Best external hard drive 2012 for mac

Best external hard drives for Macs | TechRadar

As it uses a solid state drive, the read and write speeds of this drive are much faster than external hard drives that use traditional hard drives. It does mean the price is higher, but if transfer speed is the most important consideration when looking for the best external hard drive for your Mac, then this is the drive to go for. Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it's also got bit AES security features and NFC Near Field Communication features as well.

This is a great external hard drive for your Mac if you are concerned about keeping your data safe and secure.

USB 3. If you really want your data to zip between your Mac and an external hard drive, then the Seagate Innov8 8TB is a brilliant choice. It is expensive, however, but the fast speeds, and large capacity, make this a worthwhile investment. With MacBooks coming with USB Type-C connections, this is an excellent - and stylish - external hard drive that makes the most of this speedy new port. If you're worried about people getting access to your data if your external hard drive is stolen, than you'll like the iStorage drive here.

If someone tries to tamper with your iStorage drive, you can configure it to self-desturct. Cloud storage solutions such as iCloud and OneDrive are certainly reducing the need for physical storage but the bigger your external storage device is, the more it can grow with you.

As photos and videos increase in size most high-end digital cameras and even iPhones can film in 4K for example which eats massive amounts of hard drive space the bigger the better. For those looking for serious storage space for enterprise backups or 4K editing, the OWC ThunderBay goes up to 40TB but will set you back over a few thousand dollars.

There are two types of external hard drives for Mac: Portable drives will easily fit in your jacket pocket.

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Almost all external hard drives nowadays are still mechanical drives which means they have moving parts inside. Mechanical external hard drives feature moving parts which can deteriorate and break more easily. SSD drives are also silent and run cooler compared to mechanical drives which whir and buzz due to the drive spinning which also creates more heat.

But at the moment, mechanical drives still rule the external drive market and offer the biggest capacities for the best prices. A RPM drive will be faster than a RPM drive because the drive revolves faster and therefore can be read by the drive head quicker.

Most external hard drives have a USB 3. The business of external hard drive connections can be extremely confusing as technology changes and Apple seemingly keeps changing ports on every new generation of Mac. All new Macs since have ditched Firewire in favor of Thunderbolt connections offering staggering maximum data transfer speeds of up to 40 Gigabits per second Gbps port connection speeds are measured in Megabits per second Mbps or Gigabits per second Gbps — Mbps equals 1 Gbps.

However, it is USB 3. All Macs from have at least one USB 3.

Best External Hard Drives For Macs 12222

To complicate things however, USB 3. Firewire meanwhile has pretty much been abandoned by most external hard drive manufacturers although there are a few that still support it. Almost all external hard drives for Mac now use a USB 3. If your Mac is from onwards then it will have at least one USB 3. You can check this by doing the following:. There you will see if you have a USB 3. Macs before only have USB 2. The only difference is you will get a maximum data transfer speed of Mbps compared to 5 Gbps with USB 3.

A New File System

USB 3. The problem is that most external hard drive manufacturers simply do not support it. Since , new Macs have Thunderbolt connections. The latest MacBook Pros from late onwards have Thunderbolt 3 connections which offers speeds of up to 40 Gbps per second.

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USB-C devices however can only handle a top speed of 10 Gbps. Thunderbolt replaces older Firewire connections and is now standard in all new Macs. At the moment, there are no external drives that actually support Thunderbolt 3. At the moment in , we therefore advise against making Thunderbolt a priority when choosing an external hard drive for Mac for several reasons which can be summarized as:. The majority of manufacturers that still produce Firewire drives are not established brands either and therefore reliability may also be an issue.

OWC have been in the business over 25 years. Note that if the external hard drive has a Firewire connection but you only have a Thunderbolt connection port on your Mac, you can use a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter cable to connect it to your Mac although transfer speeds will be at Firewire speed, not Thunderbolt speed. The conclusion from all this is that in , the fastest, most widely used and economical external hard drive connection that Mac users should focus on is USB 3. All of the best external drives for Mac featured here use at least a USB 3.

To summarize the speed difference between the different connections check the comparison table below which is done in order of speed. Ruggedness is less important for a hard drive that will stay on your desk and rarely, if ever, leave the home or office. If, on the other hand, your hard drive will accompany you wherever you go, then ruggedness becomes a critical factor in your decision.

Speed is another factor to consider. The speed you require will depend largely on what you will be using the hard drive for.


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If you will be using it for more intensive tasks, such as editing video or audio files, a 7,RPM or solid-state drive SSD would be a better choice. While virtually all hard drive manufacturers offer a warranty , not all warranties are created equal. Lengths, terms and what is covered vary from one manufacturer to another. Hopefully you will not have any issues with your new drive. If you do, however, a longer, more comprehensive warranty may be worth an additional upfront cost. That and information. Given that current iMacs are shipping with 1TB drives, this option provides plenty of room for backups and future growth.