Things to know when buying an External Hard Drive

Things to know when buying an External Hard Drive

When buying an external hard drive, it’s important to find the right one for your needs. Whether it’s for backing up those precious family memories, storing 4K video footage or protecting all your important personal data, Simply Computing has the solution for you. We provide a wide range of secure backup devices, from two trusted brands that we feel measure up to the integrity of the Apple products we carry - ‘G-Technology’ and ‘LaCie’. Both work seamlessly with the Mac and are sure to bring added productivity to your workflow and offer peace-of-mind in knowing all your important files are safe. The following sections will go through a few criteria you should take into consideration before purchasing. If you’re in need for a high-quality storage drive, look no further.


These days, most consumer-level HDs will be measured in terabytes (TB) but here is a more comprehensive table of other data measurements.


Equal to:

Size in Bytes


1 bit



4 bits

1/2 (rare)


8 bits



1,024 bytes



1,024 kilobytes



1,024 megabytes



1,024 gigabytes



1,024 terrabytes



1,024 petabytes



1,024 exabytes



1,024 zettabytes


Nowadays, the price for a high capacity hard drive is dropping. The average price for a 1TB hard drive is around $100. 1TB is the same as 1,000GB, but let’s put that in perspective. A 1TB hard drive can store about 200,000 photos, 250,000 songs, 76 HD movies. That’s definitely a lot! G-Tech and LaCie HDs range from 500GB to 20+TB, ensuring whatever your needs, they’ve got you covered.


Backing Up

G-Tech’ and ‘LaCie’ HDs are Apple Time Machine compatible - which makes backing up all your memories and data easy! Time Machine keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. Setup takes just a few seconds, after which it will backup automatically every time it’s connected to your Mac.


There are two main types of storage drives - Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD). HDDs are the most common type of storage drives, although SSDs are quickly becoming more popular and cost effective. HDDs work using moving parts and operate similarly to a record player, using a needle to access data on a rotating disc. Each HDD has a rotations-per-minute speed (RPM). The greater the RPM, the faster the drive.

SSDs, however, are quite different and operate much faster than HDDs. With no moving parts, they work using micro chips and are more durable and reliable than HDDs. However, SSDs are more expensive, though they are coming down in price with G-Tech offering very competitive pricing.



As far as performance goes, the SSD is the clear winner, but if you’re in the market for an external backup device, you’re most likely going to be getting a HDD. The reason being, they offer much more storage for your money.

SSDs would be ideal for people who need speed more than storage capacity, such as video editors. Right now, G-Tech make really portable SSDs that provide speeds of 560MB/sec, over 4 times the speed of their traditional portable HD. The G-Tech Portable SSD range starts at $199.99 and is available here. They are water and dust resistant and shock, drop and crush proof, ensuring they keep up wherever you go, whatever you’re doing. Perfect for fast, secure transfers in the field. G-Tech now also make a pro version of the portable SSDs, with speed of up to a whopping 2,800MB/ sec.



Recently we’ve seen Apple computers make a move to the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connection port. Being smaller in size than traditional USB ports, they allow computers to be even thinner, lighter and more portable than ever, as well as providing a faster connection. But it’s not just Apple - many PC and cell phone companies are making the move to the more universal USB-C type port.

Prior to 2016, Apple computers used Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0. While not being the latest technology, these connections still offer rapid transfer speeds. Thankfully, ‘G-Tech’ and ‘LaCie’ are adapting to the changes in the industry and are sure to offer a drive that supports your machine, making hard drives that support USB 2.0; USB 3.0; Thunderbolt 2; Thunderbolt 3 as well as FireWire and eSATA. The USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, found in G-Tech’s G-SPEED Shuttle XL, G-RAID, and G-DRIVE, and ‘LaCie’s’ Porsche 1TB, RUGGED and Desktop HDs deliver more speed, pixels and power than ever before.


Durability, Reliability, and Warranty

Durability and Reliability is a very important factor when choosing an external hard drive. All G-Tech HDs come with at least a 3 year warranty. Their most durable drive is the G-DRIVE ArmorATD. The G-DRIVE ArmorATD is a rugged, all terrain drive. It is dust resistant, water protected, series compatible, pressure resistant, and has a 1.2-metre drop protection. The G-DRIVE ev RAW is the next highest durable drive that’s designed for everywhere you go. This rugged drive supports a 1.5-metre drop protection, making it durable and reliable for on-the-go access. G-Tech have one of the lowest fail rates across all HD manufacturers.

Simply Computing has all your storage needs, from modest desktop backup solutions, to extreme weather proof Shuttle Raid solutions. Check out our entire collection here and if you don’t see what you need, reach out:

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