Do You Have a Backup of Your Important Data? If Not, It's Time to Make One Now! Here's the Ultimate Guide to the Best Portable Hard Disks in 2020 and Why They're Important

Do You Have a Backup of Your Important Data? If Not, It's Time to Make One Now! Here's the Ultimate Guide to the Best Portable Hard Disks in 2020 and Why They're Important

Everyone is using a laptop/desktop nowadays, not just in offices but homes as well. Although the office data is mainly managed and protected by the IT department, it is your personal data which is not managed and secured adequately. A portable hard disk drive is an extremely important computer accessory in today's times. It not only enables you to backup your critical data from the system but also protects you from external factors not under your control like theft/loss of computing device, ransomware attacks, internal hard drive crash, etc. It is therefore imperative that you select a rugged portable hard drive as per your requirement and budget, and start backing up your data on a regular basis. This BP Guide will help you understand the factors you need to consider before buying an external hard drive and also the latest technologies, brands and models available in 2020.

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Data Backups Are a Big Deal!

We have always been requested by the IT geeks to have proper backups of our data. What happens to the loads of personal files that we have at home? To prevent sudden loss of data, we must keep a backup of our data at frequent intervals. The solution is using external hard drives. While it was quite expensive to get hold of one earlier, the prices have reduced drastically, and we can easily get a 1 TB external hard drive at relatively cheaper rates now.

The Need for Portable Hard Drives

Before choosing the best portable hard disk drive for yourself, you will need to know about the factors that will help you to select the hard drive suitable for you. While there are several such portable hard drives, you need to know which one is the best and how to select it. There are the advanced drives that allow automated backup and other networking features. Let us understand some factors that you must consider before selecting one:

  • Space:
    Most of the other storage devices viz. DVD, pen drives, etc. have small storage spaces. Moreover, using CDs and DVDs is quite cumbersome as you would need to burn the data onto the DVDs. The shelf life of DVDs is also very low. This is where a hard drive will be of immense help as it provides an ample data space and also has a high shelf life. You can also structure hard drives into a pseudo RAID using Windows.

  • Portability:
    The main reason for using an external hard disk is its size. It should be easy to shift the hard drive if needed. Imagine a scenario that you have to go out on a tour but also need a backup of your important data, what would you do? Take a hard drive with you as its plug and play capability will help you immensely.

  • Easily Scalable:
    Even if you make plans beforehand, a time may come that you would need to have larger storage space. With a hard drive, you will be able to add more such hard drives easily. However, using smaller storage devices like pen drives and DVDs are cumbersome as you would require a large number of these devices. You would also have a problem with storing a large number of smaller storage devices.

  • Data Backups:
    Your computer is at the risk of breaking down at any time. Imagine a scenario if you lose your laptop, or it is damaged when you are travelling. You would lose your essential data. It serves to have a backup of your relevant data. An external hard drive will help you to keep a backup of your data even while on the move.

  • Security:
    A significant concern for your data has always been security. You must also be worried about the protection for your hard drives. The information you may be carrying could contain sensitive information about your clients. The manufacturer should provide hardware-based encryption over a software-based one. It will be a more trustworthy option for you.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Portable Hard Disk

  • Storage Capacity:
    While choosing the best portable hard disk, it is crucial to know the storage capacity before buying one. Given the multitude of options available, you need to have an overview of the backup requirements and the core backup needs that you may be having. As a thumb rule, it is prudent to select storage space that is at least twice the storage capacity you require currently. However, it might not be sufficient for you. You will need to factor in the backup policy that you have. If you have a weekly backup strategy, you must opt for a hard drive that is at least as much as the capacity of the hard drive of your computer.

  • Durability:
    Your hard disk is a storehouse of critical information. You must ensure that it is durable and not exposed to extreme temperatures. But what if it broke down suddenly! You must ensure that it is quite sturdy as well. It should remain intact even if it fell from your hands. It is challenging to judge the durability of any electronics item. So, most of us go for the best brands. Make a trade-off between selecting a branded hard drive and your budget.

  • Speed:
    If you are a movie geek and need to transfer large file volumes, you would need to opt for a high speed hard drive. You would not like to wait for ages to transfer the movie files. The next issue is to select between solid-state drives (SSD) and HDD. Usually, SSDs have lower storage capacity but tend to be faster. Drives usually use a USB interface. USD 2.0 is not an ideal option unless you are using the drive for small files. USB 3.0 offers high transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

  • Maturity:
    The maturity of the drive manufacturer is also an essential criterion while selecting your hard drive. The more mature the manufacturer, the more they will be able to accept and offer newer technology. Moreover, their products are less susceptible to design flaws.

  • Warranty:
    While you would not like your hard drive to break down, but you should always plan for contingencies way ahead. You should opt for a brand that has a robust warranty policy. Also, have a look at the corporate website and understand the procedure to raise a ticket. Is the process cumbersome? Read online reviews about their customer care service.

10 Best External Hard Disks in 2020

It becomes a bit difficult to select an external hard disk that will cater to your requirements. You will need to factor in several parameters before selecting one. So, how will you select which portable hard disk is the best? After reviewing numerous models, we have zeroed down on the models that would be best suited for you:

Western Digital My Passport Ultra 4 TB External Hard Drive

  • Do you need to backup your important data fast and you want a sleek hard drive? Then the Western Digital (WD) My Passport Ultra is just for you. The anodised model matches seamlessly with the devices you usually work on. It also comes in different colours. Files are transferred in no time. The USB-C™ technology allows the drive to quickly transfer the data, while the included USB 3.1 adaptor makes it compatible with the older machines.

  • Using it is easy and does not consume any time by downloading any software to initiate file transfer – it’s just plug and play. The hard drive is pre-formatted for Windows® 10. You may also download the NTFS driver for macOS. Using the WD Backup™ software, you can initiate periodic backups by having an automated routine. All you will need to do is to download the backup software, plug in the drive and set the backup schedule.

  • The Discovery software allows hassle-free storage of your documents to the Ultra drive. It also allows you to download your data online from cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Facebook. Also, you need not worry about the security of your documents. The security function within the Discovery software allows to password protect your files with 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption. You can buy the WD 4 TB My Passport Ultra External HDD on Amazon for ₹ 22,202.00.

Seagate® Expansion™ External Hard Drive

  • The Seagate® Expansion™ external hard drive provides additional space for your essential files and transfers files instantly onto a single location. There is no need to download any software, and you only need to plug in the USB cable to start the file transfer. You can use the hard drive within seconds of unpacking it. It is pre-configured to be detected automatically by the Windows operating system.

  • Available in capacity sizes from 2 TB – 6 TB, 8 TB, 10 TB, unique out-of-the-box drag and drop feature allows faster file saving. The USB 3.0 connectivity helps you by minimising the time required for data transfer. The hard drive is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 for additional system compatibility. Be assured of prompt customer service, and it comes with a 3-year warranty. You can buy the Seagate 4 TB Expansion External Hard Drive on Amazon for ₹ 7,499.00.

Toshiba Canvio® Advance Portable External Hard Drive

  • Willing to take your important data wherever you go without the risk of it being lost? Then the Toshiba Canvio® Advance hard drive should be of great help. Apart from being a small package of 4 TB fitted into a stylish hard drive, you have the privilege of pre-configuring your backup policy. An intuitive UI ensures that the backup is secure with the software taking care of it.

  • You can start transferring your files by just plugging the device into your computer terminal. The Toshiba Canvio is pre-formatted with NTFS for Windows® 10, Windows® 8.1 and Windows® 7. However, it requires reformatting for macOS v10.12 /OS X v10.11 / v10.10.

  • If you like data transfer to be a breeze, the Toshiba Canvio is a great option. It is compatible with USB 3.0, providing a data transfer rate of 5 Gbps. It is also compatible with USB 2.0 for earlier devices. A password protection software ensures that your data does not get corrupted and unauthorised users do not have access to your personal information. A unique password helps to secure your data.

  • Available with a capacity of 1 TB, 2 TB or 4 TB, its performance is time-tested and backed by a 2-year warranty. Buy your Toshiba Canvio Advance 4 TB External Hard Drive on Amazon for ₹ 20,252,00.

Transcend StoreJet 25H3P 2.5-inch 2 TB Portable External Hard Disk

  • The next device that you can consider has a capacity of 500 GB/1 TB/2 TB. Among the few hard drives with foolproof shock protection, the Transcend StoreJet has a 3-stage shock protection system that also meets US military standards. It comes with 3-layer shock resistance, including a silicone rubber case, an internal shock-absorbing suspension damper, along with a reinforced hard casing.

  • Equipped with a USB 3.1 Gen-1 interface, you can transfer your data lighting fast with transfer rates up to 5 Gbps. The device also has a 1-touch button that allows you to back up data instantly and reconnect to the computer without unplugging it. The device is pre-configured with Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows 8, Microsoft Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.7 or later, Linux Kernel 2.6.31 or later. It also comes with a 3-year limited warranty. You can buy this 2 TB external hard drive on Amazon for ₹ 6,403,00.

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC External Hard Drive

  • If you are looking for a rugged and sturdy hard drive, then this one is ideal for you. This model has US military-grade shock protection. The customised internal bumpers ensure that it can withstand drops from 1.2 metres. Moreover, the model is water and dust resistant. The model adheres to IP5X standard for dust protection and IPX3 standard for protection against water.

  • An inbuilt Near Field Communication (NFC) technology allows users to unlock their files using the smart card without the need to memorise a password. You can also transfer data faster using the USB 3.0 interface with speeds up to 5 Gbps. In addition to this, an automatic 256-bit AES Full Data Encryption (FDE) protects your files from unauthorised access.

  • Also, there is no need to download any software due to the intrinsic plug and play mechanism of the hard drive. While manual backups face a roadblock of forgetfulness, the device allows you to schedule periodic backups as per your policy using the Buffalo Backup Utility. Available in capacities of 1 TB and 2 TB, it comes with a 3-year limited warranty and you can buy a 2 TB variant on Amazon for ₹ 24,153.00.

LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4 TB

  • The exquisite diamond-cut design of this model has no competition. The model enunciates the importance of elegant design for a hard drive. A sandblast finish in space grey, or moon silver helps to complement a MacBook. It is compatible with the version of Mac OS® 10.12 and the latest version of Windows 10.

  • The hard drive is compatible with Mac as well as Windows. For all of you with a need for fast data transfer, you will be able to connect with modern laptops via reversible USB-C.1 and connect to older laptops via USB 3.0 to USB-C. With space up to 5 TB, the hard drive provides ample space for your documents to be taken as a backup. Available in capacities of 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB and 5 TB; it comes with a 2-year limited warranty.You can get a 4 TB variant of this drive on Amazon for ₹ 12,499.00.

ADATA HD830 External Hard Drive

  • Few other models can be sturdier than this one. The hardy exterior is made of aluminium and can withstand sudden shocks and can handle around 3,000.00 kg of pressure. The model meets the US military's MIL-STD-810G 516.6 standard and can withstand falls from up to 1.22 meters. It also has a three-layered protective structure, that includes a silicone casing, shock-absorbing buffer, and cushioned mounting. The model has a boldly grooved surface with a sandblasted finish to provide it with the look of a true warrior.

  • The HD830 exceeds the IPX8 rating and is resistant against both water and dust. Still, if it falls in the water, it can withstand being submerged in 2 metres of water for 2 hours. It comes with an inherent shock sensing next-gen technology of HD830 that senses any sudden shocks by a blinking red light.

  • Available in capacities of 2 TB, 4 TB and 5 TB, it comes with a 3-year limited warranty. A 4 TB variant is available on Amazon for ₹ 11,114.00

iStorage diskAshur2

  • The next one in the list - iStorage diskAshur2 scores very high on all security parameters. It is PIN-authenticated, and a hardware encrypted portable hard drive. Again, no need to download any software but only enter a 7-15-digit PIN. The diskAshur2 has a secure microprocessor for enhancing security through built-in cryptography and actual random number generation. The data encryption key is protected by a Common Criteria validated wrapping algorithm and FIPS. Furthermore, all the components are covered by a layer of super tough epoxy resin. Hence, it is impossible to remove it, keeping the contents safe from forced unauthorised entry.

  • The user can pre-programme a self-destruct with which the encryption key and all data on the hard drive are deleted. A new encryption key is created. Moreover, diskAshur2 gets locked automatically once it is unplugged from the host computer. Once you remove it from your terminal, all the data stored on the device will be encrypted using military-grade AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption. Are you worried about external agents and attacks? No need to worry! It has a built-in physical protection mechanism designed to defend against external tamper, bypass attacks and more.

  • Are you looking for faster transfer of your files? The diskAshur2 is compatible with USB 3.1 supporting high speed data transfer. Available capacities of up to 5 TB, it is compatible with all operating systems viz. MS Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Chrome, Thin Clients, Zero Clients, Embedded Systems, Citrix and VMware. A 1 TB variant is available on Amazon for ₹ 23,990.00.

Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive

  • Another range of hard drives with great style while ensuring you are never cramped for want of storage space is the Seagate Backup Plus. It is next-gen ready and can work with USB-C and USB 3.0 computers to ensure your files are transferred fast with speeds of almost 5 Gbps. It also supports Windows® and Mac®. The Backup Plus utilises the same password protection and hardware encryption that is used by the US government and global intelligence agencies. To ensure your backup policy is adhered to, you can pre-configure the backup intervals to suit your needs.

  • Have you ever dreamt of an unforeseen event like your hard drive crashing for some reason? You need not worry as the product comes with a 2-year Rescue Data Recovery Service Plan through which the Seagate team will help you recover your precious files. Available in capacities of 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB and 5 TB, it comes with a 2-year limited warranty. You can buy a 4 TB variant of this drive on Amazon for ₹ 7,799.00.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt External Hard Drive

  • Looking for super-fast transfer speeds? Then the Buffalo Thunderbolt is ideal for you. Its technology allows delivering speeds of up to 10 Gbps – it is 2 times faster than USB 3.0. Also, no need to install drivers as it is pre-configured to work with MacOS.

  • This model allows you to pre-configure backup of your files. Being compatible with Time Machine, you can easily schedule backups for protecting Mac computers. A plug-and-play setup removes the need for driver software and allows quick capacity expansion. It is available with capacities of 1 TB and 2 TB. A 2 TB variant is available for ₹ 27,786.00 on Amazon.

Some 1 TB External Hard Drives Suited for You

Lenovo Black External Hard Drive

A secure and highly efficient storage device, the Lenovo F310S comes with a USB 3.0.1 connector cable allowing you to transfer all your important documents very fast. The model is lightweight with a slim and sleek design. The model has a capacity of 1 TB and is compatible with Windows® 7 or higher, or MacOS® X 10.11 or higher operating system. It is available on Amazon for ₹ 6,050.00.

HP PX3100 Portable External Hard Drive

Shaped like a book, this 1 TB external hard drive utilises the lightning-fast USB 3.0 technology to minimise the time required for transferring your documents. It is also pre-configured with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista.

The HP PX3100 is pre-configured with the HP SimpleSave Backup software. You can easily create a backup of your important files. The software automatically backs up any changes if your computer is idle for five minutes or more. Using this model, you can backup multiple PCs through a single drive, with data from each PC identified by its name. This drive is available for ₹ 4,899.00 on Amazon.

Digital Marketer, Blogger
Sanjay Das
Sanjay is a marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience. He has a penchant for writing blogs and articles and has written over 350 blogs across diverse topics and industries. Sanjay takes a keen interest in SEO-based content writing for websites and social media. He also runs his own blog for digital marketing articles.
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Choose the Portable Hard Drive as per Your Requirements

We hope this BP Guide would have helped you understand the various technologies and brands available for external hard drives. You should choose the portable hard drive as per your requirements and something which fits your budget as well. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.