Best Storage devices: From USB flash drives to multi-drive RAID units

Best Storage devices: From USB flash drives to multi-drive RAID units

Summary: Here are my top five storage devices, ranging from something you can pop into your pocket, to a whopping 24TB RAID enclosure.

TOPICS: Storage

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  • (Source: SanDisk)

    SanDisk Cruzer Fit

    Store up to 32GB is something not much bigger than your fingernail.

    Not only are thee drives great when you want to pack the maximum amount of storage into the smallest space possible, but they are also great as additional storage for tablets, smart TVs and car stereos.

    I have a few of these, and other than being easy to misplace/lose, there's not much wrong with them.

    Price: Starts at $10 for 4GB.

  • (Source: IronKey)


    One of the biggest worries when carrying data about is loss. Sure, it sucks being down a storage device when you've left it on the train or had it stolen off you, but what sucks more is realizing that you didn't encrypt something important, and now that data is potentially out in the wild.

    You might choose to mitigate this by using a software solution, but in my experience people forget to use this at the most inopportune times. Far better to use a hardware encryption solution that forces the user to encrypt the data at all times.

    This is where the IronKey comes into play. Not only does it offer AES 256-bit hardware encryption, but it is built to resist attack. The device will permanently self-destruct after 10 consecutive incorrect password attempts, and a ruggedized, waterproof metal chassis resists physical break-ins and is tamper evident.

    Price: The S250 starts at $110 for 2GB.

  • (Source: Western Digital)

    Western Digital My Passport drive

    Sometimes a few gigabytes of storage space are not enough, and you need to start thinking in terabytes!

    Enter the Western Digital My Passport drive.

    I love the 2TB My Passport. It's small, relatively fast thanks to USB 3.0 connectivity, and doesn't need an external power supply.

    I use this when on the road, and back it up to separately, to another external hard drive, a NAS box, and the cloud.

    Price: Starts at $65 for 1TB.

Topic: Storage

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  • RAID 5

    Before using RAID 5 on this, do the sums on your disk error rates and the rebuild time. RAID 5 has become susceptible statistically to getting a second failure whilst the RAID 5 is being rebuilt and is not tolerant of a second failure. A second failure during rebuild = game over.

    Not a good place to be, and quite a few of us have found ourselves in that position (in my case, certainly not by my choice, but sometimes we inherit things).
  • i guess some are ok but u missed on the usb drive

    Is this 1980? Where is the USB 3.0 drive ... check with Sandisk they have one again Adrian you are not keeping up with technology ... just pushing around OLD ideas...
    • Perhaps you should click through the slides?

      The "Western Digital My Passport" drive is clearly marked as USB 3.
      • He's referring to thumb drives, not external HDDs

  • Packing the maximum amount of storage into the smallest space

    Wouldn't that be the microSD card?

    I travel a lot. And for me, the microSD card is the lowest common denominator. My camera uses it (with a SD card adapter) and my tablet uses it as well.
    • Addendum

      Oh, and my phone uses microSD card as well.
    • microSD

      Yes, microSD packs a lot of storage in a tiny package, but for most 'computer' purposes it is awfully slow. It can also get pretty expensive.
  • Mediasonic not listed ashame

    Mediasonic 4 bay enclosure $150 or less and is awesome.
  • Don't forget Synology

    Synology DiskStation 8-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage with iSCSI $1,049.99
    • Synology Rocks

      And don't forget the 5 bay, 4 bay, or 2 bay units.
  • re: Synology Rocks

    I agree ... I own a Synology DS412+ (4 bays with 2Gb drives) at home and it works great.

    I store all my data (music, movies, pictures, ebooks, documents) on it and it is available on all my PC's, tablets and phones from this central place. Who needs someone else's cloud when you can have your own. I highly recommend Synology.
  • "Diskless" unit

    Every time I see the term 'diskless unit', I want to assume that the thing doesn't require disks. But no, in terms of NAS, it means the price 'before you buy the disks for it.'
    • 'Diskless'

      Kinda like 'Payless Shoes', which I don't want to pay for....