10 best external hard drives 2014: What's the best external hard drive you can buy in the UK?
The best desktop hard drives you can buy in the UK in 2014
By Matt Egan | PC Advisor | 07 November 14
Priced at around £160 inc VAT, the 1TB version of the Aero (500GB and driveless versions are also available) competes directly opposite the Corsair Voyager Air, and it's more expensive than the Seagate Wireless Plus. The Aero is a good product. It just happens to be up against stiff competition.
The Toshiba Stor.E Basics 2 TB is a straightforward little black box that can take care of portable bulk storage for not a lot of cash.
The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt SSD isn't without its flaws. Its price will keep it out of the reach of most users – though it's well worth the cost if you can stretch to it – and while Thunderbolt can certainly deliver power, the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt SSD has to be plugged into the mains. Even so, its blistering performance alone makes it a winner.
The more time we spent testing this unit, the more respect we had for its incredible performance. Relatively quiet in use, the G-Technology G-RAID with Thunderbolt nevertheless proved to be a powerhouse in both capacity and performance. With that huge 8TB of storage on offer, accessible at real-world speeds consistently exceeding 300 MBps, the G-RAID offers size and speed that should satisfy any media professional or Mac power user.
If you have the need for a high performance drive, and are willing to drop £679 on 2TB, then the My Book VelociRaptor Duo is a great choice. In our tests, this drive more than exceeded our expectations, posting faster transfer speeds than most drives we've seen. Its myriad of other features made it incredibly easy to set up and use, and with two 10,000-rpm drive mechanisms and two Thunderbolt ports, this drive is the stuff media professionals dreams are made of.
The addition of USB 3.0 to the G-Technology G-DRIVE is very welcome. Previously the only way to match the performance of the disk was through eSATA, almost entirely limited to Windows systems. Now both Windows PC and Apple Macs can take advantage of the high-performace Hitachi disks inside, in a robust and stylish chassis.
If there’s a flaw, it’s the DiskStation’s case. Beautifully designed as it is, it’s plastic and - though solid and robust for the most part - it feels thin in places. The hum of twin drives conducts noisily through the unit. That’s not a terrible thing by any means - perhaps we’ve been spoiled by the industrial build quality of some of the other enclosures in the review. Overall, it’s a very powerful and holistically well designed piece of kit.
The WD My Passport Edge for Mac 500GB is a fast and stylish portable drive, embued with category-defining build quality and attractively slim dimensions. This covetable piece of storage technology is also competitively priced given its performance and supreme finish.
If you need storage that's available from just about everywhere, and you don't want to rely on a third-party cloud service to provide it, WD's My Cloud is a brilliant solution.
The Micro SSD is a long-awaited storage device – a tiny, portable flash-based drive that can approach the kind of performance promised by the USB 3.0 standard, high speed that’s been waiting to be released from modern flash memory. Setup and operation is tricky in Windows, affected by choice of OS version and motherboards, and will usually require additional drivers. Operation in OS X was flawless, making this an easy recommendation for Mac users especially.