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Comparing External Storage Options from WD and Iomega

written by: Nicholas•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/19/2011

Considering getting an external hard drive to backup your data or use for storage? We compare two top brands to see what will work for you.

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    As far as Western Digital vs. Iomega for external hard drive choices, both companies offer a wide selection to choose from. However, Western Digital makes both internal hard drives and external hard drives, where Iomega only makes external hard drives. So for this Western Digital vs. Iomega review, we will be covering both company's external hard drive range.

    Western Digital

    • Western Digital offers two different types of desktop external hard drives, the My Book lineup and the Elements Desktop lineup.
    • Western Digital also offers two different types of portable external hard drives, the My Passport lineup and the Elements Portable lineup.

    Iomega

    • Iomega offers four different types of desktop external hard drives, the Prestige lineup, the eGo lineup, the UltraMax lineup, and the MiniMax lineup.
    • Iomega offers two different types of portable external hard drives, the Prestige Portable lineup and the eGo Portable lineup.

    - Both companies offer Mac Editions of their products as well.

    - Both companies offer a wide variety of different capacities with their external hard drive lineups.

    Western Digital vs. Iomega for Selection - Tie

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    Durability

    Iomega Black Belt Iomega offers Protection Suite wraps for their external hard drives. It does cost more, but may be something to consider, especially if you are looking for a portable hard drive that you will be taking with you to the office, on business trips, to school, etc... Iomega's Protection Suite is basically a rubber/silicone wrap that fits around external hard drives to protect them from drops. A popular tech website did a drop test on many different portable hard drives, WD and Iomega included. Basically, they elevated each brand of portable hard drive to a certain height, and dropped it onto cement ground. The Iomega with Protection Suite proved to be the overall winner.

    Western Digital does not currently offer anything like Iomega's Protection Suite. However, they do offer an internal hard drive with a free-fall sensor. The free-fall sensor is designed to automatically shut off the hard drive if it were to fall. Although this feature was mainly designed for internal laptop use, you can create your own portable hard drive by using any internal hard drive and a hard drive enclosure.

    Western Digital vs. Iomega for Durability - Iomega

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    Pricing

    As far as bang for buck, both companies offer very similar prices. We will compare a couple of standard hard drives for example.

    • According to Iomega.com, Iomega's lowest price desktop hard drive is the Prestige Pro, which retails for $99.99 for 500GB.
    • According to Iomega.com, Iomega's lowest price portable hard drive is the Prestige Portable, which retails for $89.99 for 320GB.
    • According to WDC.com, Western Digital's lowest price according hard drive is the Elements Desktop, which retails for $89.99 for 500GB.
    • According to WDC.com, Western Digital's lowest price according hard drive is the Elements Portable, which retails for $89.99 for 320GB.

    One company does not really offer a significant price advantage over another. Upon comparing both Western Digital and Iomega's other hard drives, the prices are very close. This one is a draw.

    Western Digital vs. Iomega for Durability - Tie

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    Other Factors

    Customer reviews

    Upon checking mass customer reviews and satisfaction rates from sites like Newegg.com, TigerDirect.com, and Amazon.com, it is quite clear that Western Digital external hard drives are more popular. They have also gotten overall better reviews, making WD's customer satisfaction rate slightly better than Iomega.

    Western Digital vs. Iomega for Customer Satisfaction - Western Digital

    Cool Features and Overall Styling

    Western Digital offers some unique features on their hard drives. Notably, many of their external hard drives have capacity gauge lights, indicators, and great styling.

    Iomega's external hard drives are colorful and vivid. They also offer some unique hard drives such as a hard drive that looks similar to a Mac Mini (stacks on top of Mac Minis), and a hard drive that resembles they styling of a Mac Pro. However, since the majority of people don't own Mac Minis and Mac Pros, this is not a huge benefit.

    Western Digital vs. Iomega for Cool Features and Overall Styling - Western Digital

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    Winner - Western Digital

    But by a very fine margin. By no means do Western Digital external hard drives blow Iomega out of the water. This was a very close call. As far as Western Digital vs. Iomega for external hard drives, Western Digital wins due to styling, features, and customer satisfaction rate. However, Western Digital external hard drives have not always received the best reviews either. In the field of external hard drives, the high majority of manufacturers have nothing close to perfect customer satisfaction.

    If you are going to be traveling often, you may want to consider going with an Iomega eGo with Protection Suite. This is a hard drive that you can throw in your suitcase or backpack, and not have to worry about it being moved around a bit.

    Both companies are among the top external hard drive manufacturers, but Western Digital may be a better choice for most people.