Question Which would be better: an external hard drive (such as WD My Book) or two HHDs in a docking station?

Apr 24, 2020
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I am considering getting an external hard drive for added back up storage.

However, the limited warranties (at best, 3 years with most at 1 year) and reviews on some external hard drives (such as WD's My Book 8 TB) has me wondering if perhaps it would be better to go with two long-warranty HD's in a dual docking station?

I understand that with a docking station, you'd not have the software to automatically back up files straight "out of the box," but it seems you'd have a better guarantee and HDs that seem to be more efficient than those used in external HDs nowadays.

Any recommendations?

Thank you.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
I would not consider a dual docking station per se. Even if the docking station holds two HDD's the HDD's are dependent on single point of failure.

And I would not put any faith in the "automatic back up software" included with such products either.

You need redundancy that includes different/multiple storage locations both on and off site. And well known working backup software that will execute your backup schedule(s).

There are some very good storage experts who regularly follow this category.

And will comment accordingly.
 
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Bob.B

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Feb 8, 2021
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I am considering getting an external hard drive for added back up storage.

However, the limited warranties (at best, 3 years with most at 1 year) and reviews on some external hard drives (such as WD's My Book 8 TB) has me wondering if perhaps it would be better to go with two long-warranty HD's in a dual docking station?

I understand that with a docking station, you'd not have the software to automatically back up files straight "out of the box," but it seems you'd have a better guarantee and HDs that seem to be more efficient than those used in external HDs nowadays.

Any recommendations?

Thank you.
I don't think there is a one size fits all backup method.
Think about how much data your going to backup.
How often you want to backup.
How many copies of the backup do you want.

I can see where a docking station would fit some folks.
 
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USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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My personal procedure is the first one here:

Instead of a NAS, could easily be reduced to a couple of external drives.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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I have about 2 TB of info (expected to grow more in the new near future) of info I'd like to back up. Mostly graphics files for illustration purposes and multimedia. Many are large sized files. Would this information help in selection an option?

From what I am seeing, perhaps the external hard drive, such as a WD passport 5 TB or Seagate 8 TB may be a good option?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I have about 2 TB of info (expected to grow more in the new near future) of info I'd like to back up. Mostly graphics files for illustration purposes and multimedia. Many are large sized files. Would this information help in selection an option?

From what I am seeing, perhaps the external hard drive, such as a WD passport 5 TB or Seagate 8 TB may be a good option?
Either.
Just don't use the included "backup software".

Basic concept of 3-2-1.
At least 3 copies, on 2 different media, at least 1 offsite or otherwise offline.
 
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Bob.B

Prominent
Feb 8, 2021
530
53
490
7
I have about 2 TB of info (expected to grow more in the new near future) of info I'd like to back up. Mostly graphics files for illustration purposes and multimedia. Many are large sized files. Would this information help in selection an option?

From what I am seeing, perhaps the external hard drive, such as a WD passport 5 TB or Seagate 8 TB may be a good option?
It's a trade off.
Ext hdd pkg is cheaper but shorter warranty.
Ext hdd and a docking station is more expensive but longer warranty.
 
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Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
My thoughts:

External = "Portable" = "Unplug, grab, and run" if time/safety permits. No guarantees there.

If no time or not home then that is why there should be (as stated) an off-site storage location.

Think about it: In the next 10 minutes a police officer drives down the street with a speaker blaring that you have 5 minutes evacuate and leave your home....

What do you do? What if you are not even home and blocked from returning? Scares me and I like to think I am ready..... Not easy to load a 90 pound safe.

And many people do not truly realize how dependent we have all become with respect to our computers and other devices. Especially when those devices are now part of our ability to identify ourselves. 2 factor authentication with a 6 digit code sent/texted/messaged to a specific cell phone number.

Seems to be becoming more and more of a common practice.

Without that physical device regaining access to accounts (although possible and likely) is going to be overall difficult.

Stuff stored in safes, basements, attics, etc. may offer some protection but a house fire causes heat damage, water damage, and physical damage (collapse) that few devices and/or media will survive.

Family member passed away a couple of years ago. Quite a bit of financial information (paperless) was electronically stored on a computer and a cell phone. Account information, passwords, etc. were sometimes scribbled on paper scraps. Made everything quite problematic even with intact hardware.

Think beyond data.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Think beyond data.
Yep.
I have a copy of any life changing info on a hard drive in a desk drawer at work.
That is my "cloud", 4th level backup.

Account nums, scans of drivers licenses, birth certs, etc, etc.

As per my link above, all my house systems back up tot he NAS. Daily/weekly, whatever.
That is mostly to protect against accidental deletion, corruption, virus, etc.
Or even a totally dead drive (which has happened).

A massive fire/flood that takes out the house?
I'd be a bit miffed that my movie collection is 'gone'. But that is not life changing.


Speaking of that drive...its about time to update it.
 
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Apr 24, 2020
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Why does it have to be external?
Why not use internal drives instead?
Editing: I misread the statement.

I've no issue with using an "internal" hard drive in a docking station or enclosure if it comes down to it. If in reference to using a space within the actual computer, then that would be an issue since all docks are already occupied.
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

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Macrium? I'll look into it, then! Thank you! :D
I have a designated folder on my NAS.
Each system, and each drive individually, gets a subfolder in there.

My HTPC does a weekly full drive Image.
Wifes system, every other night.
My main system, a full image followed by a rolling series of Incrementals. Every night.

Schedule is all up to you. Frequency, retention, type.

And I've had to actually use it to recover from a totally dead drive.
Put in a new 1TB, click click...all 605GB data recovered exactly as it was at 4AM that morning, when the nightly incremental ran for that drive.
 
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