One thing that travelers don’t think of is backing up their data when they travel with their laptop. Sooner or later, you’ll have a hard drive failure, or worse your laptop will get stolen. Thus you should always have a backup. In my case I was going to buy the parts to build my own external hard drive as my current one was too small. But after visiting my local computer store, I figured out that it would cost me about $30 more to build my own versus just buying a pre-built one. After looking around, I settled on the Western Digital 1TB Elements external hard drive. Here’s what you get in the box:
There’s not a whole lot here. If you plan on using this as a portable drive, you’ll need a case. It doesn’t come with one, but I have one so I am covered. You might want to invest in one, or pick a Western Digital model that comes with a case.
Now the Western Digital 1TB Elements drive has a lot going for it including:
- It is a USB 3.0 drive that can fall back to USB 2.0
- It comes with a trial version of WD SmartWare Pro backup software. It allows you to back up your files to your WD Elements drive or to the cloud using your DropBox account. It’s Windows only though.
- It’s small and easy to tote around. Though I would not do so without a case. It’s also light as well which is important if you’re traveling.
Now if you have a PC, it’s plug and play. However if you have a Mac, you’ll need to reformat the drive using Disk Utility before using it. Now, experienced Mac users won’t find this a big deal. However, novice users won’t have any direction other than the instruction sheet pointing users to a Western Digital support knowledgebase article. The reference to this knowledgebase article is in tiny print so it is easy to miss. It would be a good idea for Western Digital to do more for Mac users.
In terms of performance, when it was pretty quick as long as you connect it via USB 3.0. Thus backups should be quick. Now I will copy my most recent backup to the drive so that I have a backup if I need it on my way to India. Not to mention that backing up my data will be much quicker as Carbon Copy Cloner will have something to work with. The other thing I will do is pack it separately from my laptop. That way if I lose the backup, I will still have my backup, or vice versa.
The best thing about this drive is that it has a great price. I paid $79 for the 1TB version which is an excellent price. What was not so excellent is the fact that Western Digital only offers a one year warranty when a lot of their other products have two, three or even five year warranties. Yes it’s their entry level drive. But they can and should do better on that front. Having said that, it wouldn’t stop me from recommending it as an option to back up your data while you’re on a trip.
On Friday, I will detail my trip to the airport and my departure from Toronto to Dubai which is the first leg of my trip to New Delhi India.