IT Show 2013 - Cameras, Printers, Monitors & Storage Buying Guide

External Storage

External Storage Buying Guide

Whether you are looking for an internal or external hard drive, you would be spoiled for choice at IT Show 2013. Look around you and you would be amazed and dazzled by the sheer selection of drives. Read on as we give you some tips on choosing a drive that’s right for you and also show you some of the standout deals from the show.



External hard drives can be broadly divided into three categories - desktop drives, portable drives and network-attached storage. Desktop drives are so-called because they require an external power source (typically from a power socket) and usually employ the use of larger 3.5-inch hard drives inside them. They sacrifice portability for storage and you can find drives with as much as 8TB of storage space. Portable hard drives do not require an external power source and are smaller in capacity, usually topping out at 2TB. Inside these drives, you will find a 2.5-inch mechanical hard disk. Finally, network-attached storage are like desktop drives except that they are specialized computers that function as file servers so that data can be shared amongst clients on a network.




Desktop drives require an external power source to work, hence the name. They typically come with larger capacities, with high-end ones having as much as 8TB of storage space and can even be configured in RAID 0 or 1 configurations for performance or redundancy.



Portable drives are highly portable and typically come in 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of storage. Their portability makes them ideal for transferring large files between systems or as an expansion drive for your notebook.



Network-attached storage drives are ideal for users who need to share data frequently amongst many systems on a network. These drives are typically meant for enthusiasts or SOHO users. Their capacity is dependent on how many drive bays they have, and they often have security features built into them.



Capacity: As with all things storage-related, be sure to get an external hard disk that fits your storage requirements. These devices are not meant to be user-upgradeable, so you want to get the largest one possible to maximize your spending. For NAS drives, pick one that has enough drive bays to allow for future expansion. NAS meant for home and SOHO usage typically offer two to four drive bays.

Interface: The standard interface for most external hard drives today is USB 3.0. However, do take note that your system needs to have USB 3.0 ports to be able to take advantage of USB 3.0’s speed advantage. USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0.

Thunderbolt is the latest high-speed interface that’s capable of up to 20Gbps of throughput (considering bidirectional transfers). This is many times faster than USB 3.0 and FireWire 800. Thunderbolt is presently found on a handful of drives and their usefulness is still being debated, considering the drive within external storage devices are typically mechanical hard drives that are not fast enough to take advantage of Thunderbolt’s tremendous bandwidth.

Personal Cloud Storage: Increasingly, we are seeing external drives that provide cloud storage services. With this, users can access files on their external hard drive from anywhere in the world so long as they have a working Internet connection. This differs from cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive and Dropbox in that there’s no need for subscription fees and the data is stored in your own external hard drive as opposed to some server in some unknown location on Earth.

Ease of use: This is more applicable to NAS drives which can be difficult or tedious to setup. Look for one that is user-friendly or offers some kind of a quick-installation feature.

Check out the latest PRODUCTS at our HardwareZone External Storage Product Guide.


External Storage Deals at the Show

Here are some highlighted external storage deals at the IT Show this year.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt

If you find yourself often transferring data between systems with and without Thunderbolt connectivity, you might want to invest in one of these. The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt has both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectors in its all-white enclosure, ensuring you have the speediest connection for whatever situation.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $239 (Usual Price: $299)
  • Brochure



Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro (500GB)

The Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro is unique amongst portable hard drives because it is one of the few to employ the use of a 7200rp hard disk. This makes it one of the speedier portable hard drives around.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $68.90 (Usual Price: $109)
  • Brochure



Seagate Backup Plus (1TB)

The winner of our Tech Awards 2013 for best USB 3.0 portable hard drive, the Seagate Backup Plus is a speedy drive that can be synced to backup your photos on Facebook.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $99 (Usual Price: $129)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free pouch
  • Brochure



Seagate Backup Plus Desk (4TB)

If you are looking for big storage, the Seagate Backup Plus Desk 4TB is one of the most value for money desktop external hard drives at the show.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $249 (Usual Price: $269)
  • Brochure



Western Digital VelociRaptor Duo (2TB)

For enthusiasts who want performance, the Western Digital VelociRaptor Duo features two ultra-fast 10,000rpm VelociRaptor drives which can be configured in RAID 1 or 0. It also uses the latest high-speed Thunderbolt interface for the quickest possible transfers.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $1199 (Usual Price: $1299)
  • Brochure




Synology DS412+

The Synology DS412+ is a speedy NAS drive that is easy to setup and use. It has four drive bays and is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom D2700 processor. If the four drive bays are not enough, there's even an eSATA port for even more storage.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: $799 (Usual Price: $1100)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free copy of Acronis TrueImage
  • Brochure


  • LEVEL B2, BOOTH B138 & B276
  • Memory World, LEVEL 1, BOOTH 1301


IT Show 2013 External Storage Portal

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