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#289155 16-Aug-2021 15:57
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What brands does everyone recommend for external HDDs? Also, how long would an external HDD be expected to last on average before data loss/hardware failure and are there any more robust methods of long term data storage than external HDDs?

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  #2760794 16-Aug-2021 16:38
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It tends to be specific models, rather than brands that get recommended. BackBlaze is a good source of data as they use lots of shucked external HDD's.


As for more robust methods, pretty much .. anything.. is more robust than a single external HDD. The most common home solution would be a NAS with multiple drives in RAID.



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  #2761277 17-Aug-2021 09:40
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Chances are you will never know whats actually in them .
you wont find anything much in reliability stats for small 2.5" drives used in portable USB HD's
some USB HD's even state that they shouldnt be used for backup/purposes purposes (most wont openly admit to that)
They SOMETIMES  have the cheapest & most unreliable drives in them (cough cough WD Green) . 


They often get dropped : never a good thing
The USB3 connector is too fragile & can fail
Some dont have SATA connectors on the actual drive inside the case , making data recovery so much harder
3rd party cases to put HD's into dont seem as reliable from what Ive seen , perhaps because we buy the cheapest enclosure ?


So , generally, never rely on a single USB HD. You need at least 2 for backup & rotate them 
NEVER EVER have a USB HD as the only device with your data : ie dont use a USB drive as data storage without having a backup of it.


SSD USB Drives might be more reliable , but long term we dont know that yet .





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  #2761282 17-Aug-2021 09:48
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I prefer to buy a good brand of standard hard drive and use it in a docking station like this one, which I store in a case like this. So far they've been more reliable than external disks or enclosures.


Any important data is on multiple devices in multiple locations, usually with incremental backups or versions. I also keep a mirror in AWS S3, with proper protections set up to make them difficult to delete.

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  #2761291 17-Aug-2021 10:12
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The Seagate Expansion Drives like these have normal 5400RPM  Seagate notebook hard drives in them, not some queer thing with a USB port direct on the drive, which means it's easy to swap out the enclosure if & when the port gets damaged. They would be my go to for a standard external drive. External SSDs are probably much of a muchness. ADATA have good value drives, or you can build your own, this is generally dearer though. 

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