I now have 5 computers at home and for the past several years, I have used Acronis True Image Home to back them up, using a Keyliner-reviewed Maxtor 250GB external USB hard disk to hold the images. Last week, I ran out of space. 250GB apparently is not as big as it used to be.
The replacement drive is an HP 750GB USB2.0/3.0 external drive and it was chosen strictly on price, being on sale at Best Buy. Physically, the disk is slightly larger than a deck of cards.
1TB (1000 GB) $120
I decided on the smaller disk, figuring by the time I needed a Terabyte, 6T drives will be on sale for a similar price and I might as well save a little money. Of interest, this works out to $0.11 (cents) per Gigabyte. (Old-timer warning: I remember when disks were $1.00 per megabyte and that was a great price.)
Although it is a laptop drive, it can be used on both desktops and laptops and does not require a separate power cable -- making it easy to move from machine to machine. The drive includes a short 45cm (14") data cable, backup software (which I ignored because I like Acronis) and a cardboard box.
- USB 2.0 and 3.0 compliant
- Short USB cable (convenient for laptops)
- 2yr Warranty
- Pre-formatted NTFS
- Literally, no setup - plug in and use
- No drive-activity light (correction: Drive activity light on back side)
- USB cable may be too short for some desktops
- Shiny-black plastic case; easily scratched; fingerprints
- Feels cheap when compared to my previous Maxtor drive
The drive is literally plug and play. A 2-year warranty is nice; tape the receipt to the box and store in a closet in case it is needed. Being USB 3.0 capable means as I buy newer computers, the drive's performance will improve.
Of interest, USB 3.0 has yet-again, two new cable standards:
I plugged this disk into a new laptop with USB 3.0 for a disk image. Oh my gosh, was it fast. I think it was about 36GB in under 1 minute.
Acronis 2010 Step-by-Step
Disk Cleanup Steps (highly recommended before backups)
Fixing slow USB Backup Speeds in Windows 7