Your data backup plan is only as good as the devices and services that make up your strategy. For most of you, an external hard drive is a key part of that plan. These drives only come with a 1 or 2 year warranty. You may find one with a 3 year warranty if you are lucky. Most clients that I serve get the Western Digital My Passport Ultra drives. They are a fine choice and easily available through Amazon and major retailers. G Drive (Amazon) makes an external drive with high standards in mind. I have also recommended “Elite” drives from Other World Computing (MacSales.com) over the years. While this shop has a Mac focus, their drives work just as well on Windows systems.
If you plan on keeping your computer for about 5 years, plan on replacing your external drive a couple times as well. What good is your backup if the drive is shot? All of the brands I mentioned are known to follow through on warranty claims. However, I know that if sensitive data is involved you may not want to send the drive back. There is nothing wrong with that approach. My best advice to you — replace your external drives at the end of warranty period. Be proactive. Protect your data.