External drive advice please

9 replies
Found 22nd May 2009
Good afternoon peeps.
I'm looking to get an external drive to back up my PCs, I have two laptops and a desktop all connected wirelessly to a Netgear router.
I'm not too clued up on networking so what I want to know is if I buy something like this cdiscount.co.uk/Com…tml will I be able to just sit it next to the desktop and backup my 3 PCs from there?
Advice appreciated.


Original Poster

Quick link ]http//ww…tml

Is this a good deal with the 20% discount?
Any better alternatives?

Yes you could, its not ideal though. It would be easier if you were to buy this just to hook it up to each computer one at a time to do your backups.
Much better would be a NAS (network attached storage) but will cost much more.

Why not buy a NAS (Network Attached Storage)

Unlike an external USB drive that plugs into one PC or laptop, a NAS plugs into your router and becomes a shared resource on your network.

The disk(s) in the NAS can then be easily shared amongst all your devices.

(I know you can share a hard disk plugged into a USB port of a PC or laptop, but that device needs to be on for the USB disk to be shared.)

PC Pro did a review of NAS here (I know they are more expensive but they have more features)


Original Poster

I have looked in to getting a NAS but the problem is, as well as the cost my router is in the hallway so dont really have space for it.
Sizewise 640Gig is more than enough, in fact i would be happy with 500gig or less, I'm looking for quality, reliability and ease of use.
I've noticed there are quite a few poor reviews for the Seagate which puts me off.
Keep the advice and alternatives coming guys.

Original Poster

One other question, my desktop runs FAT32 file system, but my laptops run NTFS.
Is this likely to cause problems?


One other question, my desktop runs FAT32 file system, but my laptops run … One other question, my desktop runs FAT32 file system, but my laptops run NTFS.Is this likely to cause problems?

I dont think so.

Many external hard drives are formatted as Fat32 anyway.

Main "problem" is that I believe Fat32 has a 4Gb limit for file sizes.

Out of curiosity what is the model of your router, as it may already have a port for a USB Device.
Nas would def be your best bet, you could just sit your router on top of it, it wouldn't use that much space.

Your options:

Use a NAS Drive attached to the router
Buy a switch aswell and plug it into the main PC and the NAS, then you can have the drive next to the main PC
Use a portable USB hard drive (2.5" drive) and just move that around.
Uses a USB Hard drive with the main PC and share it
Install another hard drive to the pc and share it

Your best option is obviously a NAS

Transfering over a wireless network, whether a dedicated NAS or a drive plugged into one of the machines, is going to be very slow - you're looking at an hour per 10GB at best.

If you've got a lot of data then I'd forget the network idea entirely for backup and either buy seperate drives for the three machines or connect the drive to each machine directly.
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