Neither of these research methods is a perfect indicator of the My Bookâs reliability, but they are the best we have. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. The Element doesn't require anything from the host at all, other than a USB port. It was significantly faster than the Seagate model in this test, but a little slower than the WD Easystore, falling short by 12.3 MB/s on reads and 5 MB/s on writes. Because the two drives appeared to be the same otherwise, we dismissed them. If you don't plan on using it to store sensitive data, this is an excellent drive to choose. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive. Like our top pick, the higher-capacity WD My Book has a low, 6 percent reported failure rate (judging from Amazon reviews), and it performed the best of the three 8Â TB options we tested. If you can find it for less than our current 8 TB pick, we encourage you to buy it; this model was the fastest 8 TB external hard drive in our HD Tune tests and Time Machine testing. We also timed the file transfer of a 45.5Â GB rip of a Blu-ray movie from start to finish, running each transfer three times and determining the average to rule out performance hiccups. Thatâs a lower failure rate than our top pick has, but the Elements has roughly half as many reviews at this writing, so the reported failure rate may not be comparable. Theyâre also designed to withstand a little more abuse (although one bump can still lead to failure). Using the included WD Discovery app, you can import your data from a cloud storage or social media account to your drive. Weâve collectively put in hundreds of hours researching and testing hard drives over the past few years. Â© 2021 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. You can read a more in-depth explanation of the program at the HD Tune website. In HD Tune testing, the 4Â TB WD My Book had a read speed of 143.8 megabytes per second and a write speed of 138.4 MB/s, operating a little faster than most of the competition. And it had the fastest Time Machine backup score of all the 4 TB drives we tested. âWhen Iâm done with video projects that arenât that important to meâbut I want to keep the original videos so I can eventually add them to my reelâitâs a great tool to free up some space on my Thunderbolt-editing drives.â, Wirecutter senior editor Nathan Edwards has owned the 6 TB version of the drive for more than a year, and he says: âIt's quieter than my old backup drive and relatively good-looking. On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that WD Elements Desktop is a more popular external hard drive, based on its 5,000+ reviewsâ¦ The 4 TB My Book is the most cost-effective drive we found at the time of our research and writing. About 5 percent of drives fail in the first 18 months of use, with the failure rate dipping to about 1.5 percent for another 18 months. Ideally, an external hard drive is something you donât notice much. Transparent OLED: See-through TV comes to tomorrow's beds, restaurants, subways, The all-digital CES continues on Tuesday, here's how you can watch it all on CNET, CNET Labs' USB 3.0 external drive performance, Twitter permanently suspends Trump's account, Why now is the worst time to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20, Discuss: WD Elements Portable drive review: Large, affordable and versatile, Windows XP or later; Mac OS 10.4 or later. *At the time of publishing, the price was $101. The Elements is about as reliable as the 4 TB My Book. High capacity in a compact design. So WD Elements Desktop, while being a pricier option, tends to get more favorable â reviews than the $45 WD Elements, as seen on the chart below. But all of the desktop drives we tested this year were good. Itâs a rather bizarre design with half of the â¦ Heâs very well versed in carrying. Wirecutter is reader-supported. In our â¦ 42 Reviews. We also looked at Backblazeâs hard drive reliability ratings from 2017, which are based on more than 90,000 drives the company uses in its cloud backup servers. For anyone who still needs an optical drive, the Asus ZenDrive U9M is the best DVD-only option, and the LG BP60NB10 is the best choice for Blu-ray discs. The new SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD is an extremely fast portable drive. WD Elements. Justin Krajeski is a staff writer reporting on everyday carry at Wirecutter. At three years of service, the failure rate jumps to almost 12 percent. The difference in transfer time wasnât substantial in any of our tests, though, and it costs about the same as the My Book per terabyte. It is 4.3 x 3.2 x 0.6 inches. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. So WD Elements Desktop, while being a cheaper option, tends to get more favorable â reviews than the $149 WD My Book, as seen on the chart below. Compared with our 8 TB pick, it was 17.4 MB/s slower in the HD Tune read test, and 31.2 MB/s slower in the write test. Because they perform so similarly, we recommend getting the cheapest desktop hard drive you can find from a trustworthy maker. Other drives from G-Tech, LaCie, OWC, and Transcend were too expensive, ranging from $140 to $420 for 4 TB modelsâ1.4 to 4.2 times as much as our top pick. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for WD 14TB Elements Desktop External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 at Amazon.com. There are a wide range â¦ The plastic enclosure feels â¦ This method has shortcomings: For one, people are more likely to post a review when they have a problem. While the two drives are very similar in most aspects, the Expansion is faster but the Element is cheaper. Backup servers are a very different environment than a box on your desk: Bare drives in servers are accessed more often and are subject to more vibrations and more heat, whereas drives in desktop enclosures have more potential points of failure between the power connector, the USB connector, and the USB-to-SATA logic board. Learn more. User Reviews (42) 82. The drive did not get hot during our testing, and although this My Book occasionally made a low humming noise while we moved files around, we donât think thatâs cause for concern; all of the drives we tested make some noise. It outperformed the WD My Book in most of our tests, but it costs nearly $20 more as of this writing. WD Elements 4TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive Black - Newegg.com However, it's fairly safe to say that WD Elements is a more popular external hard drive, based on its 80,000+ reviewsâ¦ Since the Element houses a low-power internal drive, I didn't expect it to blow me away with its performance, but the drive did quite well in testing nonetheless. When your internal drive is almost full your PC slows down. Preformatted NTFS for systems running Windows 10, 8.1, or 7, the 10TB Elements Desktop USB 3.0 External Hard Drive from WD provides users with up to 10TB of add-on storage for their photos, â¦ The 8Â TB My Book is just as reliable as our top pick, and it was about as fast in our Blu-ray and HD Tune tests, but about 4 minutes slower in our Time Machine testing. An external hard drive is an excellent way to keep your priceless data safe, and Western Digital (WD) has been in the business of making top-tier external storage devices since 2006. This result was better than that for the 8Â TB Seagate we tested, which had an 11 percent reported failure rate, or 62 noted failures out of 570 reviews on Amazon. Searching for a great show to binge? If youâre not backing up the important documents and photos on your computer, you should start. The WD Elements Portable drive is an excellent alternative to the Seagate Expansion. Â© 2021 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Western Digital WD Elements Desktop (4 TB), If you need more storage: WD My Book (8 TB), statistics from cloud backup service Backblaze, The Best External Optical Drives for DVDs and Blu-rays. I was able to shuck the drive from the enclosure and find a White label WD80EMAZ drive which is nearly identical to the RED labeled drive that is sought â¦ My Passport. It has the same software as our top pick too, but its warranty is only two yearsâone year less than the My Bookâs coverage. This model is a fine external drive, but because it costs about the same as our main pick and runner-up for slower performance, our picks are a better value. On an Xbox One, the drive was recognized immediately once plugged and once formatted by the game console, I could use it to store games, apps and content for playback. Since it â¦ But this approach is the best we have for now. Although prices on hard drives fluctuate frequently, our pick was the least expensive in its competitive field: At the time, it cost around $96, or $24 per terabyte, while the majority of the drives we tested cost more than $100. It also comes with a longer warranty than the other 8 TB options we tested, three years of coverage. This type of bare-bones design means the drive can work anywhere. Not sure what to watch on Amazon tonight? But that omission isnât a dealbreaker because dragging and dropping files or using some other free backup program is an equally good option. Many suffered from limited availability, too. Overview and unboxing of my WD (western digital) 6tb black hard drive. If the 4Â TB My Book is unavailable, or if its price goes up, WDâs 4 TB Elements desktop drive is a great second choice. Let's round up some of its best gems. Here's CNET's... Don't know what to watch tonight? Itâs a reliable drive, although it isnât quite as fast as our top pick. Judging from five years of data, Backblaze estimates that more than half of hard drives will last six years. In our testing, the Elements was about as quick as the 4Â TB My Book, falling behind in our Blu-ray transfer test by only 5 seconds. It only weighs 4.8oz. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Just backing up to one or the other isnât enough; having both on-site and cloud backups ensures that your data stays safe from localized threats such as fire, theft, or natural disaster, as well as Internet outages or disruptions to the cloud backup provider. The WD Elements range provides reliable high capacity storage with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 compatibility. The Easystore was about 2 minutes faster in this test. But curiously, another choice comes from another line at Western Digital, the Elements Desktop Drive. From desktop hard drives to NAS to portable solid-state drives, weâve spent hundreds of hours finding the best external drives for most people. The WD Easystore is available in both 4 TB and 8 TB capacities. Although Toshibaâs 4 TB Canvio for Desktop is a great desktop hard drive, itâs quite expensive. Personally, I'm totally happy with the WD Elements Portable drive and have no problems recommending it to most people. Apart from Windows and Mac computers, where the Elements worked without any issues, I also tried it with a few non-computer hosts; it proved to be compatible there as well. Also, in my opinion, the Elements is slightly better-looking. Although no hard drive is immune from failure, the WD My Book has proven reliable. While the 4 TB versionâs price is often double that of our top picks (around $200), the 8 TB modelâs price appears to fluctuate: The 8 TB Easystore cost around $160 as of this writing, but weâve previously seen it cost up $300. A desktop external hard drive is a great local backup for a computer that mostly stays parked on a desk. For each one, we ran HD Tune Pro, a benchmarking program that tests transfer speeds and access time across the entire disk. The 8 TB version of the Western Digital My Book offers reliability, fast transfer speeds, and more storage than our other picks. WD Black has launched a 6TB version (as well as a 5TB model) of the performance-driven family of consumer-grade hard disk drives, which is a 2TB increase in storage compared to the â¦ At the time of our research, the Seagate Backup Plus Hub for Mac was around $30 more expensive than the regular Seagate Backup Plus Hub we tested (and $40 more than our top pick). WD Red 4TB NAS Internal Hard Drives: This internal hard drive is uniquely designed for use in the â¦ We recently bought into a number of these WD Elements 8TB External USB 3.0 HDDâs for various benchmarks and â¦ But overall, these were average speeds for USB 3.0 portable drives, fast enough for all applications that require external storage, including movie playback, backup and app storage. Seagateâs 4 TB Backup Plus Hub fell behind our top pick in HD Tune testing by 15.8 MB/s on reads and 7 MB/s on writes. AVERAGE USER SCORE. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. Here are some of the best Netflix has to offer. Itâs cheaper per terabyte than the other My Book models, but it still costs around $170 at this writing, so we recommend it only if you know you need that much space. This model lacks backup software, though, and it has a shorter, two-year warranty. Because all of the drives we tested are good, though, we recommend you buy the cheapest option available if prices change. Although other external hard drives we tested (such as our runner-up pick) were similarly slow when writing files, none of them were as slow as the Seagate at reading them. However, these were some 20MBps slower than those of the Seagate Expansion. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The WD Elements has a two-year warranty, one year less than our top pick, and it doesnât come with any backup software. If your drive dies and you have a cloud backup, you wonât lose data, but restoring from the cloud will take a very long time. The 8Â TB My Book is cheaper, as of this writing, and available at more retailers than the 8Â TB WD Easystore. These are the features you should look for in a desktop hard drive, in rough order of importance: We also made note of drive noise and extra USB ports as we tested the external desktop hard drives. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our â¦ Note that the WD Elements also works with USB 2.0 but at much slower speeds; in the neighborhood of 30MBps for both writing and reading. Don't delete files. Improve PC performance. And when we backed up to the Elements with Time Machine, it was the second-fastest drive we tested, falling just behind our top pick. In our Blu-ray transfer test, all of the 4 TB drives we tested were within the margin of error of one another, but the 5 TB Toshiba Canvio was about 30 seconds faster than the competition. Also, because of the limited information available in some reviews, it can be hard to differentiate between hardware failures and software issues or user errors that could cause problems with a drive. We found the speed differences between them to be small: All but one of our finalists performed within about 20 seconds of one another when transferring a Blu-ray movie, and all completed a Time Machine backup within 4 minutes of one another. To spot any widespread reliability issues, we read through Amazon reviews for each of the drives we tested, and we counted the number of reported drive failures. Most of the drives performed similarly in these tests, except for the 4 TB Seagate Backup Plus Hub, which was notably slower. If this is an issue youâre facing, too, check out our instructions on how to do this. On the other hand, if keeping your data safe from prying eyes in case of loss or theft is a big concern, another drive, such as the Seagate Backup Plus Slim or the WD My Passport Slim will fit your needs better. WD backs the 4Â TB My Book with a three-year warranty, longer coverage than the competition offers. But if you frequently move between locations, a portable external drive is the better choice. Via USB 3.0, it registered a sustained real-world copy speed of more than 95MBps for writing and more than 100MBps for reading. It performed well in Blu-ray testing against our other 8 TB options and did fine in Time Machine tests, but it was notably slow during the HD Tune test. We havenât found any new desktop hard drives worth testing in late 2019, but we did collect another round of long-term test notes from our staff for the WD My Book and the WD Elements. Right now, that means the 4 TB WD My Book. We found just 21 reported failures out of 358 Amazon reviews of the 4Â TB model, or 6 percent. Currently the 8Â TB My Book costs about $70 more than our top pick, though, so we recommend it only if you want the extra storage. About half the drives we tested for this update are new, so they didnât have many Amazon reviews. These factors arenât dealbreakers, but they are good to keep in mind. The fastest desktop mechanical hard drive currently available. Western Digital Elements Portable Hard Drive is a great, budget-friendly option for both users who need more storage space & users whose laggy computers are driving them crazy. If you want more spaceâsay, you have a ton of large photos or videos or an existing media library and need room to expand in the futureâWestern Digitalâs 8 TB My Book is the best option. In HD Tune tests, the Elements had a slightly slower write speed compared with our top pick, but the two modelsâ read speeds were even. (We recommend the similarly performing WD 8 TB Easystore if itâs the same price asâor cheaper thanâthe 8Â TB My Book. (In addition, you can use it to permanently erase all the data on your drive.) After a new round of testing hard drives in 2020, we found that the 2 TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim is still the best portable hard drive for most people. The 8 TB Seagate Backup Plus Hub faced problems similar to those of the 4 TB model. A step-by-step guide to formatting your external hard drive, and what file systems are best for Windows File History and macOS Time Machine. At this writing, it costs only 46Â¢ more per terabyte, but prices fluctuate; if you find the Elements for less than the My Book, itâs a better buy. According to statistics from cloud backup service Backblaze, hard drives are most likely to fail either within the first 18 months of use or after three years. ... Western Digital WD Elements Desktop. If you spend most of your time working at one desk, you should get a desktop external drive. It should sit on your desk, quietly spinning away, storing and backing up your data without a lot of setup or ongoing maintenance. Here are our favorite new and old iPad games to play this year. Your computerâs internal drive will stop working someday, and unless your data is backed up, itâll be gone forever. It also has a shorter, one-year warranty and lacks backup software. The WD My Book Desktop Hard Drive. 5.0 out of 5 stars Had a WD White Label drive in it. The Elements' lack of features can be a good thing. After 20 hours of new research and testing, we found that the best external desktop hard drive for most people is Western Digitalâs 4 TB My Book. You can activate 256-AES encryption by downloading WDâs Security software, enabling it, and setting a password. The Elements is about as fast as our top pick: In our tests, its average write speed was 7.7 MB/s slower, and it took about 5 seconds longer to transfer a Blu-ray film, but those differences were within the margin of error. The Seagate Expansion Desktop was significantly slower than our top picks when we tested it in late 2016. In our Blu-ray transfer tests, the 8 TB WD My Book was quickâit read a large Blu-ray video file in 4 minutes, 28 seconds and wrote that file in 4 minutes, 27 seconds. The 8 TB Easystore had a mere 1.25 percent reported failure rate on Best Buyâs siteâ34 noted failures out of 2,708 reviewsâbut these results arenât directly comparable because theyâre from different retailers with different demographics and customer review systems. If you want us to review it drop us a line and we might just bump it to the front of our reviews queue. He previously wrote about tech at Wirecutter. The 4 TB My Book is reliable, fast, and cheaper than the competition. You should consider replacing your backup drives between the third and sixth year of use. Wirecutter lead software engineer Justin Yost told us that his wife has the 4 TB version of our top pick; she uses it as a back-up drive, and itâs been fine for the past year or so.Â One Wirecutter staffer wasnât able to figure out how to format their drive. The WD Elements Portable drive is an excellent alternative to the Seagate Expansion. Itâs a modern-looking hard drive in matte black with rounded edges. Fortunately, backing up your data is easy, and getting started takes only a few minutes: Read our advice and set up a system that will back up your files automatically both to an external hard drive and the cloud. Review WD Elements Buy WD 3TB Elements USB 3.0 External Desktop Hard Drive featuring 3TB Storage Capacity, Micro-USB 3.0 Interface (USB 3.1 Gen 1), USB 2.0 Compatible, Up to 5 Gb/s Data â¦ Wirecutter staffers have used the WD My Book in varying capacities over the years. This has been designed â¦ It was about as fast as the competition in all of our tests, itâs the least expensive drive we tested at this writing, and it has a longer warranty (three years) than the other contenders. We donât think the jump in speed is worth spending that much more money for most people, because it didnât offer a noticeable improvement. The drives come with a two-year warranty and have been formatted to NTFS. The Elements drives are focused on portability, stripping away the bulky enclosures and power supplies of desktop hard drives in favor of a slim form factor. The WD 10TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive, about $225 (order code WDBWLG0100HBK-NESN), is a USB 3.0 (backward USB 2.0 compatibility) that delivers on transfer â¦ If you see the price on the Easystore come down, though, itâs worth buying. Backblazeâs 2017 report notes that WDâs 4 TB drives had a low, 2.2 percent annualized failure rate. Western Digitalâs 4 TB Elements is about as fast as our top pick, but its warranty doesnât last as long. Customers like WD Elements Desktop noticeably more WD Elements Desktop, the pricier option, tends to get more favorable reviews than Seagate Expansion Desktop Portable [ 4.6 vs 4.5 ]. Most of the drives we tested performed similarly, with the 4 TB WD My Book having a slight edge in most of our tests. The My Book is reliable, fast, and less expensive than the other desktop drives we tested, plus it has enough space for your future storage needs and a long, three-year warranty. If the 4Â TB My Book is out of stock or the price goes up, Western Digitalâs 4 TB Elements is a great and dependable alternative. A password-protected drive, for example, will need its host to run software to enable you to type in the password before it can get connected. After narrowing our list of finalists by price and capacity, we tested four 4Â TB desktop hard drives and three 8Â TB models. Because the Easystore is usually more expensive, we think the My Book is the better 8Â TB choice for most peopleâs needs.). Although it was technically the slowest of the three 8Â TB models we tested in this regard, all three performed within 15 seconds of one another in this test. Buy it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YxmzPlMy Setup Gear: https://amzn.to/35mYQpXThis WD 4TB portable hard drive is one the best in the market! I don't bother it and it doesn't bother me, and my computer is backed up, so that seems good.â. Even so, the Backblaze study is the largest, most recent sample of hard drive failures we have access to, and itâs always a fascinating read. WD Elements 6TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive Black - Newegg.com Wirecutter has researched and recommended hard drives since early 2012, and our PC team has over eight years of combined experience testing hard drives and solid-state drivesâas your guide, Iâve spent the past two years reviewing hard drives and portable SSDs, too. Drives are very similar in most of our tests, except for the 4 TB My Book has proven.. 'S round up some of its best gems frequently move between locations, Portable. An affiliate commission can import your data is backed up, itâll be gone forever at any time our... 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