Five Must-Have Storage Drives

Five hot devices for archiving, protecting, and sharing your photos.

Five-Must-Have-Storage-Drives
Five-Must-Have-Storage-Drives

1. WESTERN DIGITAL PASSPORT PORTABLE DRIVE

At 3.5x5.7x0.8 inches, this drive puts up to 160GB in your shirt pocket, letting you carry massive amounts of digital photos around with you in a tiny amount of space. It needs no power brick because it draws from the Hi-Speed USB 2.0 cable to transfer up to 480 Mbit/sec. Windows-only WD Sync software encrypts your data. (60-160GB, $120-$200, street; www.wdc.com)

2. SEAGATE MIRRA PERSONAL SYNC AND SHARE PERSONAL SERVER

This device, available with 350GB or 500GB of storage, is more than a hard drive. It's a personal network server that syncs automatically between Macs and PCs, backs up downloaded images instantly, and allows remote access to your photos from your network or from the web. You can share photos by e-mailing a web link to folders of images stored on the device. (320GB or 500GB, $450-$550, street; www.seagate.com)

3. WESTERN DIGITAL MY BOOK PREMIUM EDITION

With a slightly retro look, like a reference book, this drive gives you up to 500MB of archiving power and can do it automatically with the included WD Backup software. It even powers itself up and down in tandem with your computer. And it transfers data blazingly fast via USB 2.0 or FireWire 800. Cool feature: On the "spine," you'll find a visual indicator of storage space used. (160-500GB, $130-$260, street; www.wdc.com)

4. LACIE SAFE HARD DRIVE

Protect your personal data from snoops with this 7200 rpm, USB 2.0-connected hard drive. Up to five users can be assigned fingerprint-coded access. For added security, it can also be chained to your workstation, and its "drive lock" won't let the hard drive write to another machine if it's pulled from its case. Ships with LaCie Backup software. (160-500GB, $150-$300, street; www.lacie.com)

5. SEAGATE eSATA EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE

If your computer has a PCI 2.2 slot, check out this 7200 rpm drive. Seagate claims the eSATA is faster than any other on the market, transferring at nearly 400 megabytes per second, which makes it the ideal external drive for power users and video editors. It ships with the connector card, and multiple units can be RAID 0+1 configured with an optional card ($89, street) for mirrored backup. (300GB or 500GB, $300-$460, street; www.seagate.com)

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