How To Choose the Right External Hard Disk Drives

An external hard disk drive (HDD) is a device used for storage or backup of large volumes of data. It is attached to a computer through a wireless connection or through plug and play interfaces such as FireWire, eSATA, USB, or Thunderbolt. External hard drives typically have huge capacities, with some capable of holding as much as 8 TB of data. You can find FireWire 800 hard drives with 500 GB capacity on eBay, available in different brands such as LaCie, Seagate, Avastor, Iomega, and G-Technology.

What are the features of FireWire 800 external hard drives?

FireWire is the Apple name for the IEEE 1394 serial bus, original released as FireWire400 before the upgrade to FireWire 800. All modern MACs come with the FireWire port for attachment to peripheral devices such as hard drives. The port is small and tapered on one end, distinguishing it from other interfaces. The features of the drive include the following:

  • High-speed connectivity - FireWire 800 connectors allow for the transfer of data at a high speed of 800 Mbit/s per sec. This makes them faster than the FireWire 400 connectors and the USB 2.0 interface.
  • Hot swappable - Being hot swappable means that you can connect or disconnect the FireWire hard drive at any time even with the power on without fear of damage to your computer.
  • Daisy chain capability - The FireWire drive allows for connection of up to 63 devices in a daisy chain without slowdown of data.

What should you consider when getting a FireWire 800 external hard drive?

  • Capacity - As most FireWall hard drives will have large storage capacities, what you choose will depend on what you want to store and for how long. Those with relatively low capacity such as 500 GB can be used when you need just some little extra space for small files such as word processing documents and spreadsheets. Those with space as much 6 to 8 TB are ideal for backup of humongous files, such as high-definition movies, music or video games.
  • Portability - If you plan to carry the external device around, something small would be a convenient option. Larger sized HDDs are less portable and are only convenient when you intend for the device to stay on your desk throughout.
  • Durability - Hard drives that are made from fragile material tend to break easily or get damaged when they fall. Choose a device with an adequate shock of over 1000Gs for protection when it hits bumps or other hard surfaces.
  • Versatility - A multiple interface hard drive provides compatibility with other interfaces other than FireWire 800. This allow for use with different operating systems besides MAC.

What accessories can i get for the hard drive?

  • Adapters - For connection of the hard drive to your computer, you will require an adapter cable. There are also adapters available for conversion of interfaces such as from FireWire 400 to FireWire 800.
  • Cases - Bags and enclosures made from impact-resistant materials are also available. They absorb shock in case the drive falls or knocks a hard surface, keeping them safe.