Top 3 Backup Hard Drives

Backing up your important files is a must do task. There is nothing worse than losing your important business documents or personal photos. I have heard many sad stories, including one family member who lost years of personal memories, when their laptop hard drive failed. Another professional music producer lost years of work when their main desktop computer got fried and the data was corrupted.

There is no one fail-safe way of backing up your files, so I always suggest having three backups in total. One local backup to keep on a shelf or in a cupboard, which can be handled by the hard drive recommendations in this article. In addition to this, I suggest having an off-site backup, whereby you could use one of the portable hard drives below and then ask a family member to store at their house in a safe place. And finally, a cloud backup … there are many good services available now, some costing as little as £5 per month for unlimited data. Hard drives will fail at some time, so at least with a few backups in place, you shouldn’t lose everything. All links in this article are affiliate links, they do not cost you a penny extra, but do earn Geekanoids a small commission on purchases.

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In top spot is the Seagate Backup Plus Slim portable hard drive, which is available in various capacities from 1TB to 5TB. This earns my top spot as it has proven itself to be reliable and is also very affordable, quite often with discounted pricing. This is a portable hard drive, which means you can easily store at home, or indeed backup and take to another off-site location for storage. It also includes some software on the drive. The included Seagate Dashboard software provides you with the tools to backup your data from local PCs, mobile devices, cloud storage providers and even your social media accounts. Backup of your files can be scheduled to run continuously, at specific times, or on-demand using the Dashboard software's one-click functionality. On top of all this, it's available in a variety of colours to suit your preference and is Mac and Windows ready.

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Next in line is a desktop hard drive, which has a faster 7200rpm hard drive inside. This would reside on your desk next to your computer and allow you to backup your files faster. The
WD Elements Desktop External Hard Drive is available in 2Tb to 10TB capacities and comes formatted as NTFS for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7. It will still work with Mac OS X once you reformat it.
You also get a free trial of WD SmartWare Pro Back-up Software. This back-up software allows you to back-up your files to your WD Elements drive or to the cloud using your Dropbox account.

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A really good option if your data is super important to you and/or your business is the QNAP TS-251 Network Attached Storage enclosure. This comes supplied with no hard drives, you have to add you own, but has some distinct advantages.
Firstly, the two previous hard drives I recommended are connected to one computer at a time, which is great in plenty of scenarios. A "NAS" connects to your network via an ethernet cable. It acts as a central storage location for all your files. This would allow you to backup your desktop and laptop with ease and access your files on either, or even from your smartphone or tablet. Many NAS products, including this one, also allow you to install applications on the device to make backing up and other tasks a lot easier.
Secondly, a NAS like this has room for two hard drives. You can get other models that accommodate even more. This allows you to have data redundancy, which means one hard drives data is mirrored (or copied) to the second hard drive. If one fails, then you have a mirror image of it, so your data is still safe. Of course, both hard drives could fail, but it is very rare for this to happen at the same time.

The main features of this particular model from QNAP are;
- Centralize your file storage, sharing and backup with excellent performance
- Run multiple Windows, Linux, UNIX and Android based virtual machines with the Virtualization Station
- Operate multiple isolated Linux systems as well as download containerized apps with Container Station
- Enjoy the best audio-visual experience with HDMI output and the free remote control
- Transcode Full HD videos on-the-fly or offline* Stream multimedia files via DLNA, AirPlay, Chromecast and
- Bluetooth with multi-zone multimedia control
- Scale up to 12 drives with QNAP UX-800P expansion enclosure


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You do need to buy hard drives separately to install in a NAS and my recommendation is the WD RED range, also listed below.

OCZ Vertex 4 SSD & Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter

OCZ Vertex 4 SSD & Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter ... could these be the perfect partners for a mobile video editing solution? Watch the video to find out.

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Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV Review

A couple of days ago I brought you my written review of the Seagate portable hard drives in the GoFlex range. It seems many of you liked my writing style, so thanks for the positive feedback. I also mentioned in that review that Seagate had developed this new GoFlex system which allows their devices to work together. The GoFlex TV is just one of those devices that I was lucky enough to test.

If you are familiar with myself and what I love, you will know I am an Apple fanboy. Owning the likes of an iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac Pro and Apple TV speaks for itself. That last mention there, of the Apple TV, is exactly what the GoFlex TV aims itself at, directly! Opening up the unit presents you with a very nice looking box of tricks, all the cables you need and good instructions. The unit feels very well made and sports composite, component and HDMI outputs. As you can guess, I went with the highest quality HDMI straight to my TV. You can run the audio through an optical output or indeed through the HDMI along the same cable as the picture.

There is also an ethernet network connection for streaming content. I was up and running with that one in a few minutes. Plus you will find a USB connection for flash drives and external hard drives. The last type of connection is a door that opens, into which you can slide the GoFlex Ultra-portable hard drive (that I reviewed a couple of days back). From the hard drive or flash drive you connect it is possible to play back a whole host of formats (listed below) in up to 1080P HD resolution.

Formats Supported
MPEG–1, MPEG–2 (VOB/ISO), MPEG–4 (Xvid), DivX Plus™ HD, Xvid HD, AVI, MOV, MKV, RMVB Real Media, AVC HD, H.264, WMV9, VC–1, M2TS, TS/TP/M2T

Picture quality is very good indeed, very detailed and smooth. Sound is equally impressive, so nowt to disappoint there either. I suppose my only disappointment was that the menu, although pretty, is still quite sluggish. I have experienced this with other media players (not the Apple TV) and I think that many manufacturers neglect the performance to combat manufacturing costs. It is not abysmal, but could just be a bit more responsive.

The icing on the cake is online services… you get Netflix (US only), YouTube, Paramount, Mediafly and Flickr to name just a few. They all work well and serve up added value to an already keenly priced piece of kit.

Would I buy one? At the asking price yes, if I didn't already have internet in my TV and streaming to my PS3. Even though I have what I personally need in terms of streaming content, the GoFlex TV certainly is a very neat solution and is well worth checking out.

Product: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV
Supplied by: Seagate
Price: Expect to pay around £70

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable Hard Drive Review

I have the fortunate pleasure of testing a lot of kit in the Geekanoids studio, with absolutely tonnes of hard drives coming my way. It is not very often that I get something a little different to play with, so for this special occasion I wanted to put pen to paper, well actually fingers to keyboard (you know what I mean) and write up a review for a change.

Seagate very kindly sent me a couple of their ultra-portable external hard drives to test. They come in a variety of colours and I received a rather fetching 500GB red model (you can also get blue, black or silver). The hard drive is very small and glossy and has no external power supply. Instead it is powered from the USB 2.0 port on the back of the unit. It feels very well made and is just 111x83x14mm in size, so perfect if you are on the move. At just 150g it is pretty light too.

In use it performs very quietly, just a slight spinning sound of the tiny 2.5-inch hard drive doing its job. Actual data performance is nothing to dance or shout about, but what would you expect? after all it is just a hard drive. Hold your horses! Don't stop ready so fast! The GoFlex moniker on this hard drive is very important. What Seagate have done is develop a complete range that interact with each other. They have done a similar thing with their desktop range too. You can purchase add-on cables that slot onto the back of the hard drive and change the interface to USB 3.0, eSATA or FireWire 800. Not only does this change the physical connection, but also the data transfer performance too. So you can start off with USB 2.0 and then when you get that super duper new laptop with USB 3.0, spend another twenty quid and you get a faster hard drive. How cool is that!

On top of all this improved speed, Seagate also have a couple of other products worth mentioning. They have the GoFlex TV (review coming soon) and the GoFlex Net Media. GoFlex TV allows you to dock one of these tiny hard drives and access its content on the big screen, in up to 1080P resolution. GoFlex Net Media lets you dock up to two of the hard drives and access the content from your networked computers, mobile phones, or in fact from any connected computer wherever you are.

So, this hard drive is not the run of the mill offering. It starts off as a simple hard drive and then opens up all sorts of possibilities. A very good buy if you ask me.

Product: Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable 500GB Hard Drive 
Supplied by: Seagate
Price: Expect to pay around £55-£60