External storage options

My main computer is my laptop – it is a desktop replacement. The biggest issue with this is that laptop hard drives are, by definition, small 🙁

On my laptop I have all my music, all my photos and all my email going back to 1997! The laptop has a 120gb hard drive, but I am fast approaching that limit!

I have a La Cie 200gb external firewire which is fine for backups but what I really need is to be able to move my music and photos onto external drive(s), freeing up space on the laptop, and allowing me to grow my collection.

The drive(s) should be easy to add to, so that if I find I’m approaching the limit again, I can simply add another drive. I’d like to add drives in pairs so I can mirror them using RAID.

Has anyone any suggestions on a good way to set this up? And what is good kit to use (good = cheap and reliable).

11 thoughts on “External storage options”

  1. I would reccomend a Mybook. Bought myself a 250gb one there recently. Nothing like it, I keep it plugged in the whole time and listen to music on it etc. etc. Works just like a normal harddrive, personally i think thats the way to go.. 😉

  2. I have a Seagate 500MB drive that I absolutely love. Thomas Hawk uses a couple of 750GB ones that he loves and trusts. Disclaimer: they sponsor my show, but they also are the only manufacturer with 750GB drives available.

  3. Have you thought about any of the hosted options?

    I’ve got a Maxtor external Hard Drive and I’ve been very happy with it. 250 GB and it’s extremley fast. The power supply died a while ago and they immediately dispatched a brand new one to me (no questions) so they’ve got good support / customer care too.

    Other than that, Genie http://www.genie-soft.com/ is a nice utility for backups.

  4. I’d second Sean’s recommendation of a Western Digital MyBook. Bought the 250Gb Premium package recently and it’s working out great. The advantage of the Premium over the Essential edition is that the Premium has Firewire as well as USB.

  5. I,or rather the wife and I have a Buffalo Linkstation, but they also make a greate Terastation. They are NAS drives, running a Linux OS, and can connect USB2 as well.

  6. Hi Tom,

    Get yourself 2 750GB USB HDDs. Connect them to a desktop machine (you have an iMac, will work perfectly).

    Share them out via wifi. Write a quick applescript to automount them onto your PB everything time your within range of your home WiFi node.

    Then use rsync (works a treat on OS X) to mirror the content of the 2 HDDs to each other, and also to backup to contents of your PB harddisk to the network shared disks.

    Thats what I have at home, and it works perfectly. One warning tho’ the initial sync will take along time (obviously) but after that do incrementals/diffs.

    Rsync is available in GUI format, I think RsyncX…


  7. Synk is a great Mac program for backups.

    2 external 750gb drive’s is gotta be expensive though … what about buying a cheap pizza box machine and putting in 2 750gb drives … wi-fi share and connect it to your net connection, and you’ve got RAID redundant, access anywhere, 3/4 of a TB for a few hundred bucks!

  8. Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

    After some consideration (and seeing what was available through etailers willing to ship to Ireland) I am tending towards the Western Digital 1tb Pro My Book (thanks Sean for putting me on to it).

    This is a 1tb external (2 x 500mb) with a triple interface and the ability to mirror the drives (RAID 1) or double the capacity and speed (RAID 0).

    Although the Buffalo TeraStation Branedy alerted me to looks like the business too – but it is a tad expensive (!)

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