USB Flash Drive vs Portable External Hard drive for everyday use?

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  1. mrje1's Avatar
    Posts : 314
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       #1

    USB Flash Drive vs Portable External Hard drive for everyday use?


    Hello everyone! Good day to you!

    For my laptop, I am stuck on deciding whether I should use a 128gb or 256gb flash drive or a 1tb portable external drive for my every day use like storing my software, documents etc. and use it for when I am out and about as well. What do you think would be the way to go?

    Thank you all for your help and assistance!
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  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 25,718
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1
       #2

    For stability I would go with 1TB drive. Also harder to loose. That said I don't have a positive take on those fully enclosed portable spinners. Some are solder to electronics meaning you can loose data either because of disk or electronics. Other members will have a different view. If you went with USB I would attach lanyard. (Visibility, not a slippery)

    In either case as these items can be lost I would encrypt using something like veracrypt.

    Sure you can loose your laptop but they usually don't slip out of a bag or getting hidden under some papers and forgotten.

    My preferred method really would be a bigger storage on laptop with backups.

    Lets see what others think.
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  3. mrje1's Avatar
    Posts : 314
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Caledon Ken said:
    For stability I would go with 1TB drive. Also harder to loose. That said I don't have a positive take on those fully enclosed portable spinners. Some are solder to electronics meaning you can loose data either because of disk or electronics. Other members will have a different view. If you went with USB I would attach lanyard. (Visibility, not a slippery)
    In either case as these items can be lost I would encrypt using something like veracrypt.
    Sure you can loose your laptop but they usually don't slip out of a bag or getting hidden under some papers and forgotten.
    My preferred method really would be a bigger storage on laptop with backups.
    Lets see what others think.
    Hey Caledon Ken!

    Thank you so much for your input. I agree with what you mentioned so far, but I agree to see what's the consensus and then make a final decision.

    If I were to pick an encryption method, should I choose the one you mentioned like veracrypt or use another one?
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  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 25,718
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1
       #4

    Veracrypt is free, open source software. It is a descendant of Truecrypt. I've used Truecrypt for years. Lets face the NSA isn't coming after my data, my goal was to keep knowledgeable computer geeks out.

    Being open source the code and encryption methods are available for audit. One member suggested using a compression tool with a password which I guess would work although that software focus is compression, not encryption.

    I'm sure there are other tools out there, if you have Pro you could investigate Bitlocker.

    Veracrypt home. They have a good documentation page.

    https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Home.html

    You can see the results of the audit in 2016 on v1.18 through google. Patches have been applied, although you should always read for yourself. Current version is 1.22.

    The beauty of open source, no hiding.
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  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 21,095
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    Caledon Ken said:
    For stability I would go with 1TB drive. Also harder to loose. That said I don't have a positive take on those fully enclosed portable spinners. Some are solder to electronics meaning you can loose data either because of disk or electronics. ...
    On the grounds that you can never have enough storage, I'd go for the 1TB drive.

    If/when they eventually die, a flash drive is likely to be a catastrophic fail. One day it works, the next it doesn't. A spinner is likely to give some warning signs, bad blocks or read error, giving time to recover most/all data.

    WD are the only manufacturer I know that solders the electronics direct to the HDD in those portable spinners. Others plug the drive into a socket on the control circuit board. This at least give a chance you can put the drive in another enclosure should it just be the controller that fails, or that a data recovery firm can access the drive should that fail.
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  6. mrje1's Avatar
    Posts : 314
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Caledon Ken said:
    Veracrypt is free, open source software. It is a descendant of Truecrypt. I've used Truecrypt for years. Lets face the NSA isn't coming after my data, my goal was to keep knowledgeable computer geeks out.

    Being open source the code and encryption methods are available for audit. One member suggested using a compression tool with a password which I guess would work although that software focus is compression, not encryption.

    I'm sure there are other tools out there, if you have Pro you could investigate Bitlocker.

    Veracrypt home. They have a good documentation page.

    https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Home.html

    You can see the results of the audit in 2016 on v1.18 through google. Patches have been applied, although you should always read for yourself. Current version is 1.22.

    The beauty of open source, no hiding.
    Thank you again for your time. I appreciate this info. My laptop OS Windows Home not pro. So, at the moment won't be able to try Bitlocker. Do you like Bitlocker? Any good?
      My Computer


  7. mrje1's Avatar
    Posts : 314
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Bree said:
    On the grounds that you can never have enough storage, I'd go for the 1TB drive.
    If/when they eventually die, a flash drive is likely to be a catastrophic fail. One day it works, the next it doesn't. A spinner is likely to give some warning signs, bad blocks or read error, giving time to recover most/all data.
    WD are the only manufacturer I know that solders the electronics direct to the HDD in those portable spinners. Others plug the drive into a socket on the control circuit board. This at least give a chance you can put the drive in another enclosure should it just be the controller that fails, or that a data recovery firm can access the drive should that fail.
    Thank you very much Bree for your help again! I appreciate it. It is looking like at this point I will probably go with the portable external drive than the flash drive, but I will sit on it for little while longer. I like the fact that you can get warning signs that you mentioned. Seems more benefit going with the HDD. So, if it is Solders to the spinner, you saying to totally stay away? If so, what other brand would you recommend? If I need a HDD, I usually buy a WD.
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  8. Eagle51's Avatar
    Posts : 1,471
    Win10 Home x64 - 1809
       #8

    Hey mrje1,
    For the USB Flash Drive, check out SanDisk with the SanDisk SecureAccess software. I got a couple of the 32GB with Secure Access, it's easy to use and works well.

    https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Cruze.../dp/B007YX9OGW
      My Computers

  9. Stitch194's Avatar
    Posts : 430
    Windows 10 Pro
       #9

    I use both methods mentioned. 1TB USB HD and a Bitlocker encrypted USBs.
    The USB H.D. is imaged (Macrium) with C:\OS after every Cumulative update, also my Data partition 1/week. The USB thumb drive is backed up every day using Macrium differential imaging. I also now have a second USB thumb drive that backs up my data partition once/day using File history. Both thumb drives stay in the PC USB ports, at the end of the day, I eject both USB thumb drives after the update sessions have completed.
      My Computer

  10. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 21,095
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    mrje1 said:
    So, if it is Solders to the spinner, you saying to totally stay away? If so, what other brand would you recommend? If I need a HDD, I usually buy a WD.
    No, just be aware that with a WD you cannot dismantle it and use the drive in another enclosure (or a laptop, come to that). I have both a WD and some Toshiba 1TB drives, none have failed yet. I did open my first Toshiba and looked inside, it's just a standard 2.5" laptop type of drive with a control card plugged onto it.
      My Computers


 
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