Backing up your hard drive is important. But even the most rigorous backup plan isn’t going to help if your house floods--or worse, catches on fire. In a true disaster, even your triple-redundant RAID backup system isn’t likely to be much help. With dark days like that in mind, ioSafe’s line of fireproof, waterproof externals might be big and bulky, but they promise to withstand even the toughest data disasters.
The hard drive on my MacBook Pro is too small, so I keep almost all my files on a 1TB Western Digital MyBook World Edition network hard drive, which allows me to access my files from anywhere. But Time Machine only backs up my laptop’s hard drive to a USB hard drive, so how can I also automatically back up what is on my network drive?
Who else is getting tired of portable drives that are enclosed in the kind of bland black or silver case that just begs to be hidden? If you’re reaching for some sky, Verbatim’s slick InSight is a USB drive you’ll enjoy having on your desk. Its lovely piano-like finish and curvy lines are just plain classy, and at 5.99x3.37x 0.66 inches and 5.8 ounces, it’s very slim and light.
Many moons ago, the idea of filling a drive with a terabyte of data
would have gotten you laughed at and possibly sent to a special
hospital where all the walls were white and padded. But these days,
we’re constantly checking our externals for room with the Get Info
command, then trying to figure out what’s safe to delete. If you’re
dealing with large files on a regular basis or are just a bit
obsessive-compulsive, the new Western Digital MyBook Studio can help
you keep track of your drives without having to be in front of your Mac.
Despite our constant exposure to tech gear, we’re always amazed at the
advances in storage. We still fondly remember floppy disks of the 3.5-
and 5.25-inch varieties--yes, the ones that held a single megabyte or
so at best. These days, we all expect to have hundreds of gigabytes of
storage in our machines, but that doesn’t mean external drives aren’t a
must-have. G-Technology’s G Drive brings high-speed, high-capacity
storage to your desktop, and it’s clad in a slick design that will look
right at home with the rest of your equipment.
No matter how big the hard drives in our Macs get, there’s still never enough storage. And while flash drives are handy, there are plenty of occasions when we need way more space for data--whether it’s carting around an entire issue’s worth of InDesign files or transferring our collection of ’90s alt-rock MP3s from home to our office machine.
The Icy Dock MB662US-2S is another dual drive enclosure, and you can
get it in two flavors, depending on whether you use eSATA or FireWire
400/800 connections. Both versions also sport a USB 2.0 port. When you
plug two drives into the Icy Dock, it can treat them as two independent
drives or as either a RAID 0 or RAID 1 drive (you use a dip switch to
set the mode). In RAID 0, the two drives act as a single big, utrafast
volume—but if either drive fails, your data is toast. In RAID 1, the
two drives are automatically mirrored, meaning the Icy copies your data
to both drives. The instant, automatic backup is a protection against
either drive biting the dust. The Icy Dock keeps drives cool thanks to
a fan with selectable speeds, but the fan makes almost as much noise as
the Mac Pro we tested it with.
The chances of your desk being thrown off course and landing in the
ocean are slim. But, if by chance your desk is tossed out to sea, and
you need immediate rescue from the Coast Guard, the 1TB LaCie Rugged XL
is the external hard drive you’ll want, to be more easily spotted by
the helicopter (although despite what its name might imply, its
ruggedness doesn’t extend to water-resistance, so your data might
suffer a bit).