High-end storage for enterprise, small business, and home users

While much of the emphasis today is on cloud storage, sometimes that's not feasible, and you need a storage device that you can have on your desk to carry with you when to go out and about.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Got a lot of data that you need to carry with you or keep close to hand? Read on!

I have a thing for storage. Maybe this is because I remember the days when a megabyte was a lot of storage, or maybe it is because as a pro-am photographer and I generate a lot of data that I both need to keep close to hand for editing and also keep safe in the long term.

And I've gone through a lot of different storage options over the years, from 5.25-inch floppy disks to multi-terabyte SSD RAID devices.

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Best high-end storage 

LaCie Mobile Drive

LaCie Mobile Drive

LaCie Mobile Drive for $75

With storage capacities ranging from 1TB to 5TB, and both USB 3.0 and USB-C connectivity, this is the perfect solution for those looking for a fast, affordable, and yet stylish backup solution for Windows and Mac.

Those looking for faster performance should look at the SSD version, which is both pricier and only available in 500MB to 2TB options.

Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini

Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini

Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini for $80

The advantages of switching from an external drive that has a single storage drive to one with a dual drive is that you can make use of RAID, either for performance or redundancy. Using RAID 0 the system offers data transfer speeds up to 867MB/s, while RAID 1 offers greater data redundancy by using mirrored disks (the downside of this is that you only get half the storage capacity).

The drive features a single USB-C port but comes with USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables.

Available as a bare enclosure (add your own drives) and in capacities from 480GB to 4TB.

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

WD My Passport Wireless SSD for $199

This is perfect for photographers who spend a lot of time away from their desk. The WD My Passport Wireless SSD offers a whole raft of cool features:

  • Built-in SD card reader with one-touch copy button
  • Durable, shock-resistant SSD
  • All-day battery (up to 10 hours
  • Wirelessly stream 4K videos and view photos with the My Cloud mobile app
  • Import data from USB card readers
  • Preview and export RAW images on iOS and Android
  • Built-in power bank

Storage capacities are available from 250GB to 2TB.

LaCie DJI Copilot BOSS 2TB

LaCie DJI Copilot BOSS 2TB

LaCie DJI Copilot BOSS 2TB for $330

A great solution for drone photographers and videographers because the BOSS drive (Backup On-Set Solution) has an SD card slot and USB port to copy files directly from devices, no laptop needed. You can also view, organize, and manage your files from a smartphone or tablet.

The drive is also super rugged and can take the sort of abuse you expect it to get out in the field.

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt 2

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt 2

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt 2 for $250

This is a high-end, professional-grade desktop solution that contains two drives that can be configured for RAID 0, 1, span, or independent mode. In RAID 0 the drive supports a maximum sustained throughput speed up to 474MB/s, which is fast enough to support compressed 4K workflows.

Available as an empty enclosure and in capacities ranging from 2TB to 24TB.

Prices start from $249 for the bare enclosure to $1,750 for 24TB.

OWC ThunderBlade Gen 2

OWC ThunderBlade Gen 2

OWC ThunderBlade Gen 2 for $680

The Gen 2 builds on the success of the original OWC ThunderBlade. The Gen 2 ThunderBlades are stackable -- great features for professionals who want to run multiple units -- and are near-silent thanks to the fanless design.

A single ThunderBlade Gen 2 external SSD offers transfer speeds up to 2800MB/s read & 2450MB/s write. However, buy daisy-chaining multiple ThunderBlades -- up to six -- and using OWC's SoftRAID software controller, which can boost speeds up to 3800MB/s.

Storage capacities range from 1TB to 8TB.

OWC ThunderBay 6

OWC ThunderBay 6

OWC ThunderBay 6 for $579

  • See it now: OWC

This is the perfect external storage solution for those capturing, storing, and processing HD media.

  • Six-bay array for 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA drives -- HDD, SSD or hybrid storage
  • Up to 1150MB/s1 of sustained performance
  • Supports RAID 0, 1, 4, 5 and 1+0 (10) via OWC's advanced SoftRAID engine
  • Optional M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Daisy chain up to six units together
  • Rugged, field-tested enclosure
  • Designed for noise and vibration reduction

Available as an empty enclosure, and in capacities up to 84TB.

Prices start from $579 for the bare enclosure to $3,999 for 84TB.

LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3

LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3

LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3 for $4,299

With up to 168TB of capacity, up to 2600MB/s speeds, and RAID 5/6, the LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3 is like having your own personal cloud right on your desktop!

The LaCie 12big come equipped with Seagate IronWolf Pro hard drives, built for use in multi-drive environments, and offering superior power management and 300TB/year workloads

Prices for this start at $4,299 for 48TB, up to $10,599 for 168TB.

What storage devices do you use for your workflow? Or have you moved over entirely to cloud storage?

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