Five rugged hard drives to protect your files
When the going gets tough - you’ll need a rugged hard drive to protect your data
There are dozens of portable hard drives now available that you can use to back-up your MacBook when you’re on the move and, like the new super-slimline MacBook, many of these drives put their emphasis on lightweight design and portability.
A pocket-size portable drive might be fine if you’re tapping away on your laptop in a coffee shop, but there are times when you need something a little sturdier to protect your important files. If you’re working outdoors on a photoshoot then you need to know that your hard drive can cope with a sudden burst of rain, or exposure to dust or sand. There are plenty of other people who can benefit from a really rugged hard drive too - a musician in a nightclub, an engineer on a building site, or just rugged outdoorsy types who like to take their laptops on holiday with them… or just those who are prone to dropping things!
Not surprisingly, the extra-rugged design of these hard drives means that they are generally bigger and heavier than their more portable counterparts. But you shouldn’t judge a hard drive by its cover. Manufacturers often boast about ‘military-standard protection’ - but that doesn’t mean anything unless you know which particular military standard they’re talking about. It’s worth doing a little research to see if the manufacturer quotes a ‘drop-test’ figure that tells you if the drive can survive being dropped from a specific height. Many drives will also include an ‘IP’ rating - ingress protection - that indicates the drive’s ability to resist water and dust.
Some people might prefer to opt for solid-state drives as they don’t have any moving parts that can get damaged. However, solid-state drives are still very expensive and their electrical components are also susceptible to water damage, just like an ordinary hard drive. So, if you work or play in the great outdoors then these rugged drives are some of the best currently around at keeping your files safe. Cliff Joseph
You need to know that your hard drive can cope with a sudden burst of rain, or exposure to dust