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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hard (Drive) Decisions


In the era of high-megapixel cameras, storing your large image files requires the use of a separate hard drive

Labels: Gadget Bag

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Western Digital My Book Essential
External hard drives—in all of their colorful glory—are reliable, inexpensive and abundantly available. All are portable (and some are quite pocketable), and all are plug-and-play. One advantage is that they can be connected without opening your computer, so they’re perfect for laptops and sealed Macs. And they can be freely switched from one PC to another—providing a great way to share large amounts of data. Another popular option is the network drive. Everyone has a home network these days, often with several computers involved. A network drive allows all of the connected PCs and Macs to share images, music, videos and other files. Many models even have built-in print servers.

Seagate Barracuda 3.5-inch internal hard drives will add up to 1 TB of additional storage space—that’s 1,000 gigabytes. Available with PATA or SATA interface, the 500 GB Barracuda features 7200 rpm platter rotation and a 32 MB cache (for high performance and short access times) and comes with Seagate’s five-year limited USA warranty. Helpful hint: Make sure your PC has room to add another drive before you make the purchase.

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Buffalo Technology LinkStation Pro Duo
Buffalo Technology offers a wide assortment of NAS (network attached storage) solutions, including the 1 TB LinkStation Pro Duo. It contains two separate 500 GB drives that can be set up in RAID 1 (or high-speed but insecure RAID 0) configurations. The LinkStation Pro Duo features a gigabit Ethernet connection for fast access from anywhere—all that’s needed is Internet access and a web browser. It comes preloaded with Memeo AutoBackup software for Windows or Macintosh. New or modified files are automatically backed up so you’re less likely to lose them. And you can add more storage by adding any USB 2.0 hard drive directly.

The familiar My Book series from Western Digital includes the My Book Essential, an easy-to-use, easy-to-afford storage platform that simply plugs in and is immediately ready for use—no tedious drivers or setup routines required. The Essential drives are very thin—about the thickness of a book—and they nest together as you add more volumes. Available in a broad range of capacities, the My Book drives are the ideal desktop storage and backup solution. Western Digital also offers pocket-sized storage in the form of the My Passport series. The My Passport Studio, for example, comes in sizes up to 500 GB, provides both FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity and works with Apple’s Time Machine (or other Mac or Windows backup software).

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