Western Digital’s 4 TB My Book is the best desktop hard drive for most people because it’s reliable and it offers the best balance of speed and price. *At the time of publishing, the price was $101. Finally, we timed how long each external hard drive took to back up with Time Machine on a 2016 MacBook Pro. If your drive dies and you have a cloud backup, you won’t lose data, but restoring from the cloud will take a very long time. Wirecutter video producer Hunter Boone owns the 4 TB My Book; he says that it’s been very reliable for sync and back-up, too. The WD Elements Portable drive is an excellent alternative to the Seagate Expansion. The My Book is reliable, fast, and less expensive than the other desktop drives we tested, plus it has enough space for your future storage needs and a long, three-year warranty. On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that WD Elements Desktop is a more popular external hard drive, based on its 5,000+ reviews… Also, in my opinion, the Elements is slightly better-looking. We don’t think the jump in speed is worth spending that much more money for most people, because it didn’t offer a noticeable improvement. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. At this writing, it costs only 46¢ more per terabyte, but prices fluctuate; if you find the Elements for less than the My Book, it’s a better buy. On the other hand, if keeping your data safe from prying eyes in case of loss or theft is a big concern, another drive, such as the Seagate Backup Plus Slim or the WD My Passport Slim will fit your needs better. But all of the desktop drives we tested this year were good. It performed well in Blu-ray testing against our other 8 TB options and did fine in Time Machine tests, but it was notably slow during the HD Tune test. The WD Easystore is available in both 4 TB and 8 TB capacities. A password-protected drive, for example, will need its host to run software to enable you to type in the password before it can get connected. The 4 TB My Book is reliable, fast, and cheaper than the competition. It was significantly faster than the Seagate model in this test, but a little slower than the WD Easystore, falling short by 12.3 MB/s on reads and 5 MB/s on writes. If you don't plan on using it to store sensitive data, this is an excellent drive to choose. Also, because of the limited information available in some reviews, it can be hard to differentiate between hardware failures and software issues or user errors that could cause problems with a drive. Western Digital Elements Portable Hard Drive is a great, budget-friendly option for both users who need more storage space & users whose laggy computers are driving them crazy. At three years of service, the failure rate jumps to almost 12 percent. This is advertised as a durable desktop hard drive but with no specific details. The 8 TB My Book is just as reliable as our top pick, and it was about as fast in our Blu-ray and HD Tune tests, but about 4 minutes slower in our Time Machine testing. Ideally, an external hard drive is something you don’t notice much. It also comes with a longer warranty than the other 8 TB options we tested, three years of coverage. After a new round of testing hard drives in 2020, we found that the 2 TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim is still the best portable hard drive for most people. An external hard drive is an excellent way to keep your priceless data safe, and Western Digital (WD) has been in the business of making top-tier external storage devices since 2006. We found just 21 reported failures out of 358 Amazon reviews of the 4 TB model, or 6 percent. We found just five reported failures out of 168 Amazon reviews for the Elements 4 TB option, giving this external hard drive a 3 percent failure rate. Right now, that means the 4 TB WD My Book. It’s a reliable drive, although it isn’t quite as fast as our top pick. The WD My Book Desktop Hard Drive. It is 4.3 x 3.2 x 0.6 inches. We also looked at Backblaze’s hard drive reliability ratings from 2017, which are based on more than 90,000 drives the company uses in its cloud backup servers. But that omission isn’t a dealbreaker because dragging and dropping files or using some other free backup program is an equally good option. Western Digital’s 4 TB Elements is about as fast as our top pick, but its warranty doesn’t last as long. The 8 TB Seagate Backup Plus Hub faced problems similar to those of the 4 TB model. He’s very well versed in carrying. Like our top pick, this drive did not get hot during testing, although it did make a little humming noise from time to time. “My WD Elements has been great,” updates editor Michael J Kennelly told us, before adding: “...for storing all the video files of British sci-fi I torrented illegally and burnt to DVDs when I was in high school.”. However, these were some 20MBps slower than those of the Seagate Expansion. The Seagate Expansion Desktop was significantly slower than our top picks when we tested it in late 2016. While reading through 326 Amazon reviews of the 8 TB My Book, we found only 20 reviews—or 6 percent—that mentioned drive failure. If you spend most of your time working at one desk, you should get a desktop external drive. It’s a reliable drive, although it isn’t quite as fast as our top pick. Just backing up to one or the other isn’t enough; having both on-site and cloud backups ensures that your data stays safe from localized threats such as fire, theft, or natural disaster, as well as Internet outages or disruptions to the cloud backup provider. At four years, the failure rate is 20 percent. The Element doesn't require anything from the host at all, other than a USB port. The 8 TB version of the Western Digital My Book offers reliability, fast transfer speeds, and more storage than our other picks. If you see the price on the Easystore come down, though, it’s worth buying. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Brian Beach, How long do disk drives last?, Backblaze, November 12, 2013, Andy Klein, Backblaze Hard Drive Stats for 2017, Backblaze, February 1, 2018, Lyle Smith, WD My Book Review, StorageReview.com, October 11, 2016, Dong Ngo, WD My Book (Fall 2016) review, CNET, October 11, 2016. Although Toshiba’s 4 TB Canvio for Desktop is a great desktop hard drive, it’s quite expensive. This … Let's round up some of its best gems. At the time of our research, the Seagate Backup Plus Hub for Mac was around $30 more expensive than the regular Seagate Backup Plus Hub we tested (and $40 more than our top pick). We also timed the file transfer of a 45.5 GB rip of a Blu-ray movie from start to finish, running each transfer three times and determining the average to rule out performance hiccups. If you can find it for less than our current 8 TB pick, we encourage you to buy it; this model was the fastest 8 TB external hard drive in our HD Tune tests and Time Machine testing. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. For anyone who still needs an optical drive, the Asus ZenDrive U9M is the best DVD-only option, and the LG BP60NB10 is the best choice for Blu-ray discs. Buy it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YxmzPlMy Setup Gear: https://amzn.to/35mYQpXThis WD 4TB portable hard drive is one the best in the market! Although prices on hard drives fluctuate frequently, our pick was the least expensive in its competitive field: At the time, it cost around $96, or $24 per terabyte, while the majority of the drives we tested cost more than $100. The Elements drives are focused on portability, stripping away the bulky enclosures and power supplies of desktop hard drives in favor of a slim form factor. Justin Krajeski is a staff writer reporting on everyday carry at Wirecutter. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. You should consider replacing your backup drives between the third and sixth year of use. Backup servers are a very different environment than a box on your desk: Bare drives in servers are accessed more often and are subject to more vibrations and more heat, whereas drives in desktop enclosures have more potential points of failure between the power connector, the USB connector, and the USB-to-SATA logic board. Not sure what to watch on Amazon tonight? We haven’t found any new desktop hard drives worth testing in late 2019, but we did collect another round of long-term test notes from our staff for the WD My Book and the WD Elements. You can also use WD Drive Utilities to check for potential drive failures, major performance problems, and bad sectors on the My Book. We found the speed differences between them to be small: All but one of our finalists performed within about 20 seconds of one another when transferring a Blu-ray movie, and all completed a Time Machine backup within 4 minutes of one another. Wirecutter has researched and recommended hard drives since early 2012, and our PC team has over eight years of combined experience testing hard drives and solid-state drives—as your guide, I’ve spent the past two years reviewing hard drives and portable SSDs, too. Overview and unboxing of my WD (western digital) 6tb black hard drive. These are the features you should look for in a desktop hard drive, in rough order of importance: We also made note of drive noise and extra USB ports as we tested the external desktop hard drives. The My Book also landed in the middle of the pack when backing up via Time Machine, storing 37.8 GB in 25 minutes, 49 seconds. A desktop external hard drive is a great local backup for a computer that mostly stays parked on a desk. While the two drives are very similar in most aspects, the Expansion is faster but the Element is cheaper. The Easystore was about 2 minutes faster in this test. The WD Elements has a two-year warranty, one year less than our top pick, and it doesn’t come with any backup software. 42 Reviews. Many suffered from limited availability, too. Preformatted NTFS for systems running Windows 10, 8.1, or 7, the 10TB Elements Desktop USB 3.0 External Hard Drive from WD provides users with up to 10TB of add-on storage for their photos, … Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. The drive did not get hot during our testing, and although this My Book occasionally made a low humming noise while we moved files around, we don’t think that’s cause for concern; all of the drives we tested make some noise. WD Red 4TB NAS Internal Hard Drives: This internal hard drive is uniquely designed for use in the … If not, the small speed difference isn’t worth spending $15 to $130 more than what you would for the 8 TB My Book. Apart from Windows and Mac computers, where the Elements worked without any issues, I also tried it with a few non-computer hosts; it proved to be compatible there as well. I was able to shuck the drive from the enclosure and find a White label WD80EMAZ drive which is nearly identical to the RED labeled drive that is sought … In our Blu-ray transfer tests, the 8 TB WD My Book was quick—it read a large Blu-ray video file in 4 minutes, 28 seconds and wrote that file in 4 minutes, 27 seconds. Searching for a great show to binge? Here are some of the best Netflix has to offer. There are a wide range … Seagate’s 4 TB Backup Plus Hub fell behind our top pick in HD Tune testing by 15.8 MB/s on reads and 7 MB/s on writes. If the 4 TB My Book is unavailable, or if its price goes up, WD’s 4 TB Elements desktop drive is a great second choice. Transparent OLED: See-through TV comes to tomorrow's beds, restaurants, subways, The all-digital CES continues on Tuesday, here's how you can watch it all on CNET, CNET Labs' USB 3.0 external drive performance, Twitter permanently suspends Trump's account, Why now is the worst time to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20, Discuss: WD Elements Portable drive review: Large, affordable and versatile, Windows XP or later; Mac OS 10.4 or later. Because the two drives appeared to be the same otherwise, we dismissed them. About 5 percent of drives fail in the first 18 months of use, with the failure rate dipping to about 1.5 percent for another 18 months. This type of bare-bones design means the drive can work anywhere. Judging from five years of data, Backblaze estimates that more than half of hard drives will last six years. WD Elements 4TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive Black - Newegg.com 5.0 out of 5 stars Had a WD White Label drive in it. WD Elements. 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