An internal or an external hard drive is a permanent storage device where you entrust the safety of all your data to. Thus, it is important that your hard drive displays the level of reliability you want it to have. Finding the right one, however, can be a chore as there are loads of hard drive brands out there with varying specifications and capacities.
It is our intention, therefore, to ease up the burden by revealing some of the most trusted brands available while leaving the choice completely up to you. Read on!
Popular Hard Drive Brands in the Market
The following are some of the most sought-after hard drive manufacturers with a few of their top drives listed out. Prioritizing these brands on your list could just be the wisest decision to make.
Western Digital (WD) is an American hard drive brand that is well-acclaimed around the world. Not only is it among the largest manufacturers of today, but it’s also a strong competitor among the so-considered best brands. It was founded by Alvin Phillips in 1970 which, through time, became an established brand. It offers a wide-range of hard drive options which vary in storage capacity and other essential features.
Some of the brand’s well-known drives are the Western Digital Red 3 TB, Western Digital 4 TB, Western Digital Red 6 TB, and VelociRaptor. There is an array of options for the hard drive sizes ranging from 500 GB, 1 TB, 2TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, and more. Other than their top-notch quality, these drive’s fast data transfer and high-capacity storage are also reasons for the consumers’ trust. WD is an extremely innovative and reliable brand that is known for taking extra security measures to ensure the security and safety of all stored data on the hard drive.
Seagate Technology PLC, otherwise known as Seagate, is another American brand which dominates the modern data storage industry. It has first developed its hard disk drive (HDD) in 1980 which was a 5.25-inch hard drive whose initial storage capacity was only 5 megabytes. It has since developed its products to become a leading manufacturer of hard drives in the modern day.
Seagate is known for developing highly-innovative hard drives with a wide range of storage capacity. The drives have good transfer rates, security, and performance which grant users an excellent overall experience. Among the brand’s leading hard drives are Seagate Barracuda XT, Seagate IronWolf NAS, Seagate Firecuda Desktop, Seagate Desktop HDD.15, and Seagate 6TB SATA 3.5. The brand doesn’t hold back in creating high-quality hard drives, and this has secured it a good spot in the market.
Among the leading brands in electronics and electronic components well-known for developing a reliable and efficient hard drive is Toshiba. It is a Japanese brand which produces a full range of external and internal hard drives, SSDs, and many more. The brand is trusted for its high-performing drives with technical specifications and excellent features.
Some of the brand’s first-rate hard drives are Canvio AeroMobile SSD, Toshiba DT01ACA Series, SSD Q300 Pro, Canvio Slim for Mac, and X300 Desktop Internal Hard Drive. Whichever product you choose, you are assured of a safe data storage and a highly reliable one at that. The speed of data transfer, security, and high-end features are some of the brands most essential elements. The drives also come with a backup software that keeps your data safe.
Hitachi is a subsidiary of Western Digital that produces HDDs, SSDs, and other external storage products and services. It is among the world-renowned brands that compete closely with the aforementioned brands. The brand’s hard drive data storage capacity, top security level, data transfer rates, and highly optimized backup software are enhanced every time, thus keeping the brand among the top hard-drive manufacturers.
Hitachi produces hard drives which aren’t only of reliable quality and security but are also reasonably priced. This is a huge factor in consumer purchase as the brand can compete with other relatively expensive brands at the same performance and quality. Some of its well-known hard drives are Hitachi Touro 1TB External HDD, HGST Deskstar 7K2000, HGST Megascale 4000, and HGST Megascale 4000.B.
SanDisk is another subsidiary of Western Digital which widely distributes Solid State Drives (SSDs) among others. It was, in fact, one of the awardees of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in recognition of its chief contribution to flash memory solutions.
Among the top drives of the brand: Sandisk SSD Plus 960 GB, Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD 1 TB, SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 1TB, and SanDisk Ultra II MSATA SSD 512 GB. The brand’s innovative approach to producing SSDs, wide range of data capacity, quality security, and fast transfer rates have been proven reliable through years and years of production.
Yet another American brand that sells flash memory products along with many other data storage device is Kingston Technology. The brand is known to improve computer speed, allowing it perform better and quicker. It also displays reliability over data storage needs. The brand’s drives offer power-failure features to keep your drive running despite being in mission-critical environments.
Kingston’s reliable hard drives include HyperX Savage SSD Drive, Kingston Digital 120 GB SSD, and Kingston Digital 1 TB KC 400 SSD. These hard drives are top-performing storage devices that deliver more data at faster rates while protecting them through its reliable security features.
Sony Interactive Entertainment, otherwise known as Sony, is a huge name in the video game and digital entertainment industry. It is part of Sony Corporation in Japan and was established since 1993 as Sony Computer Entertainment. Sony manufactures hardware and software for video game systems and has markets in Asia, North American, and Europe.
The brand is known to develop hard drives that are of high capacity and speed transfers. Despite that, its drives are not overly priced – the reason why customers keep coming back. The brand’s top hard drives include the Sony HDD HB Portable Drive, Sony 1 TB Wired External HDD, Sony 2 TB Pro External HDD with Thunderbolt, Sony 1 TB Professional External Hard Disk Drive, and Sony 256 GB External SSD.
Transcend Information or Transcend is the first Taiwanese brand on the list that manufactures memory products. It is one of the most trusted brands in delivering portable hard drives and SSDs among others. The brand has offices in Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, US, and the Netherlands. Although it’s best known for its USB Flash Drive products, the brand offers excellent hard drives that don’t disappoint.
Transcend’s hard drives include the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 Portable Hard Drive, Transcend 2 TB StoreJet M3 Military External Hard Drive, and Transcend StoreJet 25H3 2 TB Portable Hard Drive. Aside from these drive’s reliability in data storage, they are also admired for their advanced protection system. Many of the brand’s portable hard drives are also slim and thus offer convenience for all its users.
Samsung’s hard disk drive business has recently been acquired by Seagate Technology. The brand itself is a world leader in information technology and digital consumer electronics. This acquisition has created a brand that’s even stronger than some of the market’s most competitive brands.
Samsung hard drives offer customers strong security systems, SafetyKey and SecretZone, that prevent unauthorized data access and encrypts even the most sensitive information. There are also reliable portable drives from the brand that are USB-powered. The Samsung M3 Slimline 2 TB USB 3.0 Portable hard drive, Samsung 250 GB Internal Hard Drive, and Samsung Portable SSD T3 are only some of the brand’s best hard drives available for purchase.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) is among the reliable brands for a variety of hardware services and components. It is headquartered in California but has expanded throughout in different parts of the globe. Its hard drive devices are well-known for their quality, reliability in data storage, and reasonable price ranges.
HP’s well-liked hard drives include the HP Portable USB 3.O Hard Drive, HP 300 GB Enterprise Internal Hard Drive, HP SATA 6.0 GB Midline Hard Drive, and HP 600 GB SAS SC. The brand’s wide range of SSDs and HDDs are a wise choice for cost-effective storage needs.
What is the Most Reliable Hard Drive?
Backblaze is probably the most cited resource for hard drive reliability. The organization, led by a team of experts, has already tested a total of 10,000 hard drives last year. These hard drives belong to some of the most popular brands discussed above. The drives are tested based on their annual failure rate which pertains to the failure of the drive when (1) not connecting with an operating system, and (2) not syncing or remaining synced in a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) stack.
Backblaze analyzed the tested drives’ reliability based on the annual failure rate and not on the number of drive failures to come up with more accurate data. Results show that the most reliable types of drives are SSDs rather than the generally used hard drives. However, there were still a few well-known brands such as Seagate and Western Digital HDDs that topped the list.
The most reliable manufacturers, according to Backblaze, are Western Digital, Seagate, HGST, and Toshiba. Some of the hard drives models which are considered the most reliable are Western Digital’s Redline, Toshiba MD04ABAV line, HGST 8 TB 7200 RPM hard drive, Seagate 8 TB 7200 RPM hard drive, and Western Digital Blackline.
The test does not debunk the reliability of the other brands as all tested brands are fairly reliable in the first place. Those which topped the list, however, had the lowest annual failure rate which means that the hard drives can last for a relatively longer time than the other brands.
Hard Drive Features You Want to Keep in Mind
The abovementioned hard drive brands are some of the trusted ones in the market. However, there is more to choosing an appropriate hard drive than just relying on the brands. Being the consumer of the product, you decide what you get. To again help you on this matter, here are some hard drive features that are essential when choosing your own hard drive.
The main reason for having a storage device is for you to set backups for all your PC or laptop – to keep data in other words. To perfectly copy all of them, your hard drive’s storage capacity should be able to keep all backed up files with a few gigabytes extra for future storage. More often than not, smaller hard drives have lesser than 1 TB of storage, although they can also be faster to boot. If you aren’t sure which hard drive storage capacity to choose, you can always upgrade it later to a couple more gigabytes of storage.
Hard Drive Type
Hard drives come in two main types: Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD). HDDs use a spinning disk to store data while SSDs have no moving parts and have chips instead. Generally, SSDs are considered to be more reliable for data storage as they are not prone to mechanical issues. However, they are relatively costlier than HDDs.
The brands listed in this article are pretty reliable ones as they are popular. After all, customers wouldn’t avail of any product they don’t trust. Based on Backblaze’s 2017 Hard Drive Failure Analysis, Western Digital, Toshiba, Seagate, and Hitachi remain to be the most reliable hard drive manufacturers in the market. This is not only based on consumer opinions but on actual analysis of the hard drives’ risk for failure as well. This doesn’t mean, however, that other brands aren’t dependable as the drives were analyzed on a normative basis.
Needless to say, your hard drive should be compatible with your desktop PC or laptop’s operating system for it to actually work. For instance, hard drives may be compatible with Windows PC but not with MacOS. Thus, it is important that both are in sync. As for the formatting, drives are usually pre-formatted so there’s isn’t much to worry on the matter.
Write speed determines the time it takes for your drive to write data in it, while the read speed pertains to the length of time it takes to upload data from your drive. The higher the write/read speed, the faster the loading or transfer is, so if you want to be efficient, opt for hard drives with speeds no less than 400 MB/second. Cheaper hard drives usually have 100-150 MB speed per second which doesn’t speed up the transfer.
To avoid damage on your hard drive unit, it is important to keep it away from water or any falling debris. However, one cannot always ensure this. Gladly, there are some hard drives which are shock and water-resistant. Look for US military ratings on the drive to ensure it won’t easily break even when it falls a couple of times to a hard floor. It should also survive when accidentally dropped into water. If you can’t secure the latter, at least close the port covers firmly to prevent water from sipping in.
The more data is stored on a hard drive, the bigger the risk becomes if it gets stolen or lost. This is where the security measures of the hard drive can be used best. You have to ensure that when the worst situation comes, nobody else would have access to your data as you never know what they’ll use them for. You can either use hardware encryption to scramble the data or encrypt parts of the drive or the entire drive using a software application. Whatever the choice is, make sure the hard drive is locked down.
Budget matters in every purchase, but if it’s your data in question, it’s best not to go too stingy. A hard drive’s price varies depending on its data capacity and some added features for security and product durability. Certain drives may be priced around $40 while others will cost up to $250 or even more. SSDs will also cost you more. A 1 TB SSD can cost 3 times more than your HDD component. Nevertheless, avoid those which are too cheap for their respective capacity as it is a good indicator of how bad the quality can be. However, decide how much you are willing to spend for medium to large-sized drives to maximize their use.
Hard drives come with different data storage capacity, features, designs, and types. Based on how advanced their features are and how reliable their brand can be, your data may or may not be kept safe in the drive for a long time. To better gauge, your preferred hard drive’s reliability, look for expert and customer reviews online.
Again, utilize your drive’s security features for the safekeeping of your data. Also, remember that no single hard drive is 100% reliable. Failure can happen anytime without you getting a clue. Multiple data storage then becomes of utmost importance.
Check out best portable hard drive list