While commonly overlooked, regular backups is one of the most sensible tasks one should perform when it comes to personal computing. Without the help of a secondary storage device or some sort of remote backup strategy, chances of recovering data should your computer's hard drive completely die overnight would be bleak at best.
But users don't just have to worry about hardware failures. There are a range of other unforeseeable problems that could arise when least expected such as theft or even fire.
Depending on what your profession or hobby is you may only need to backup a small amount of data, or quite the opposite, and have huge storage requirements. The first group can easily get away with using flash memory drives these days. However, if you are looking at storing hundreds of gigabytes of data then an alternate solution will be required.
One of the most typical and convenient options is having an external hard drive. Not only are these affordable and easy to use, but once data has been backed up, you can take it with you or store it at a safe location. You could go with a 3.5" form factor drive for the lowest possible price, though when portability is preferred, 2.5" drives are the way to go.
These are considerably smaller, lighter and do not require an external power source -- making them more practical. They are not much more expensive than 3.5" drives, either. For instance, you can buy a 2.5" portable hard drive with a 500GB of storage capacity for as little as $90, whereas the cheapest we have come across for a similar capacity 3.5" model is $70.
Reliability and durability should also be taken into account. Portable hard drives are just an accidental drop away from irrecoverable loss, so spending a bit more to ensure data safety is a no-brainer for someone as ham-fisted as myself. Depending on the use you intend to give this drive you might want to consider that as well.
We have seen flash-based thumb drives from the likes of OCZ and Corsair survive large drops, being submerged or even frozen if the occasion presents itself. However, creating a portable hard drive this robust presents a few more challenges, as it will not only be heavier but also more fragile because of its internal moving parts.
A-DATA has taken it upon themselves to deliver such a product with their new SH93 line, bringing the industry's first waterproof and shock resistant portable hard drive. The SH93 was designed for road warriors who need to take their storage with them on the harshest of environments. Let's take a closer look...