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External Storage drive opinion?


TPF Noob!
Sep 19, 2012
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Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
As I move from place to place, and use three different PCs, I can't have copies of photos I currently need everywhere... Can't decide about external drives, so just wanted to hear what you think and what you use.
I've been thinking about 500GB HDD 7200rpm, or 120GB SSD, we all know advantages of each, and 120gb would be enough for me definitely, but it is a bit pricier at my place.
Other consideration is shock ressistance, where SSD would definitely be a winner, but I don't know how much shock can standard laptop 2.5" HDD handle, does anyone have any experience in dropping those? I'm not clumsy at all (never dropped my phone in 5 years), but loosing important photos wouldn't be a nice thing to happen... :)
I know its more expensive, but I'd highly recommend going for the SSD. Its the logical choice. You don't have to worry about shock or if that USB port has enough juice left to power a 2.5" HDD.
Actually, my advice is that whatever you buy, buy two of them. You want a portable HD you keep your photos on. And then you want to back everything up. B/c portable HDs fail. All of them fail. Even if you only backup once a month (so you miss some photos if your primary HD fails), you'll be glad you did this. Seriously--don't buy 1 of something, buy 2. And then once a month, do your backup.
Ditto exactly what JoeW said.

In addition, depending on your budget and how "bullet-proof" you want to be (reiterating - ALL drives fail eventually, especially if they're being moved around), there are online solutions as well that don't require you to take a hard drive anywhere, and all the files you want access to everywhere would be available to you.

I would also mention that, in the world of photography, 120GB is not a lot of space, especially if you start getting into editing and want to save those files with layers and so on. Even 500GB is cutting it close, from my point of view, but only you know your own needs, so those sizes may be more than enough for you. But it's worth considering that Dropbox, for example, offers 1TB of space for under $10 per month, gets automatically backed up, is available anytime and anywhere you have internet, and isn't subject to catastrophic failure the way hard drives are. Just another option to consider, depending on budget and needs.
@JoeW Buying two of them is a good idea, but I don't really need two, the backup would be stored on a PC's drive, or two of them...
@Buckster yeah, Dropbox is great, but internet speeds in my place (Serbia) are much lower than world's standards (10mbps download and 1mbps upload), so that wouldn't be a practical solution, but already works as a backup.
I don't need much space for some temporary files, so maybe the SSD seems to be the best.
@JoeW Buying two of them is a good idea, but I don't really need two, the backup would be stored on a PC's drive, or two of them...

I don't need much space for some temporary files, so maybe the SSD seems to be the best.

Where? 3-2-1 is the best way to almost absolutely avoid disaster and have a backup handy if it's needed.
Ok so from what I have read above it looks like you are looking for a portable hard drive where you could load some photos onto it and take them with to edit at a coffee shop, work, school or while on vacation/holiday. You are not really looking for a dedicated backup solution right?

So if you want a rugged portable HDD look into the LaCie Rugged 3 or the Rugged Mini drives, these are meant to be traveled with, they can take drops, falls, tumbles and water resented. The 3's start at $120 for 500GBs and the Mini's start at $90 for 500GBs.

But if it were me and I already had a dedicated backup solutions at home I would looking for a portable drive to take some photos with me to edit, I would get use flash storage. Way cheaper, as fast and most are pretty durable, 128GBs on Amazon for $28 http://www.amazon.com/PNY-Turbo-128GB-Flash-Drive/dp/B00FE2N1WS
How much storage space do you think you'd need? Would you have access to Internet in all locations?

Another option might be a cloud storage solution such as Google Drive. They give you 15GB free but will sell you 100GB for $2/mo or 1TB for $10/mo.

When I shoot images at the observatory, I drop them on the observatory computer's Google Drive and forget about them... then I hop in my car and drive home. By the time I arrive home, the images have already sync'd to my home computer. No portable hard drive needed. :) It's like Dropbox except they give you more space.

I also have a LaCie "Rugged" portable hard drive. They claim it can handle a 4' drop onto a hard surface and still work (not that I've tested this myself.) They make them in SSD versions as well as traditional hard drive versions.

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