5TB desktop external hard drive for $110

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/22/5tb-desktop-external-hard-driv.html

apparently WD Reds are the way to go if you don’t want to lose data.

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Good price, but it is relevant to consider the failure rate of any disk, before buying one. A bit moreso for SSD than the tried-and-true platter disks: https://www.google.com/search?q=consumer+hard+disk+failure+statistics

Re: attaching it to your wifi router, consider that anything attached to/backed up via your network will be more vulnerable to intruders, as well as to bandwidth bottlenecks associated with the network connection. It can take ages to back up large quantities of data over a wireless network connection–I migrated from NAS to an external USB drive backup solution just for this reason. Now I just use 128 GB USB thumb drives for most backups (for convenience), and occasionally copy those to a RAID 1 USB disk.

It’s also worth considering what degree of redundancy is necessary for one’s backups. Should the backup hardware fail (something that easily happens without being discovered until it’s too late), having a mirrored backup solution may be prudent. Perhaps even an off-site mirror, to avert data loss in the event of theft, flood, fire, curious children, or similar, localized disasters.


I’ve worked in IT for 20 years and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been burned by a Seagate drive that unexpectedly gives out after one year. I refuse to use them as the cost savings isn’t worth it if you’re using it to back up valuable data. I’ll 2nd Western Digital drives as generally pretty solid, also a fan of Hitatchi drives for reliability. I’ve had a few of them fail, but they were over 10 years old and were on the way out since their storage space was so small. It seems like with regularly used hard drives 5 years is the point where the odds slowly begin to increase that they will eventually fail. I try to hold onto my drives for 5-7 years before upgrading my external storage.


Backup disks you can use with Time Machine



Oh no, he’s cracked open the back-up strategies discussion - :grimacing: - good luck.


I don’t know if time machine will appreciate playing with a mutli-partitioned hard drive connected directly to your router. It seems pretty cranky with most of the hard drives I give it (except the one I formatted exFAT). I don’t think I’d trust an external hard drive to a router.

I know it costs more but I’ve had issues with small devices needing to be rebooted in order to disconnect a drive. Spells trouble if you leave it running indefinitely. :cold_sweat:

It’s been Boinged (or corrected). Price has reverted to $150.

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For networked use, better off going for something like a mini file server with RJ45 ethernet, methinks.


Yep. We missed it. :frowning:

This, yes. I just had my main backup, a Seagate 3TB, go bits up after just over three years. The same “click-clak” of the armature stuck in a loop. A quick search found so many examples of the same thing. Seagate’s response to my inquiry about it was, basically, get a drive with a longer warranty. I’m lucky because it went two years past the one-year warranty mark. And, lastly, they reminded me I should have had a back up drive. Thanks Seagate. You’ve helped streamline future drive-purchase decisions for. One less brand to ever consider throwing $$ at. Avoid like the cheaply made plague they are.


And I have the opposite experience. I have one Seagate drive that has been in almost continuous use for the last ten years. And I have a couple of WDs that have died after only two years.YMMV

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5TB is an awful lot of eggs (for one basket)…


when used for backups it seems to be fine, but then it’s only a secondary basket : )

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And if you have a non-Apple router and want/need to use a different partition format, but still use Time Machine then this blog post is your friend: Configuring Time Machine to work with CIFS

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I do something like this with an enclosed hdd plugged into my ap. My ap (archer c7) runs openwrt and serves the drive up as a cifs share. It works great for an extra backup, although I don’t think I’d want to transfer too much over the air. That said, once upon a time I stored my media collection this way and had no issue streaming video over wifi from it.

I’d rather have 2x 2.5GB drives in a RAID 1 than 5TB without any redundancy.


Same here. All of the drives I have bought since around 1999 have been Seagate, never had any problems with them. Only two drives I have ever had fail were WD which came with new systems.

I tried for months to get my router to work well with external USB disks. Finally gave up and installed a Synology DS215J with two huge WD Red disks configured as RAID 1. It’s been rock solid, very fast, and fully supports Apple network protocols including AFS and TimeMachine. It’s my primary backup, and I back it up to an external USB 3.0 hard disk that I keep off site in case of fire or burglary. It includes several other features I didn’t expect; for example, I now use a Synology app on my Android tablet to stream music from my collection of ripped CDs. Highly recommended.

I got one hooked up to a Roku box with about 3TB of videos. It works fine. But because of the potential reliability issues, I make sure all my porn is on a 1TB Toshiba drive kept separately.