BIG DATA

Keep all your trade secrets safe with one of these five hard drives

By Sam Grobart

PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMIE CHUNG FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

EASILY PORTABLE

Western Digital My Passport

$80-$150; wdc.com

This tiny portable drive stores up to 2TB of data. For perspective, the entire Microsoft Office software suite is a 1GB download; this flask-size device could hold 2,000 copies. My Passport also has multiple backup options: It can make automatic duplicates of any file you save and upload whatever you save to a Dropbox account. Useful when you misplace the small 4-by-3-inch drive.

BEST FOR BASICS

Seagate Backup Plus

$100-$200; seagate.com

If you don’t need extras, get this affordable drive to back up your photos, home videos, and important documents. Seagate’s Backup Plus comes in capacities from 1 terabyte to 4TB, more than enough room to keep all your stuff safe. It also has an automated backup feature: All you have to do is connect the drive to your computer, and it will take care of duplicating everything.

MOST SECURE

Lenovo ThinkPad Secure

$170-$200; lenovo.com

Security freaks should buy the Lenovo, which has a keypad right on the drive. Remembering up to 10 passwords, it can be shared with colleagues, family members, and fellow clandestine operatives. The ThinkPad comes in either 500-gigabyte or 750GB capacities and has a built-in USB cable for connecting to a computer. Sadly, an explosive auto-self-destruct feature isn’t yet available.

ON THE CLOUD

Synology DS213air

About $300, not including storage; synology.com

A networked drive — a hard drive with a basic computer built in — allows you to store and access your music, movies, and documents from any computer in your house. Using Synology’s ezCloud, you can set up your own private cloud and get files via the Internet. The DS213air isn’t cheap — $300 covers the computer; it costs anywhere from $135 to $500 to add 2TB to 8TB of storage — but if you want everything available all the time, this is your solution.

HARD TO BREAK

LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt

$200-$350; lacie.com

The 1TB LaCie isn’t the fastest hard drive, but it’s one of the most durable. With a hardened aluminum case and removable rubberized bumper, it can be dropped from 4 feet without sustaining damage. Plus, the 120GB and 256GB versions are solid-state, so there’s no spinning magnetic disk inside. No moving parts means less will break if the drive makes a beeline for the marble floor.

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