Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What are the most reliable Hard Drives?

Needing to buy an extra hard drive to keep your backups safe? But there are so many... which hard drive should you buy? Well, the guy at the store will try to sell you the one he has on stock; your "computer geek" friends will give you their own opinion (valuable nonetheless) based on the dozens - or even hundreds - of drives they've used along the years; and then... you have companies like Backblaze, using over 25 thousand drives, and sharing their findings with us.

A while back they've shared statistics about how long hard drives kept working in their storage pods - and now they share with us which of the major three brands: Seagate, WD, and Hitachi fares better than the rest. All in all it all boils down to which hard drive should you buy to keep you data safe?

And the answer is Hitachi, closely followed by WD (keep in mind WD has acquired Hitachi's hard drive divison, so, we'll need to see how things evolve) and last - and with much scarier failure rates - Seagate.

While Hitachi hard drives hover around a 1% annual failure rate, WD drives stay at around 3%. Seagate 1.5 and 3TB hard drives on the other hand, have have much higher failure rates (14 and 9%!), Only the 4TB Seagate drive stays relatively competitive with WD drives, but even so it still had double the failure rate of a similar Hitachi 4TB drive.

So... next time you're choosing which hard drive you should buy to keep your digital data safe... who're you going to trust? (Although keep in mind that the usage patterns in a Blackblaze storage pod will not be the same as a domestic scenario - but in any case, if they fare well under such extreme conditions, they're bound to do equally well in a less strenuous environment. And last but not least, you should be be using a SSD as your main hard drive by now, using these magnetic disks as secondary storage for large files and backups only.)

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