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There are many people that don’t use external hard drives, and for a myriad of reason. Some popular reasons I’ve personally heard is that they’re either too expensive or aren’t as useful as they thought it would be. I was of the latter crowd, but recently picked up two LaCie 4TB external hard drives (USB 3.0), and have been surprised at the amount of value they provide. If you don’t have an external hard drive, you should consider picking up one from LaCie. Be sure to read along to find out why.

Hardware

I went back and forth for awhile trying to decide whether to get a solid-state drive (SSD) or a regular hard drive as an external option. I ended up choosing the latter, as you can get more storage at a cheaper rate. An SSD would have been an ideal option because of the speed, but larger storage capacities can get expensive quick.

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So, I ended up with a standard hard drive from LaCie. I have been impressed thus far. I opted for the 4 terabyte version, which should be plenty of extra storage for my machine. It is indeed USB 3.0, allowing for significantly faster data transfer speeds than older versions of the technology (e.g. USB 2.0); however, this external hard drive is perfectly capable of USB 2.0, and the included USB 3 cable is actually compatible with USB, USB 2 and, of course, USB 3.

This particular hard drive comes with a standard 1-year warranty. The 4TB model sits around $150, but you can find small storage capacities for less or larger for more.

Software

Now, this hard drive is advertised as designed for Mac. While that may have been the intention, that’s not entirely true. This LaCie hard drive comes with some setup software on the hard drive, allowing you to easily choose the storage format. Whether you want to use it for Mac, Windows or some other Linux distribution, this included setup software will guide you through the process of initializing the hard drive for whichever operating system.

Want to use the hard drive for both Mac and Windows? That’s not a problem! The setup software on the hard drive will help you through the process of splitting a portion of the hard drive’s storage space for Mac and another portion for Windows and other operating systems. It truly isn’t “just” a hard drive for Mac, but for whatever you want to use it for.

Setting up the hard drive was really easy. I plugged it in, my machine recognized it, and then I went through the aforementioned setup process. All in all, it took about five minutes of my time. It really is super easy and quick to setup.  Shown below is a short video that details the setup process on a Mac.

Video

 

Using The LaCie Hard Drive In The Real World

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I’ve been fairly impressed how the LaCie USB 3.0 external hard drive has functioned in the past two weeks I’ve been using it. One of the major things I use it for is backups. I have Time Machine setup on my Mac to create a new backup every hour. The external hard drive is able to handle this without any issues, and surprisingly, it’s super quiet in doing that.

Another major thing I use it for is a place to keep all of my big project files. It has had no issues whatsoever transferring them and quickly letting me open them up from the hard drive.

As far as actual real-time speeds go, it’s pretty impressive. Transferring two 400MB videos over to the hard drive took a little less than 6 seconds. Transferring a larger volume of files at a smaller storage capacity is nearly instantaneous. USB 3.0 speeds sit at about 640MB/s. Obviously you won’t hit those top speeds all the time, but data transfers are still relatively quick, even with large files. For instance, I transferred over a 12GB .iso file and the transfer took less than a minute.

I’m fairly impressed, largely because LaCie isn’t one of those big name brands you hear about all the time. In most cases, it’s a safe bet to buy from brands like Western Digital, Samsung, Kingston, as well as a few others. I’ll admit, I was hesitant buying a LaCie branded hard drive, but so far, I’ve been extremely impressed.

Closing

So, do you need an external hard drive? It really depends on what you’re doing. If you’re someone who has a lot of big projects on their system, I’d recommend an external hard drive many times over. If something were to ever happen to your laptop or a project you have in the cloud, knowing that you have an extra copy locally on an external hard drive provides a great sense of security.

It’s also super useful in the case that you have a small hard drive. In my case, I have a 512GB solid-state drive, and while it’s fast, it’s just not enough storage on my computer. The external hard drive is really a godsend in this case. And the best part? Files are super easy to get to because it’s entirely plug-and-play, making it also easy to take on the go.

If you’re in the market for a hard drive, give LaCie a try. You might just be impressed!

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