Whether you should choose an external hard drive or cloud storage has been a popular question of debate, but we say why not choose both? Today we have brought some of the best external hard drives with cloud capabilities that will ensure that you can enjoy the features of cloud as well as external hard drives.
Things to know before buying an external hard drive
There are a couple of things that you should look for in an external hard drive before purchasing it.
- Storage Capacity:
The first and foremost thing you need to do is evaluate your storage capacity needs. Go through all your files and folders and calculate what will be an ideal storage amount for you. After this, you can select the correct hard drive storage since they come in a range of 250GB to several terabytes.
These days, computers have different types of hardware and operating systems and many manufacturers sell hard drives compatible with a particular system only. Thus, whether you are a Windows, Mac, or Linux user, you should always check if the hard drive you are about to purchase is compatible with your system or not.
Speed can be a matter of personal preference and you should check for the hard drive with speed matching your needs. If you constantly need to carry large amounts of data then a hard drive with greater speed should be preferred otherwise a medium speed range hard drive should be sufficient.
Portability is an important factor and you should always check for the size and weight of the hard drive before purchasing it so that you don’t end up with a hard drive that is too difficult to carry around.
5 Best External Hard Drives with Cloud Capabilities
Let us take a look at some of the hard drives that also promise cloud capabilities.
1. Western Digital My Cloud
My Cloud is a hybrid NAS drive that comes in five different variants providing 2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, and 8 TB of hard drive storage. The main feature of My Cloud is that it comes with cloud storage capabilities and you can easily access your cloud storage across a wide range of devices.
- Centralized Storage Space: You can store and handle data across multiple devices from a single place using My Cloud and a centralized file-sharing hub.
- Cloud Compatibility: The My Cloud app supports connection with several well-known cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. so that you can transfer data among your cloud storage and you can even use My Cloud’s personal cloud storage.
- Automatic Backup and Sync: My Cloud automatically synchronizes your data across all your connected devices and also offers flexible backup options for backing up your photos and videos to the cloud, so that your data is secured and easily accessible.
- Mobile and remote access: My Cloud offers easy remote file access through its desktop application for Windows and Mac users or the My Cloud app for Android and iOS users.
2. Seagate Backup Plus
The Seagate Backup Plus is an external hard drive that is available in four models of 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, and 10TB size. It has the best combination of features of an external hard drive as well as cloud storage making it the perfect fit for users who are in search of lots of storage space on the go.
- Large cloud storage: The best feature of Seagate Backup Plus is that it comes with 200GB of extra OneDrive cloud storage which makes it way better than other hard drives in the market.
- Great backup for PC and Mac computers: With the combined help of cloud storage and hard drive storage, you can back up large amounts of data across several devices.
- Great in-built features: The hard drive comes with amazing features such as dual front-facing, high-speed USB 3.0 ports that can be used to easily charge mobile devices and transfer files. It also comes with a complimentary four-month membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan’s awesome photo and video editing apps.
- Centralized backup and storage: Using the Seagate Toolkit software, you can enjoy one-click backups, or schedule automatic daily, weekly, or monthly backups and handle your entire storage through one centralized system.
3. Toshiba Canvio Connect II
If you are looking for a smart solution to turn your PC into your personal cloud storage server, then Toshiba Canvio Connect II is the best option for you. This HDD storage comes in sizes ranging from 500 GB up to 3TB. The best catch is that users also get access to 10GB of backup cloud storage in addition to the hard drive storage. The Connect II hard drive comes in models of white, blue, black, red, and satin gold.
- Secure: The Connect II comes with password-protected encryption features to ensure proper security for your data.
- Best for cloud backup: With cloud-enabled backup, Toshiba Canvio Connect II is the best choice for a virtual backup that can be accessed anytime and is highly secure.
- Portable: With a pocket-sized, stylish, and easy to carry hard drive with multiple color options, you can keep your data with you at all times.
- Easy set-up: The hard drive comes with a simple user interface and with the PogoPlus software users can easily set up a cloud server through a desktop or laptop.
4. Western Digital My Book Duo
The My Book Duo offers 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 12TB, and 16TB storage capacities. It has amazing cloud capabilities and you can integrate it with your DropBox cloud storage in order to back up your Dropbox storage to the My Book Duo hard disk.
- Fast Data Transfer: My Book Duo comes with ultra-fast and optimized data transfer speeds to deliver lightning-fast data transfer speeds.
- Centralized Storage: It provides a centralized storage system and all your photos, videos and files are centralized on a single drive and automatically duplicated onto the second drive for double data protection.
- Compatible: My Book Duo is the ultimate desktop storage solution that is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems.
- Automatic backup: With the WD SmartWare backup software you can automatically backup your data to the cloud server with minimal impact on your PC.
5. Western Digital My Cloud Mirror
My Cloud Mirror is an external hard drive with cloud support that is similar to My Cloud in its features. It is a dual-drive with a RAID 1 configuration that comes in 4 TB, 6 TB, 8 TB, and 16 TB models. My Cloud Mirror can be easily integrated with cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive to transfer data between them and the HDD also includes Amazon s3 and ElephantDrive cloud backup options.
- Easy access: All your data is just a single click away and you can use a web browser or the My Cloud app to directly connect to your personal cloud through mobile, tablet, or PC.
- Seamless Content Syncing: The WD Sync automatically synchronizes your data across all connected devices and the My Cloud Mirror unit, so that your important files are always up to date and accessible everywhere.
- Automatic backup: The in-built features help in automatically backing up all the PC and Mac computers in your home to your My Cloud Mirror device.
- Double Protection: All the files, photos, and videos are stored on a single drive and they are also duplicated onto a second drive for double data protection.
FAQs on Best external hard drive with cloud capabilities
How long do external hard drives last?
The average age for an external hard drive is around 3 to 5 years and hard drives can last even longer or shorter than that depending on how you use the hard drive and take care of it.
Are cloud services safe?
It is generally considered that your data is relatively safer in the cloud than in a hard drive because cloud storage is located in a remote server and they also deploy advanced encryption techniques and security protocols to safeguard the user’s data.
Can you leave external hard drives on all the time?
While some people believe that leaving a hard drive on at all times is a waste of energy and puts a strain on the drive’s mechanism, it is not a tested theory. If you require your hard drive to be on at all times then you can do so, but the only concern here is that in that case, your hard drive will become more vulnerable to attacks and breaches. Thus, it is suggested to give little breaks to your external hard drive usage.