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Top Five External Storage Drives

Choosing the best external storage drive for a PC is an important decision due to the benefits that they provide: expanded storage capacity, file backup, and file sharing.

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As data needs increase, so does the need for easy solutions to expanding data storage capacity. The simplest solution for increasing the data storage capacity of a system is the addition of an external storage device. These devices have a very specific set of functions, which include expanded storage capacity, data backup, and support for file sharing between computers. The other key feature of an external storage drive is its ease of use: most external storage drives require no more knowledge than the expertise of plugging in a cable.

Here are the current top five external storage devices in no particular order.

Buffalo DriveStation DDR (3TB)

  • Good: Lightning fast USB 3.0 performance
  • Bad: No fault tolerance with single drive

Specifications:

  • Price: $173.68 (Amazon)
  • Number of Drives: 1
  • Drive Interface: USB 3.0/2.0
  • Capacity: 3TB
  • Expandable: No
  • OS Support: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS x 10.5 and later.
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Dimensions (W x H X D): 1.8 x 5.0 x 8.0 inches

Promise Pegasus J4 (2TB)

  • Good: Small size, expandable
  • Bad: Limited RAID formats, no USB 3.0, does not include Thunderbolt cable

Specifications:

  • Price: $443.39 (Amazon)
  • Number of Drives: 4
  • Drive Interface: Dual Thunderbolt
  • Capacity: 2TB
  • Expandable: No
  • OS Support: Mac OS X 10.6 and later
  • Weight: 3.9 lbs.
  • Dimensions (W x H X D): 13.1 x 10.7 x 4.3 inches

IoSafe G3 (3TB)

  • Good: Looks good on a desk, disaster proofing, fast USB 3.0
  • Bad: Size and weight, no fault tolerance with single drive

Specifications:

  • Price: $433.00 (Amazon)
  • Number of Drives: 1
  • Drive Interface: USB 3.0
  • Capacity: 3TB
  • Expandable: No
  • OS Support: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS 8.6 or later
  • Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Dimensions (W x H X D): 5.0 x 7.1 x 11.0 inches

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt (20TB)

  • Good: Very fast and includes Thunderbolt cable
  • Bad: Mac specific, limited RAID configurations, single connection type (Thunderbolt)

Specifications:

  • Price: $2099.00 (Amazon)
  • Number of Drives: 5
  • Drive Interface: Dual Thunderbolt
  • Capacity: 20TB
  • Expandable: No
  • OS Support: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
  • Weight: 16.8 lbs.
  • Dimensions (W x H X D): 6.8 x 8.6 x 7.7 inches

Promise Pegasus R6 (12TB)

  • Good: Fast, significant storage space, multiple RAID configurations, Thunderbolt
  • Bad: Mac specific, expensive

Specifications:

  • Price: $2120.99 (Amazon)
  • Number of Drives: 6
  • Drive Interface: Dual Thunderbolt
  • Capacity: 12TB
  • Expandable: No
  • OS Support: Mac OS X 10.6 and later
  • Weight: 22.8 lbs.
  • Dimensions (W x H X D): 12.8 x 11.2 x 15.2 inches

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