Best Options for Storage Devices - Seeking Recommendations

I’m looking for new storage devices and wondering what the community recommends. I need reliable options for storing large files, and my primary focus is durability and ample storage capacity. I’ve encountered various brands and models, but the choices are overwhelming. Can anyone share their experiences with different storage devices and suggest the best ones? I must make an informed decision before I buy storage devices; your insights would benefit me. Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations you can provide!

As-salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmaa Tu’lahi Wa Brakatu,

Depending on your needs, which I’ll outline below, I wouldn’t be focused on brand.

In brand terms, anything that offers enterprise solutions (basically warranty and support for long term) is good. Some good brands for enterprise are:

  1. Seagate
  2. Western Digital
  3. well-known other brands; SanDisk, Kingston, Transcend

In terms of technology, there is primarily two mainstream, one lesser known, and a few purposes driven:

  1. mainstream 1: HDD. Cheaper, slower, larger capacity
  2. mainstream 2: SSD. Expensive, faster, wide range of capacity.
  3. lesser known, SSHD. A precursor to SSD, it’s a HDD with SSD caching which allows faster data retrieval for commonly accessed data but shares the same general characteristics as a HDD
  4. Purpose drive, Magnetic Disk. Slowest option but with largest capacity. Almost exclusively for data archiving and backups.

Why HDD:

  1. very cheap with choices to move between the price spectrum taking in HDD speeds and capacity
  2. easily used as internal drives and as external with purchase of external enclosures
  3. runs for a longer time, very durable

Why not HDD:

  1. not as safer as other alternatives, if it drops or a power cut happens then data can be corrupted
  2. large and bulky but smaller versions exist but still the bigger of the alternatives
  3. requires, often, a higher power supply than the other alternatives. Used as an external drive will require additional power

Why SSD:

  1. extremely fast, they are Solid State so no moving parts
  2. can survive a drop most times and due to lack of mechanical parts it’s also physically durable
  3. a wide range of implementation; traditional SSD, M.2, SATA, external/U2

Why not SSD:

  1. expensive for large storage
  2. a lot of implementations possible causing incompatibility issues (potentially)
  3. has a smaller usage time as it has a r/w capacity

SSHD is essentially the same as a HDD but slightly more expensive and slightly more faster for recently or often accessed data.

Magnetic Tape is and should be primarily used for backup and archiving, if you store anything on it then accessing data will be difficult and slow.

Your other option is cloud storage either via personal cloud storage or cloud computing storage.

What’s the difference?

Personal cloud storage such as DropBox, Google One, or OneDrive. Can be fairly cheap on the right setup and deal. Very good for sharing files and setting up personal links and permissions.

Cloud computing storage can be accessible via AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google Cloud, or Azure.

These are more geared towards cloud computing and can be expensive but there are plans in place for per gigabyte storage. So, instead of having and paying for 2TB of cloud storage and only storing 100GB you can specify use and pay for 100GB or even some cases 101GB etc.

You can also look at enterprise deals for the personal cloud storage offers I listed.

My personal data usage setup is:

  1. Intel 1TB M.2 SSD for main storage
  2. Seagate 2TB for cheaper secondary storage
  3. Seagate 2TB external storage attached to my home server for storing photos and movies
  4. Google One 2TB cloud storage for the families phones and sharing files with relatives/friends.

Depending on the types of files, sizes, and access you can choose a bunch.

For a general setup I would recommend:

  1. 5TB HDD
  2. 5TB HDD for RAID/mirroring to backup from the top storage
  3. 1TB SSD for any fast access needs such as day to day use or editing
  4. 100GB cloud storage for easy sharing

I personally love Seagate and Western Digital because they’re cheap and stuff like SanDisk or Samsung for commercial SSD. I have an Intel M.2 SSD because it was cheap at the time and fit nicely with my setup.