External Hard Drives for Storage and Backup

September 29, 2010

When was the last time you backed up your data? You don’t have to tell anyone so be honest with yourself. If your hard drive died today, how much work would be lost? What would it cost you to replace or re-create the lost data? Remember, it is not a question of when your drive will fail, it is a question of when.

The reason most people don’t back up their data as often as they should is because it is too difficult. One of the easiest way to back up data is to copy it to an external hard drive. After the backup, you can easily take the drive to a different location for safekeeping. And they are fairly small, so you could even put it in a safety deposit box.

I’m going to list two drives for you to consider. We’ll start with the Western Digital WD Elements 1 TB Drive. It sells for under $80 and gives you 1 terabyte of space to fill. That should be more than enough for most users. If you need more space, spend another $30 or so and get a drive twice as large in the Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB Drive.

Post Discussion


  1. Philip

    In addition to the external hard drive, I use Dropbox for my most important files. Everything in my Dropbox folder is automatically backed up on all the computers on my network, and also there is an online copy at dropbox.com. You get 2gig of storage free! Also a great way to share files with customers. I’ve been using dropbox for about a month, and so far I love it.

  2. Ken Graham

    I’ve bought a external drive but would not recommend it – poor warranty, mini connectors, more likely to break than your internal drive – reminds me of tape and floppies.

    My last purchase was for a hard drive docker that supports 2 drives but even its obsolete with 1 terabyte maximum, but still works good.

    Here is a sample of what looks to be an even better one StarTech SATDOCK22R Hard Drive Dock/Stand-Alone Duplicator – 2.5″/3.5″ SATA to USB 2.0, 1:1 Duplicator.

    I then purchased internal SATA drives with 5 year warranties – Western Digital Black. Though I confess I’ld still buy Maxtor if they were still made as I never had one break – the rest of the computer did.

    Now with the backups on 2 of 5 year warranted drives, 1 should work.

  3. Neil

    How would you deal with external HD when moving between PC’s and MAC’s

  4. Foster D. Coburn III


    Our office is Windows only so I have no experience moving between platforms.


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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