External Hard Drives
Price comparison searches for external hard drives (portable hard disks) on Kelkoo.co.ukSearches for external hard drives (hard disks), with USB and FireWire interfaces from Freecom, Iomega, Lacie, Maxtor, Origin Storage, SmartDisk and Western Digital. Searches for Backup software, and lists of online backup providers. See the memory page for pen drives or the hard disks page for internal hard disks.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives
NAS drives are becoming more popular, especially for backup in home/office environments with more than one PC:
External hard disk manufacturer websites
Backups and Portable Storage
External drives offer the opportunity to make backups, archive data, and add portable storage to your system. Online backup services can add backup that is available in the event of theft or fire to your local machines.
How much storage?
The amount of storage you need obviously depends on what you want to backup. You may want to allow space to for regular backup of all of your data, as well as space to backup restore images for your PCs so that you can more easily restore your data in the event of hard disk failure.
Backup software should be flexible, allowing you to backup the files you chose, and easy to use - ideally something you can setup to automatically run in the background whilst you work or surf. The software manufacturers Acronis, EMC Retrospect, Roxio, Symantec all all offer backup software.
Storage and storage software reviews
Backup software searches:
Some drives include free backup software
Some external drives include good backup software, especially the larger, more expensive drives aimed at businesses.
There are a number of online backup sites that offer space for you to backup your data, so that you can put some of your data safe from physical calamities (fire or theft):
Note that this industry is in a state of flux, with a number of providers shutting down their services with little warning. Ensure you have a secondary form of backup.
Given the cost and speed of access to online backup storage, you may want to limit storage to only your most essential files. Ensure that your backup software or online backup provider include AES encryption, as used by the US military and in secure Wireless Networking. However, if your backup software or online backup provider doesn't include encryption you may want to look at software that encrypts files, such as TrueCrypt or AxCrypt.