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Desktop Storage Solutions

(April 2007) posted on Wed Apr 18, 2007

A sourcelist of external desktop hard drives.

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By Clare Baker

A far cry from the bygone days of backup drives with refrigerator-sized proportions, today’s external hard drives are sleek, lightweight, and offer easy and affordable storage solutions for consumers and businesses alike. With ever-increasing storage capabilities, these hard drives are quickly approaching the 1-TB mark and provide security and backup of valuable data.

For this sourcelist, we have zeroed in on just a couple of offerings from each of the leading manufacturers of external hard drives and highlighted some of their newest, biggest, fastest, or-what we have deemed to be-most intriguing desktop storage solutions.

As you peruse the following source list, note that:

* For this particular group, we have refrained from addressing hard drives with RAID capabilities as well as those with external SATA interfaces only.

* Unless otherwise noted, the hard drives offer the following standard transfer rates with the respective interfaces: FireWire 800, 800 Mbps; FireWire 400, 400 Mbps; and USB 2.0, 480 Mbps.

* Because of the recent entrance of Windows Vista into the marketplace as this list was compiled, we did not include compatibility information with that specific operating system; we suggest you visit the manufacturer’s website to verify that feature.

* We’ve provided prices for the products where they were available direct from the manufacturer.

Apricorn’s line of EZ Bus Desktop storage solutions offers models with USB, USB/FireWire Combo, and USB/eSATA connectivity. Each model offers a storage-capacity choice of 250, 400, 500, and 750 GB, and a drive speed of 7200 RPM. The SATA model, with duel e-SATA and USB 2.0 interfaces, supports a transfer rate of up to 300 MBps. Hot-swappable, the drives are bundled with backup, synchronization, and encryption software. All feature an aluminum enclosure and an ultra-cool fan for temperature regulation. The hard drives are compatible with Windows 98/ME/2000/XP and Mac OS 9 and later. Price: $139 to $519.

Beyond Micro
Beyond Micro offers its Speedano 3 with a combination USB and 69FireWire interface. The external hard drive supports both USB 2.0 and 1.1 connections as well as a FireWire 400 connection and features dual FireWire ports for daisy-chaining. The Speedano 3 is also available with only USB, FireWire 400, or FireWire 800 connectivity.