Hard Drives reliability and which brand to choose

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We get a lot of questions from our customers regarding which hard drive to choose. In our experience the most reliable hard drives are also the easiest to work with from the point of view of data recovery. There was a time when Seagate drives were considered to be the most reliable hard drives on the market however leadership and business practices change in most corporations and the quality of their products change as well. Nowadays we consider Western Digital to be the best price to quality ratios. Sure, all hard drives and storage solutions fail eventually or prematurely even SSDs so the only sure way to keep your data safe is to have two copies at all times. Specifically the Western Digital Blue drives offer the best value for money and if used in a cooled system that gets shut off periodically they can last a very long time. The different colours of WD drives represent their intended use:

WD Green – Most often found in external drives enclosures, built to be plugged in periodically and store data offline.

WD Blue – The best price to value ratio for regular day to day use in PCs.

WD Red – Specifically built for NAS devices and servers (network attached storage) where the drives will be powered on 24/7 and serve by constantly reading data.

WD Purple – Build with good quality writing heads and are made to constantly write data to the disk in surveillance equipment.

piles of hard drives

Hitachi or HGST has been acquired by WD and have started to produce hybrid devices using both technologies as well as Samsung (hard drive manufacturing) has been acquired by Seagate with an interesting market change.

For a similar reason it’s not a good idea to buy used drives. You can see more in this excellent videos made by our friend Bryan at TechYesCity

Currently the most dangerous drives on the market in regards to data safety seem to be Seagate drives, especially since it’s the only Hard drive manufacturer that has their own data recovery business … so you figure out the rest.

With smartphones and Iphones in particular the story gets worse. See here.

Just to note that I am not affiliated with any brand and I do not receive any contributions or interest from the brands or products that I recommend. The information provided is through my experience as a data recovery engineer for the last 16 years.

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