External desktop storage reviews range relatively widely from single to several drive units that perform an immense variety of tasks. Some external desktop storage reviews feature devices designed for capacity expansion, typically via 1-5 bays, that interface over Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. Others feature direct attached storage (DAS) devices that connect with similar interfaces or even Gigabit Ethernet. In these external desktop storage reviews, we also look at specialized products designed specifically for RAIDing drives, backing up home media content via a router connection, or providing a local and cloud storage solution.
by Lyle Smith

WD My Cloud Family of Personal Cloud Solutions Announced

WD has introduced its new My Cloud family of personal cloud solutions, a complete solution for consumers and enthusiasts to organize, centralize, and secure all their data from all of their computers and mobile devices. This is achieved by simply connecting a My Cloud personal cloud drive to the Internet, which then gives their device the access they can get from the public cloud but without having to pay monthly fees or giving up control over their personal data. My Cloud is currently available in 2TB and 3TB capacities; the 4TB model will be released shortly after. In addition, customers can attach a compatible USB 3.0 hard drive directly to the USB expansion port on the My Cloud drive to further expand their storage capacity without restriction.

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by Lyle Smith

WD Updates My Book External Desktop Hard Drives

Western Digital has announced the upgrade and redesign of their popular My Book and My Book for Mac lines of external desktop hard drives by increasing their capacity, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB for Windows and 2TB, 3TB for Mac, adding USB 3.0 compatibility, and including their new SmartWare Pro software suite. The new drives also sport a new more modern look.

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by Josh Linden

WD 1TB My Passport Slim Review (WDBGMT0010BAL)

WD has today announced its new My Passport Slim USB 3.0 external hard drive, available in 1TB (WDBGMT0010BAL) with a 2TB model (WDBPDZ0020BAL) expected later this year. My Passport Slim features connectivity and an initial NTFS format intended for Windows PCs, but also features the type of aluminum enclosure which we usually only see with WD’s offerings for Mac. The drive is designed to maximize its utility and competitiveness as portable storage for consumers, offering 256-bit hardware encryption, WD SmartWare Pro local backup functionality, and integration with the Dropbox cloud backup service.

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by Josh Shaman

Drobo 5D Review

The Drobo 5D is a direct attached storage device (DAS) with five 3.5" carrier-less bays that features USB 3.0 and dual thunderbolt ports. Though similar in design to recent Drobo models, the 5D that we previously announced adds a lot of new features including: support for HDDs and SSDs, increased memory, a faster processor and battery backup. Drobo designed the 5D with media creatives such as video and audio editors in mind understanding their need for high capacity, high performance devices. Drobo offers a couple of other devices in the family such as the Mini which has the same features but with support for four 2.5" drives, as well as the 5N network attached storage device (NAS).

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by Josh Shaman

DataTale Smart 4-bay Thunderbolt RAID Review

The DataTale Smart 4-bay Thunderbolt RAID is a trayless system that houses up to four drives (HDDs, SSDs or a mix) and is designed for creative professionals such as video or photo editors and SOHO users who need to leverage both performance and data security. From Oyen Digital, which creates high performance storage solutions, the device enables users to connect via Thunderbolt and configure RAID modes easily using the RAID MASTER GUI. The GUI enables the drives to be configured in JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10 and helps users to centralize and manage the device. Furthering functionality, the device is also Time Machine compatible, simplifying backup tasks.

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by Josh Shaman

Seagate Central Review

The Seagate Central is a consumer-friendly NAS device ranging up to 4TB in capacity that features an Ethernet port which enables users to centralize their content and share it over their wired or wireless network by plugging into a router. Behind the concept for the Central is the reality that most consumers have their content spread across flash drives, portable hard drives, several computers and mobile devices. The Central makes it simple to maintain that level of freedom to have files and media wherever they are initially stored, but while also creating more convenient access to have all of that content backed-up and readily-available in one place.

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by Josh Shaman

Buffalo DriveStation DDR Review (HD-GDU3)

The Buffalo DriveStation DDR is a USB 3.0 external storage device for both PCs and Macs that features 2TB and 3TB capacities and is designed to deliver greater performance than standard external drives by offering an additional 1GB cache for accelerated transfer speeds. The DriveStation DDR also includes the Buffalo Tools software suite for Windows which is designed to boost performance and enable users to backup their content and manage their device effectively. Additionally, DriveStation DDR is compatible with Time Machine and users can use Time Machine with DriveStation Axis to back up Macs.

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by Josh Shaman

Newer Technology miniStack MAX Review

Newer Technology's miniStack MAX functions as an external storage device, optical drive, SD media card reader and USB hub simultaneously while matching the footprint and taking styling cues from the Mac Mini. This design makes it a great companion to the Mac Mini or any desktop or notebook. The miniStack MAX interfaces over USB 3.0, two Firewire 800 ports or an eSATA connection. The machine also features a USB hub with a total of three USB 3.0 ports, two of which have been designed to charge less power-hungry devices while one offers 2.1Amp power to charge tablets and other devices. The miniStack MAX is designed for backup and general storage as well as the needs of creative professionals.

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by Josh Shaman

G-Technology Announces New Evolution Series and G-Drive Pro

G-Technology announced the launch of several new products today including the Evolution Series family and the G-Drive Pro. The Evolution Series is totally new and has been specifically designed with creative professionals such as media editors in mind. The series includes the G-Dock ev with two Thunderbolt ports as well as two drives which both support USB 3.0 and come in slim 2.5" form factors. The first drive is the G-Drive ev offered in 500GB and 1TB capacities, while the second model is the G-Drive ev Plus 1TB which is differentiated from the ev by its performance gains in transfer speeds. Additionally, the other product offered is the G-Drive Pro which is similar to the G-Technology 4TB G-Drive we recently reviewed, but this model offers a few added features including Thunderbolt.

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by Josh Shaman

WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB Review (WDBUSK0080JSL)

The Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB is an external storage unit that provides top-of-the-line capacity in a book-sized enclosure. Near the end of 2012, we reviewed the WD My Book Essential which provided the highest capacity on the market in a single hard drive at 4TB. Now, we're examining the WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo formatted specifically for Mac and available in 4TB, 6TB, or 8TB. Our test model comes with a whopping 8TB storage capacity. The Duo crams that exceptional storage capacity into a relatively small space using two 3.5" 4TB Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000's.

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