SmartWare backup software that not only does the job automatically, but also allows for saving versions of files, a great way to protect yourself from accidental editing. The drive also comes with a security feature that protects its content with a password. This way in case of thief, your data is also safe from prying eyes. All this makes it a great choice for backup while you’re on the go.
WD My Passport Ultra
The My Passport Ultra is very similar to the My Passport Slim above but just about 10MBps faster. It also comes in four different colors including titanium, red, blue, and black, and is slightly larger than its brother. Other than that it shares the same WD SmartWare backup software and security features. It also costs about the same with the 2TB version currently costing just about $110.
Capacities , Weight, Dimensions , Bus-powered , Top speed
(1) Seagate Backup Plus Desktop 2,3, 4, 5TB 2.38 lbs 6.22 x 4.88 x 1.73 inch No 180MBps
(2) Seagate Backup Slim 500GB, 1, 2TB 5.6 ounces 4.5 x 3 x 0.4 inch Yes 120MBps
(3) Seagate Backup Fast 4TB . 68 lb 4.6 x 3.2 x 0.8 inch Yes 230MBps
(4) WD My Passport Slim 1, 2TB 5.6 ounces 4.33 x 3.14 x 0.48 inch Yes 108MBps
(5) WD My Passport Ultra 500GB, 1, 2TB 9 ounces 4.34 x 3.21 x 0.5 inch Yes 119MBps
Finally, note that the essence of backups is having multiple copies of your data at multiple places, the more copies you have, the more frequently backups are done, the safer your data is. If you still have more questions or suggestions on how to back up your data, send them to me via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or just post them in the comments section below.