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: 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.

  • (Source: Drobo)

    Drobo Mini

    When you want bags of storage and a higher level of piece of mind than a single drive offers, it is time to employ the services of a bigger tool.

    The Drobo Mini fits in nicely between a single external hard drive and a full-on multi-bay NAS box. Because it takes four 2.5-inch drive – as opposed to full-sized 3.5-inch drives – the Drobo Mini has a much smaller footprint than you might expect, and can connect to a PC or Mac using Thunderbolt or USB 3.0.

    As well as the four drive, you can speed up a Drobo Mini by adding a separate mSATA solid state drive.

    A handy – and portable – solution to the problem of ever-expanding data.

    Price: Around $350 for a diskless unit.

  • (Source: Pegasus)

    Promise Pegasus RAID Storage with Thunderbolt

    If you want the ultimate storage solution, look no further than the Promise Pegasus R4/R6. These offer four or six disk storage solutions with data transfer rates up to a blistering 800MB/s.

    The top-end R6 It comes equipped with six 4TB 7200-rpm hard drives offering a total of 18TB of storage when configured for RAID 5, with RAID 0, 1, 6, 10, 50, and 60 also supported. But this doesn't come cheap. The price tag is a cool $3,600.

    For this price just be aware that you don't get a Thunderbolt cable.

    The performance of this device has to be experienced to be believed, and it allows you to move a massive amount of data quickly and easily.

    Price: 4TB Pegasus R4 starts at around $1,150.

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....