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Portable 1 TB External Hard Drives For Under $100

Updated on July 11, 2013
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Regular Back Ups

It is very important to back up your files regularly because you never know when you'll laptop will just stop working. Sometimes you'll contract a virus or malware and sometimes it's just because your equipment is just too old and has had enough. Unfortunately I recently experienced the latter with my 7 year old Mac Book, I had only backed up my most important documents but I wish I had backed up everything as there were some photos and other files that I'll never get back (the hard drive burned out and I've tried to recover the files).

So, before you end up like me losing some of your data thinking that it will never happen to you, go ahead and back up all your files before it's too late. Below you will find the best five 1 TB portable hard drives available with protective casings and also some great laptop bags too.

1 TB Portable Hard Drives

1.
WD My Passport 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 Black
WD My Passport 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 Black

This hard drive comes with automatic backup software and password protection and hardware encryption for your protection. You can transfer data on USB with a rate up to 5 Gbps so it's nice and quick to back up everything. Just in case anything goes wrong it has a 2-Year Limited Warranty.

 
2.
(Old Model) Seagate Backup Plus 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0  (Black)(STBU1000100)
(Old Model) Seagate Backup Plus 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (Black)(STBU1000100)

This hard drive has a great feature that enables user-generated content to be backed up from your favorite social networks and the share feature allows multiple files to be uploaded to social networks at once from your computer. All you need to do is to install the pre-loaded NTFS driver for Mac and use the drive interchangeably between PC and Mac computers without reformatting. You'll also get USB 3.0 for quick data transfer rates.

 
3.
WD My Passport for Mac 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0
WD My Passport for Mac 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0

The Passport for Mac is HFS+ journaled so it works right out of the box with your Mac computer, but it can be reformatted for Windows. It is also compatible with Apple Time Machine backup software. You files are all safe through the password protection and hardware encryption. There's also ultra-fast transfer rates with USB 3.0 interface for quick transfers between computers.

 
4.
Transcend 1 TB StoreJet M3 Military Drop Tested USB 3.0 ExternalHardDrive
Transcend 1 TB StoreJet M3 Military Drop Tested USB 3.0 ExternalHardDrive

This great hard drive is designed to have Military-Grade Shock Resistance specified to meet U.S. military drop test standards. The advanced 3-stage shock protection system, combines a rugged slip-resistant silicone outer shell, a reinforced hard casing, and an internal hard drive suspension damper will keep your data safe should it suffer a fall. You'll also have USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connection options - Bandwidth up to 5Gb/s in USB 3.0 mode and 480 Mb/s in USB 2.0 mode with a one touch backup system to make it really simple to use.

 

USB Port

CC courtsey of Baldbard
CC courtsey of Baldbard | Source

My Computer Shot

Copyright Bobski606
Copyright Bobski606 | Source

How To Set Up Your External Hard Drive

For a first time user or for someone who is new to technology setting up a portable hard drive may seem daunting at first. If you follow these simple steps you'll be able to start backing up your data in no time.

  1. Take out all the items from the box
  2. Locate your USB drive on your computer or laptop (see photo to the right)
  3. Plug in the USB cable to your computer and then to the hard drive
  4. Locate the power port for your hard drive
  5. Plug in the power source to the hard drive
  6. Switch on the hard drive and let your computer detect it
  7. You may have to click "Yes" to a couple of prompts to verify that you plugged it it
  8. Access your hard drive from your "My Computer" screen (see photo on the right)
  9. Copy and paste your files as necessary.

What Fits On A 1 TB Drive

You might be finding that the standard 320 GB or 500 GB just don't have enough space for all your data, so why not take a look at the 1 TB space hard drives. But how much can you get on a 1 tb hard drive? Generally 1 TB storage space is the equivalent of:

  • Up to 1,500 hours of digital video
  • Up to 362 2-hour DVD movies
  • Up to 480,000 digital photos
  • Up to 24,990 hours of digital music

That's quite a lot of data there so go ahead and start backing up those precious files.

What Size Is Best?

After reading this you might decide that a 1 TB hard drive just isn't right for you. That might be because you simply don't have enough data to even consider getting one, or you might have too much data and need something bigger.

If you only have a few files to back up now and again you might find that something smaller like a 250 GB or even 500 GB portable hard drive will be enough to meet your needs. You can also get USB sticks or pen drives for the occasional document that you need to take with you. I have a pen drive that can attach to my car keys so I always have something there with me.

A 1 TB hard drive might not be suitable for you either if you have in excess of 1 TB of data to back up. In situations like this you might need to consider making your own server or getting a storage device such as the Thunderbolt Duo 8 TB storage drive. Another alternative is to split your data into batches: for example put all your music together, all your photos, all your word documents etc.

Since everyone's circumstances are different you will really need to sit down and work out how much back up space you'll really need. A tip I always use is to get a storage device that's at least twice as big for what I actually need because I know I will just add to it further down the line.

Protective Cases

Just like other bits of technology portable hard drives are prone to scratches and accidents as well. In order to prevent these accidents you'll want to invest in a decent protective case for your portable hard drive.

There are a few different designs out there at the moment but they all fall into one of two categories. You'll either have your protective hard cases that are designed to protect against knocks and falls - they absorb the shock and prevent it from reaching the delicate hard drive technology. Or, you'll have a soft casing designed to protect the aesthetics from being scratched and dented.

You can certainly combine the two designs to have the ultimate protection or you can opt for one or the other. No one will tell you which one is right, you'll have to decide that for yourself and how and where exactly you'll be using your devices.

Take a look at the cases I've got for you below. These 5 designs are some of my favorites from a very wide selection available at Amazon.

Laptop Bags

The whole point of having a laptop and a portable external hard drive is that you can take them with you to wherever it is you need to be. However, if you've got all this gear how exactly are you going to take it with you? You can always pop it in a rucksack but what if you need to take other things like food, paperwork or just other items?

To protect your portable technology from everyday life it's best to keep them together in a well designed laptop bag. This way you know your devices wont get covered in crumbs, sticky substances, mud from shoes, or mess up your paperwork.

Laptop bags are specially designed to hold you laptop, and other devices, in place securely without the risk of them coming lose and falling or getting knocked around. They are also designed with your comfort in mind to so you wont have to worry about getting a bad back either.

Take a look at my 5 favorite laptop bags from a great selection available from Amazon.

What do you use to back up your data?

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Dropbox: Using the Internet to Back Up Your Files

While you're waiting for your shiny new back up drive to arrive you might want to consider backing up your files to the internet. I personally use Dropbox and you can sign up for your free 2 GB of space here. You can then opt to upgrade your space by a monthly subscription if you want more.

Dropbox is also a great tool to use if you only have a little bit of data to back up and you don't have anything to carry it on. For example, what if your pen drive broke and you needed to get some data to someone else but it's too big to send via e-mail? Sign up for Dropbox and have those worries eliminated.

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      Kerry43 5 years ago

      Hello, what a useful hub! Sending this to hubby, he'll love it.

      Thank you, and have a great day:)

      Kerry