Mac External Hard Drive Reviews
There’s nothing more awful then losing data on your computer because you didn’t back anything up. Gone are the days where you had to do this on a disc, and thank goodness we have external hard drives to help us sleep soundly at night. You can store a whopping 1TB of info on most Mac drives, and this will also allow you to free up storage space on your device. Most Mac drives are incredibly affordable, and the technology seems to improve every day. Not only that, but most models are incredibly portable and perform routine backups in the background without even having to think about it. The simplest drives have a powerful USB 3.0 as well as Thunderbolt. Often right out of the box you can plug in one wire and everything is taken care of for you. Not only that, but an external drive is really essential when you purchase a new computer and want to safely and efficiently move your data from the old device to the new one.
Mac External Hard Drive Buying Guide
There are many different kinds of external hard drives for Mac on the market. With a large selection available it can be difficult to know which one to select when shopping. This buying guide for Mac external hard drives is designed to help you narrow down the search and find the one with the features and options that will be best suited to meet your storage needs. We’ve provided the information about what to look for in a Mac external hard drive for whatever your intended purpose. By following a few tips and recommendations you’ll be able to determine just what it is that you need in an external hard drive before you begin shopping.
Recommendation for Purchases
How You Plan To Use Your External Hard Drive for Mac
Before actually making a purchase, it’s important to establish what the drive will be used for. This will help you to know which size and capacity you will need. For example, will you be using the external hard drive for backup of your important system files? Perhaps you need additional storage space for videos or music files. How much space will you need for your external hard drive? Will you need a full sized drive or a portable one? Finally, how much speed will you require from the drive? This is a big one for gamers who will be storing game data on the external drive. Once you determine the intended uses and approximately how much storage you will need, it’s time to look at which features you will want the drive to have.
Different Types of External Hard Drives for Mac
There are of course several different brands and models of external hard drives available for Mac. These types of additional storage are usually connected to your Mac through a USB connection or Firewire. The smaller 2.5 inch portable models obtain their power through this connection and are easy to unplug and carry with you to other locations. The larger 3.5 inch drives require a power supply that is plugged into a wall outlet.
Features of External Hard Drives for Macs
The storage capacities for external HDDs for Mac range from 160 gigabytes to 3 terabytes. Pricing goes up for the maximum storage units and this is one of the reasons why the 1 terabyte drives are so popular. Most external HDDs for Mac are compatible with Time Machine, but it’s wise to double check and make sure prior to purchase.
What to Look For In an External Hard Drive for Mac
While storage space is an important aspect of an external hard drive, it is by no means the only consideration to be made. The data transfer rate and access speed of the hard drive are what make the difference between a more useful and time saving drive or one that is frustrating and a waste of time with slower speeds for performing functions.
Many of the available drives feature multiple connection ports such as USB, FireWire, eSATA or Thunderbolt, but some only offer one. If you need a variety of options then make sure that the model you select is versatile. This is particularly important if you will be connecting the drive to different machines.
Thunderbolt is an extremely fast interface type, but not all Macs have the ability to support this option. If your Mac does not support Thunderbolt, you cannot use this type of drive.
Check System Requirements
Prior to purchasing an external hard drive for Mac, check the system requirements to ensure that the drive is compatible with your current system. You will benefit from using some of the faster interface formats such as Thunderbolt or eSATA or even Firewire over USB. If your Mac does not support eSATA, it can be added by using an ExpressCard/34.
Speed can be an important factor, particularly if you are storing gaming applications for use in your external HDD. Higher rpm drives provide better performance for most activities and gaming is no exception. For example, most Mac notebooks come with 5400 rpm drives, but the addition of an external drive which operates at 7200 rpm can improve your gaming or downloading experience with faster access and load time. This is particularly important when heavy graphics are involved. To gain optimal performance, high performance drives that run with 10,000 to 15000 rpm are available, however; the downside is that the often require a SCSI connection and they offer less storage capacity.
Pros and Cons of External Hard Drives
External hard drives can be used to back up important system data in case of a crash or other type of system failure. This can help to ensure that your information is not lost and it could help to get you back up and running with less hassle and expense. The prices are less expensive for external desktop hard drives than for the portable versions. These drives have transfer speeds that are faster than CDs or DVDs and they are easy to use.
The downside is that larger capacity drives can be expensive and tend to be priced on a per gigabyte basis. Also, the most common connection option is USB which is much slower than some of the other options.
External hard drives for Mac come in a variety of sizes, models and storage capacities. The best drive for you is solely dependent upon your individual needs. Some are designed for providing lots of storage space for back up of your system and other files while others feature fast access and transfer speeds which enhance the experience of gaming and transferring files from one location to the other. Smaller portable units may be more expensive, but they offer a better option for those who are on the go. By knowing up front what you will need to use an external hard drive for, how much storage capacity and what rates of speed you will need, you are prepared to choose a unit that will meet your storage needs. You are prepared to look for the features that will enhance the activities that the drive will be used for in a new external hard drive. Following a few simple tips and recommendations can be helpful in avoiding making the wrong choice.