Updated External Hard Drive Recommendation

I have an external hard drive that I’ve used for backup that may have gone bad. I have another external drive backup plus Backblaze so I’m not concerned about the files. I’ve gone through all necessary Disk Utility options and have spoken with an Apple Senior support specialist to make sure this is not an M1 and/or Big Sur issue.

This means I probably need to replace it. I’m looking for a fast, reliable external 2T drive to use for backups. Any recommendations?

I did search the forum but many of the hits concern technical problems or the recommendations are a bit outdated.

Samsung T5 (and probably the T7 which is the newer) has served me well for 2? Years now. WD passport as well for 4 years.

Highly recommend shelling out for the SSD. My 1TB T5 was ~$120. If you can hold out until Black Friday they’re always on sale!

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Thanks, and I can wait for Black Friday. I just made a reminder. Thanks again.

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WD Passports work well, though they are slow.

I’ve had a few of the older version of this drive in 1T size for a couple of years. They are fast and I’ve had no problems with them.

I have a couple of these as working drives (they are fast). Probably overkill for a backup drive.


I second the recommendation about getting an SSD drive. Both Samsung and Sandisk are strong in the space.

Although if you’re strictly using for backup, then a regular external hard drive would be fine but I think they’re minimum of 5 or 8 TB.


All good recommendations, above. I have a slew of T5s and T7s that I use for various purposes. They are excellent and fast.

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I know the cost/speed trade off for spinning drives vs. SSDs.

But is there a trade off in longevity and risk of failure too? In other words, are spinning drives, with all their moving parts, kore likely to fail sooner than SSDs?

This might be helpful – though Newegg has a stake in making you worry, of course.

Check to see if the manufacturer of the drive you’re interested in publishes any sort of reliability data. A good rule of thumb is the warranty on offer. Beyond the edge of the warranty period, you might start thinking of replacing the drive, whether HDD or SSD. Everything dies.

You might be interested in Backblaze’s reporting on hard drive failure rates. Here’s Q1 2021:

They noted fewer failure rates of SSD but when you looked at the average age of the drives, SSD average age was 12.7 months versus 49.6 for HDD.

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The SanDisk is on sale now for 184.99.

That’s a good deal!

One could recast that, “the SanDisk that was previously over-priced by $100, has been reduced” :slightly_smiling_face:


Either way, I just ordered it and saved $100. :grinning:

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I personally own a T5, but that decision was just because it was cheaper than the Sandisk. One of the things I’m not crazy about on the T5 is that it feels more fragile, and the Sandisk definitely addresses that issue. I’ve always considered Sandisk to make good stuff. :slight_smile:

This is the best summary of post-COVID electronics pricing. :smiley:

I got the SanDisk 2TB, I think this is large enough for my needs.