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 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. 

Read more
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).

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
by Josh Shaman

G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE Review (0G02537)

The G-Technology G-DRIVE 4TB is a high-capacity desktop storage device. Just a couple of weeks ago, we reviewed its sibling G-DRIVE mini 1TB and found a lot to like leaving us with high expectations for this bigger brother. The G-DRIVE 4TB is an update on previous models and now offers USB 3.0 connectivity and doubled capacity at 4TB. This model is designed for Mac users who want a sleek, rugged enclosure that has loads of connectivity. In line with the rest of the HGST G-Technology, the G-DRIVE 4TB is likely to be a favorite amongst Mac users and creative professionals for its style, performance, and reliability.

Read more
by Josh Linden

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt RAID Review

Earlier this month LaCie announced the availability of its new 5big Thunderbolt RAID, a DAS targeting Mac-based digital content creators and other prosumers looking to leverage Thunderbolt’s data transfer bandwidth. Like other members of LaCie’s 5big family, such as the 5big Office + that StorageReview benchmarked in June 2012, the 5big Thunderbolt features five 3.5-inch SATA drive bays. Prepopulated with five 4TB drives, our review unit attains the 5big Thunderbolt’s maximum capacity of 20TB.

Read more
by Josh Linden

LaCie 2big Thunderbolt RAID DAS Review

Earlier this year, LaCie announced a lineup of new storage devices with Thunderbolt connectivity. The 2big Thunderbolt features two hard drives that can be operated in RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD, allowing the user to take advantage of Thunderbolt's high-speed data transfers for storage-intensive workstation applications in RAID 0 or to serve as portable storage with a redundant backup in RAID 1. With two Thunderbolt ports, the 2big can also daisy chain with other Thunderbolt devices.

Read more