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Terabyte External Hard Drives Guide

written by: Matthew Becker•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 9/19/2008

External hard drives are a great piece of hardware to get. They're terrific for backing up important documents in case the hard drive on your computer fails, but they're also great for storing massive amounts of audio and video files. Recently, we have begun to see releases of hard drives with the storage capacity of 1 terabyte (1000 gigabytes) and more. Here we review five different models and makes of terabyte hard drives, and look at their strengths and weaknesses.

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    How this guide works


    Different models and different brands of external hard drives are listed.  This is by no means a ranking system.  In other words, whatever is listed at the top does not mean that it is considerably better than what is listed at the bottom, or vice versa.  The purpose of this guide is to give the strengths and weaknesses of each model and brand of hard drive.  In turn, this should narrow down your choice of which purchase to make.

    What this guide concentrates on:

    • Performance

    • Design

    • Warranty

    • Price

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    Seagate FreeAgent Pro 1TB External Hard Drive
    Costs roughly:



    • 5 year warranty

    • Content is well-packaged to prevent static

    • Connect using USB, Firewire, or eSATA

    • Transfers up to 3Gbps on eSATA connection

    • Automatically updates content you wish to share online


    • eSATA cable needs to be purchased separately

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    Seagate Drive

    Seagate Drive
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    Fantom GF1000EU G-Force 1TB External Hard Drive
    Costs roughly:



    • Connect using USB or eSATA

    • Transfers up to 3Gbps on eSATA connection


    • Only 1 year warranty

    • No Firewire connection

    • Administration menus a hassle to navigate

    • Sluggish data transfer on USB connection

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    Fantom Drive

    Fantom Drive
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    SimpleTech FP-UFE21TB Duo Pro 1TB
    Costs roughly
    : $170-240



    • Competitive pricing

    • Multiple connection options (Firewire, USB, SATA)

    • Stores up to 2GB of your files online

    • Up to 3Gbps on SATA connection

    • Two different RAID options (0 for security; 1 for performance)

    • Automatically backs up

    • Comes Plug and Play ready


    • Variable warranty- 1 year or 3 years depending on which version of the product you can grab

    • Bulky design; a little bit too big

    • Enclosure is fragile; easily damaged

    • Cooling system gets noisy

    • Sluggish connectivity with USB

    • eSATA cable not included

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    SimpleTech Drive

    SimpleTech Drive
  • slide 8 of 12

    Western Digital

    Western Digital MyBook Studio II 2TB
    Costs roughly:



    • 1TB not enough? 2TB of space

    • Multiple connection options: Firewire 400, 800, eSATA, USB

    • Comes equipped with RAID 0 and RAID 1

    • Automatically backs up

    • Energy efficient; does not require cooling system

    • Transfer rates of up to 3Gbps on SATA

    • Capacity gauge: tells you how much space you have used


    • Only 1 year warranty

    • Expensive; 1TB model is a little bit less costly at $260

    • Bulky design, but that's mostly due to the enclosure including two 1TB hard drives within it

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    Western Digital Drive

    Western Digital Drive
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    LaCie 2big Triple - 2TB
    Costs roughly:



    • 3 year warranty

    • 1TB not enough?  Here's 2

    • 2 Firewire ports: 800 and 400

    • Offers 4 different RAID levels (for enhanced security or performance, whichever the user chooses)


    • Essentially two 1TB drives attached together

    • Bulky, weighing almost 6lbs

    • Changing RAID can get tedious

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    LaCie Drive

    LaCie Drive