Buying even the simplest computer component can be a gamble if we don’t know what to do. We could check Amazon.com and there are more than a few customers who are disappointed, even if they have just bought products known for their functionality and reliability. This could happen the product we purchase doesn’t meet our expectation. This also applies on hard drives and there are a few things that we should keep in mind. We should be aware that every hard drive will eventually fail. This fact applies for both external and internal hard drives. Hard drives have moving parts and any mechanism will eventually fail one day. The platter (where data is stored) and the read-write head (the component to read and write data on the platter) will wear down after prolonged usages. This is something that we should expect and we can’t avoid it entirely.
We should also be aware that it is a bad idea to get sold on features alone. In fact, there are rarely killer features in the hard drive market. One-backup button feature and a package of multiple bundled software could sound appealing, but we should always prioritize on better features. There are dozens of options in the market, with different connection methods and capacity options. In this case, we should know how to weed out the alternatives. There are other more important things to consider, such as customer support, noise levels, warranty and probability of failure rate. Lower noise level is essential if our computer is located in our bedroom and we want to download large amount of files during the night. However, most modern hard drives are quiet enough, so this won’t be a major issue.
Performance could also be an essential factor and some new hard drive could actually perform like older 5400rpm models. This would be important when we are working with data-intensive software. In any case, our hard drive should be good at its primary job that is to keep our files. In any case, our hard drive should be up to the job in terms of being reliable for a long period of time. Obviously, a long-term warranty would allow us to feel much easier. The longer the company provide warranty, the more confident it is that their products will be able to work flawlessly for longer period of time. Many hard drive manufacturers guarantee that their products could work well for one year, but it is a good idea to look for manufacturers that are willing to provide two or three years of warranty. Some could even provide us with 5 years of warranty.
It is also a good idea to read both professional and user reviews about specific hard drive mode. Professional reviewers don’t only tell us which product is good for us, they could also inform us, which one is bad. Some hard drive models could be completely overpriced, have bad performance and show problems with the basic designs. Just because specific products have good review score, it doesn’t mean that they are good for us, but it is still a good indication that we should purchase the model. In many cases, professional reviewers couldn’t tell us about one thing: Reliability.