Lets say you need a little extra storage to take on the road, but you need more than what a thumb external hard drive can hold. A portable hard drive is just what you need. But which one? While for desktop drives I encourage people to go cheap and back it up, for portables, I’d pick one based on ruggedness and security, because you will be carrying this thing everywhere and it needs to last and needs to keep your data safe in case you lose it. By those metrics, Lenovo’s Thinkpad USB 3.0 Secure Hard Drive is my pick. It has a physical keypad that unlocks access to the drive, which is encrypted at 256-bits. It has rubber bumpers like many drives to absorb shocks the drive will be subject to in every day life as well as a drive that can park its read/write head when it senses it is falling. It has a3 year warranty, vs 1 year for most competing drives. And Storage Review gave it an editors choice, citing it as rather quick when testing it using a USB 3.0 interface. Trusted Reviews gave it an 8/10. It also has a built in cable so there’s little risk of it failing at that connection point, which is a problem on some portable drives. It isn’t cheap, and right now, a 750GB drive is. That’s almost double the cost of the cheapest portable drives. I have mixed feelings about that.
If that’s too much, you could get a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex which also has USB 3.0 connection. It can be had for for 1TB. PC Magazine gave it an editor’s choice award for being fast and a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. It also has the ability to, through extra connectors, transform into a firewire or eSATA drive, which gives it an edge over Western Digital’s My Passport Essential SE, another drive I was considering. Others? I usually love Hitachi drives but their portable drives max out at 750GB and without the perks of the secure Lenovo to justify it. I’d considered Buffalo Tech’s Ministation Plus but the Buffalo has been tested to be a little slow, according to Tech Radar. The low end portable drives from Seagate and Western Digital, the Expansion and the Elements, have a good number of complaints in user reviews due to reliability of their USB interfaces and the drives themselves or aren’t that much cheaper than the next models up.
Lenovo 1 TB External Hard Drive
Optimized for safeguarding essential data while on-the-go, the ThinkPad USB 3.0 1TB Secure Hard Drive (0A65621) offers high-level 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) security within a slim, lightweight, self-powered, easy-to-use design.