TechLife Australia

What you need to store your photos — and how

KEY THINGS YOU NEED TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING AND USING A HARD DRIVE TO ARCHIVE YOUR IMAGES

- [ TECHLIFE TEAM ]

CONNECTION­S

To improve compatibil­ity and buy a degree of future-proofing, choose an external hard drive that offers more than one connection port, such as USB and FireWire. With portable hard drives, you may have to make do with just USB.

CAPACITY

Aim for a drive that offers several terabytes (TB) of space. A 1TB drive is equivalent to 1,000GB — or somewhere in the range of 30,000 RAW files from a 30.1MP Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

RELIABILIT­Y

More important than capacity and (arguably) cost, but hard to measure — although online computer backup company Backblaze ( backblaze.com) does its best. It has more than 40,000 hard drives in service and posts annual reliabilit­y reports that make interestin­g reading.

SPEED

Slow-spinning hard disk spins extend the time it takes for photos to be copied across. All things being equal, a 5,400rpm drive handles data at about 2/3 the speed of a 7,200rpm drive.

NOISE LEVELS

Noise only becomes an issue if you’re sitting alongside a hard drive for long periods. Drives are usually noisy when the fans kick in to reduce operating temperatur­e.

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