Don't-Miss Storage Stories
The TerraMaster D2-310 is rugged and attractive, and it rocks fast USB 3.1 Gen 2, but the price and the scant physical security are drawbacks.
WD's My Passport SSD is small and sports the latest-generation USB 3.1 10Gbps interface. It's fast enough to give Samsung's T3 a run for its money.
Whether you're looking for speed, capacity, portability, or all of the above, a USB external hard disk or SSD is a necessary complement to your desktop PC setup.
Seagate's new 5TB Backup Plus gives you more room for backups and movies. A USB 3.0 drive, it's fast with large files but lags with large batches of smaller files.
The WD My Passport USB 3.0 portable hard drive offers what most people want: fast performance with small files and copies, and a budget-friendly price. It lags while copying large files, though.
LaCie's Porsche design USB hard drive is handsome, a good performer, and features a clever setup routine that lets you use both FAT32 and the native file system of your computer.
Intel has released a 64-layer TLC SSD that's cheaper, and considerably faster than Samsung's EVO. The king is dead--long live the king.
This next-gen memory technology greatly increases responsiveness of PCs but only for those who still want to use a hard drive
With all the appearance of a 3.5-inch hard drive, this RAID enclosure lets you increase hard drive performance using RAID 0. But SSDs proved problematic.
ADATA has undercut the field by offering the joy-inducing XPG SX8000 NVMe SSD for a joy-inducing price.
The TarDisk is a half-length SD card that fits flush with the body of an older MacBook or MacBook Pro and seamlessly doubles storage capacity via pairing software that creates a single virtual volume.
Apricorn has taken the Aegis Secure Key 3.0 and made it smaller, less expensive, and more easily configurable in batches with a $99 USB configuration hub.
QNAP's TS-251A NAS has the ability to output video directly to an external 1080 display and is a great media streamer. The advertised on-the-fly 4K transcoding, on the other hand, proved to be weak.
Zyxel's NAS520 is an affordable NAS box with good streaming and backup features, but it's a bit less refined than mainstream users would want.
TerraMaster's FS-220 is relatively new to the NAS category, but it's a great performer with a promising interface.
With a boatload of pro features and excellent performance, this is a box better suited for the small office than the home, but it streams as smoothly as any of its rivals.