Help purchasing an external hard drive

By greatman05
Jul 4, 2009
  1. Hello. Okay, so this is a purchase I plan on making in a couple of weeks (I have a little job thing going on, so yeah ;) ). In any case, I'm looking for an external hard drive that is at least 500GB in size. I'm willing to spend up to ~85-90$ (that includes shipping and handling and tax). I did do some research on Newegg to kind of figure out what I could get, and I came up with two results:

    Western Digital My Book Essential WDH1U6400N 640GB USB 2.0 Black External Hard Drive - Retail

    Seagate FreeAgent Desktop ST305004FDA1E1-RK 500GB 7200 RPM USB 2.0 External Hard Drive - Retail

    What do you think about those? Also, as I was doing my little research, I came upon a problem: I really don't know which brand of hard drive is the most reliable, as I want this to last me for at least 2 years of usage. So, which brands should I be looking at for reliability? Thank you for your advice! ^_^

    EDIT: Found another one:

    Seagate FreeAgent Desk ST306404FDA2E1-RK 640GB 7200 RPM USB 2.0 Silver External Hard Drive - Retail
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    The enclosure is more likely to cause issues than the HDD, in my opinion. That said, the two Seagate units have five year warranties versus the WD's one. Given that they're the same price, the 640GB model seems like the smarter buy.

    Also, I'm not sure how important it is to you, but none of those units appear to support eSATA. It probably doesn't matter if you don't have an eSATA port on your PC, but I felt the need to mention it anyway. You can buy a 500GB drive and a USB 2.0 + eSATA enclosure separately for about $90.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    The Seagate Free Agent may not be what you expect... it does a lot of automatic data saving, but you have very little control over it.
    If you want a drive you can access when you want to save or retrieve, We recommend a Vantec Nextstar 3, or the SATA unit with an open port into which you slide in the hard drive.
    Then you use the enclosure cables and connections, but you use the hard drives that you trust and are used to using... Take a look at a large site such as and look at their external enclosures.
    If you are looking at the Seagate Free Agent, CAREFULLY read up on what it does and how it does it... It will save your data, but you will have hell to pay trying to retrieve it quickly.
  4. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 429

    Okay...thanks for the input guys...^_^
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