Replace external hard drives regularly

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 ( 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.