Desktop Storage (External) Reviews
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 Tucker Mindrum

LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 2 Review

The LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 2 is a recently released desktop storage solution catered to media enthusiasts and professionals. It comes in capacities of 6, 8, and 12TB, and could provide up to 60TB of storage if five 2bigs are daisy-chained together. The 2big was designed to be compatible with both Macs and PCs, providing Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity (the former of which results in an impressive 420MB/s reported read when equipped with 12TB and configured in RAID0) and compatibility with Time Machine or Windows Backup if professional-grade backup solutions are desired. This device would be best implemented in the storage of large audio, photo, or video libraries, especially where frequent transfers are needed.

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by Lyle Smith

Drobo Review (Gen 3)

Created by Connected Data, the Drobo Gen 3 is a direct attached storage device (DAS) with four 3.5" SATA II/III HDD carrier-less bays and one USB 3.0 connection port. The new Drobo sports a new design and continues Connected Data’s focus on simplicity for their storage solutions. For example, this simplicity includes the ability to use drives from any manufacturer, capacity, and spindle speed with no carriers or tools required for installation. This type of functionality is definitely welcomed, making this little storage solution quite a versatile DAS.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Book Duo Review

The WD My Book Duo is the newest addition to the company’s easy-to-use family of desktop storage solutions for both the home and office, which is comprised of two WD Red drives (which are optimized for small RAID environments), hardware-level RAID, and USB 3.0. The My Book Duo comes bundled with software that creates secure local, cloud and system-level backups for a complete data protection package. Quoted to boast transfer speeds of up to 290MB/s, WD’s newest desktop storage solution comes preconfigured in RAID0 (for performance and capacity) and allows users to configure the My Book Duo to mirror mode (RAID1) for increased data protection as well as the JBOD configuration so that users can work with the drives individually.

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate Backup Plus 5TB External Hard Drive Review (STDT5000100)

The Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB is an external hard drive with plenty of capacity. With more devices creating content, consumers find that they need more and more room to backup or store their data. Storing all one’s data from a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and social media can quickly added up to large amounts of storage space. The Backup Plus 5TB is USB 3.0 connected and supports Windows 7,8, Vista, and XP as well as Mac OS 10.4.6 and later. Users can install the preloaded NTFS driver for Mac and then use the drive back and forth between Windows and Mac without reformatting.

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by Lyle Smith

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 Review

The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is a palm-size, mobile drive designed for creative professionals who want to stream and edit their HD (4K or 3D) video at home as well as in the field, a much desired feature for consumers with mobile creative workflows. The new LaCie drive quotes blistering read speeds of 1,375MB/s in addition to dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for daisy chaining, a nice compact size for field-based creative workflows, and virtually silent dual cooling. The new LaCie drive also comes equipped with a set of PCIe SSDs preconfigured in RAID 0, which is definitely a welcomed out-of-the-box feature. 

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by Adam Armstrong

CalDigit T3 Review

The Caldigit T3 is a 3-Bay Thunderbolt direct attached storage enclosure that is unique in that the device allows users to employ RAID 0 or RAID 1 with two drives, while also allowing JBOD for the third. This feature alone gives the T3 substantial versatility, which depending on use cases can get even better thanks to support for both 2.5" SSD drives and 3.5" HDD drives. The T3 has a maximum capacity of 12TB with HDDs and up to 3TB with SSDs across the three bays.

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by Alexandra Haskell

G-Technology G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt Review

The G-Dock ev with Thunderbolt is designed for heavy media users needing high performance transfer speeds and the ability to work on digital content efficiently. The G-Dock is a one of a kind dual-bay storage system and ships with two G-Drive ev hard drives that are dual purpose. Plug the cartridge-esque hard drives into the G-Dock to experience the high performance Thunderbolt interface. Take the drives out and connect via USB 3.0 for fast portable drive access. While the G-Dock ev is built around on-the-go Mac users who need portable storage at the desk and on the go, the ev also offers flexibility for unique workflows like production workflows that require the frequent sharing of large file sets.  Read more

by Brian Beeler

WD My Book and My Book for Mac Review

WD recently updated their My Book external desktop hard drive line for both the Mac and PC audiences. The new drives feature a redesigned enclosure that better aligns with modern design and updates to WD's suite of software that comes with each drive. The My Book for PC comes in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacities while the My Book for Mac tops out at 3TB. Both drives ship with a USB 3.0 interface for rapid access to the hard drive inside. 

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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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