Category Archives: Storage

Best LaCie Thunderbolt 2 external hard drives for Mac Professionals

If you are a professional and use Mac hardware, chances are you know the name LaCie. Musicians, artists, techs and creative professionals all know that LaCie stands for quality. Storage technology is ever changing therefore LaCie is a good place to start because they are always on the cutting edge. Whatever you need they have a solution. This round-up of external hardware will give you and idea of the LaCie Thunderbolt 2 options available to you.

LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 2



  • Professional speeds of up to 220 MB/s
  • USB 3.0 and dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for universal compatibility
  • Aluminum unibody for reduced noise and vibration
  • Boost speeds up to 1150 MB/s with d2 SSD Upgrade

The d2 LaCie drive is essentially the standard in the industry. Available in 3TB – 6TB ($299 – $499). If you need simple plug and play storage this is it. Since this is a single drive you’ll want to store a backup somewhere other than the d2 incase the hard drive fails. You could also buy two to be on the safe side, use one as your main drive and the other as a time machine backup. The drive is able to achieve speeds of 1150 MB/s but you would have to purchase the LaCie SSD upgrade.

LaCie d2 SSD Upgrade



  • Boost LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 2 speeds up to 1150 MB/s
  • Add 128 GB of SSD capacity
  • SSD speed, hard drive capacity in a single enclosure

Easy to install and boosts the speed of your d2 to be 6x faster than its standard speed of 220 MB/s. This is really a hybrid setup 128 GB of SSD + the size of the hard drive currently in your d2. You’ll need this speed if you are dealing with video or large file sizes. Pricey, but worth it if you need the speed ($299).

LaCie 2big Thunderbolt 2



  • Shocking speeds up to 420MB/s
  • Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for 4K workflows
  • Innovative design with RAID for reliability
  • USB 3.0 for PC and Mac compatibility

This is what many would consider the PRO standard because of the RAID technology. If you are new to RAID technology the easiest way to explain it would be that it’s a way to increase security of your files without sacrificing performance. The 2big comes with two hot swappable hard drives. What does that mean? Let’s say you had your 2big RAID set to mirror the data in drive 1 to drive 2. If drive 1 fails, you simply replace that drive and the data will automatically be restored from the good drive. Essentially making your data extremely difficult to lose. We all know that eventually hard drives fail, it’s just a matter of time, so having this setup can avoid a lot of heart ache. Available in 6TB, 8TB and 12TB ($599 – $999).

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2



  • Up to 1050MB/s speeds for 4K video editing
  • Hardware RAID 5/6 with hot swap
  • Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for daisy chaining
  • Aluminum enclosure and whisper-quiet fan

This is the big daddy, the 5big is very similar to the 2big but with 5 drives and even faster speeds. This is not for your average user. The 5big is for someone who has large amounts of data, we’re talking 10 TB – 30 TB. Yes, thats TB for Terabyte (30 TB = 30,000 GB). If you work in the video industry and use 4K resolution, you could easily need this hardware. The drives are also hot swappable. RAID can be configured to your needs. The most expensive at ($1299 – $1999) but worth it for true professionals.

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2



  • Up to 1375 MB/s speeds for 4K video editing
  • Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for daisy chaining
  • Compact size for field-based creative workflows
  • Whisper-quiet dual cooling

This is a little LaCie drive that packs a powerful punch. Currently it’s only available in 1TB ($1299). It is RAID configurable and since it is a PCI based SSD, it is less prone to failure than your traditional hard drives. The main feature of this drive is speed, a blazing 1375 MB/s. It’s small and compact enough to travel with you if need be, but we wouldn’t say it’s designed for long term travel.

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt



  • Thunderbolt speeds of up to 387 MB/s
  • USB 3.0 for universal connectivity
  • Bus powered for complete mobility
  • Shock, dust, and water resistant for all-terrain use

This is the only regular LaCie Thunderbolt model we are including in the round-up, although not as fast as the LaCie Thunderbolt 2 models it has advantages. The biggest advantage being size. This is a travel drive and resistant to a lot of nature’s forces. If you find you need a smaller drive and you want to be a little rough with it, this is for you. Picture rock climbing, camping, hiking or anything you could be doing that’s outside. Perfect for the office worker as well in case you are prone to dropping things. Prices on these will vary, because of that we recommend the 256GB-500GB SSD models for speed, but they also come in standard 1TB-2TB models.

 Bottom Line

First you should know the external drives above (other than the Rugged drive) do not come with a Thunderbolt cable. You’ll have to buy that separately, however they do typically come with a USB 3.0 cable. Most of the drives listed here offer Thunderbolt 2 support. LaCie is still currently selling drives without Thunderbolt 2 technology, the speeds are slower but so are the prices. As always we can’t suggest this enough, back-up your files, always have a fail safe plan when it comes to your data. Don’t buy a single LaCie drive and think all your storage problems are solved. Ask yourself, if I lost this data would it be ok? If your answer is no, then you need cloud storage, extra drives or a RAID configured system.

Best selling portable hard drives for Mac computers

Portable hard drives for Mac, which are the best selling.  As you collect more music, videos and even work files, it’s inevitable that you will eventually need additional space for data. There are infinite portable external hard drive options out there for a Mac, but this article is designed to fast track your search.  These are the most popular and best selling portable hard drives available on the market today. Some may say they are specifically designed for mac computers but in general most hard drives can be formatted to Mac OS Extended regardless. Thanks to many recent advancements in technology external portable hard drives have been getting smaller and smaller. Let’s focus on those smaller versions because they can still hold a ton of data, but provide that portability so many mac enthusiasts are after.

WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup

WD Passport Ultra

Quick Specs:

  • USB 3.0 connectivity
  • Automatic and cloud backup
  • Password protection and hardware encryption
  • 3-year limited warranty

Hands down, the Passport has been the external hard drive choice for mac and pc computers alike. For years they have been producing a small but powerful product. With USB 3.0 you won’t have to wait as long to transfer your files. To top it off they offer automatic cloud backup. You can disable this and use Time Machine if you prefer.

This drive comes formatted for a PC so you’ll have to reformat it first in order for it to work with your mac. Formatting this portable hard drive for your mac takes less than a minute with new drives so it’s quick and painless. This 2TB model will hold enough music to listen to non-stop for 4 years – that’s crazy! The Passport is available in silver to match your mac and is reasonably priced at ($109 USD).

Toshiba 2TB Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Quick Specs:

  • USB 3.0-powered portable add-on storage
  • Easy to use with no software to install
  • Protects your drive (Internal Shock Sensor and Ramp Loading Technology)
  • Our 2.0TB Drive is capable of storing up to 571,000 digital photos or 526,000 digital music files or 1,640 downloaded digital movies
  • Accommodates large digital files with spacious storage capacity
  • Gives you peace of mind with Toshiba’s 1-year Limited Warranty

Coming in second is the Toshiba Cavio portable hard drive. A great choice if you are on a budget this 2TB hard drive costs only ($94 USD). Toshiba is all about the ease of use. No gimmicky software or confusing instructions, simply format and you have a small, portable and stylish external hard drive. Also runs on USB 3.0 so expect blazing transfer speeds. Only downside is the shorter warranty period, but we recommend you backup your files to a cloud or second hard drive just in case.

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive with Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0

Seagate Slim

Quick Specs:

  • Sleek metal design – up to 42% thinner
  • Easily back up your computer and content from mobile devices with free Mobile Backup App
  • Apple Time Machine compatible
  • Transfers files quickly with USB 3.0 connectivity
  • Use between PC and Mac computers without reformatting

The Seagate Slim is the most stylish and smallest of all the portable drives. The brushed silver matches almost any MacBook. Seagate advertises this product as a mac friendly hard drive. In testing we found that it works with mac computers right out of the box. However we still recommend a proper formatting before use, it can’t hurt and can save a lot of headaches. The drive is so small its easily fits into a computer backpack sleeve. The drive sells for ($99 USD) which is in the medium range.

Bottom Line

There you have it the three most popular portable drives for macs. You can use them at home, work or when traveling. They don’t take up a lot of room so you have plenty of space for additional gadgets. Use them as a backup so you always have your work files with you or when you need a movie to pass time on a plane. We personally went with the Seagate Slim, we just couldn’t resist the look that complimented our MacBook Pros so well. Now that you have the top three selling hard drives you can’t go wrong. Pick the one that best matches your style or color theme and feel confident in your purchase. You can’t lose!

Improve the speed of your Mac with the Samsung 840 Pro SSD

How can you improve the speed of your mac?  For those looking for the ultimate in computer performance, upgrading from a traditional hard disc drive to a solid-state drive is essential. The Samsung 840 Pro SSD Drive has become a premier choice for many people making the switch. Available in 128GB, 256 GB and 512 GB options, it comes at a reasonable starting price of approximately $133.00.

If you’re not yet sure that you’d be well served by upgrading from your HDD to SDD, or you’re keen to do so but don’t know where to start, the Samsung 840 may be worth considering.

Samsung 840 Pro SSD

Speed, security and efficiency are three of this drive’s biggest selling points. Samsung claims that installing the 840 Pro will enable you to start up your computer in as little as 10 to 15 seconds. Once you’re up and running, you’ll notice a marked improvement over your old HDD in upload speeds, as well as increased performance when using disc-intensive programs or managing a heavy workload.

What about security of your Mac?

If you’re concerned about the security of sensitive data on your hard drive, switching to a solid-state drive like the 840 Pro may also be particularly appealing to you. Boasting AES 256-bit full-disc encryption, you can breathe a little easier knowing that your important files are offered some of the best protection available to consumers.

What about energy efficiency?

Furthermore, the Samsung 840 Pro is popular with many people due to its energy efficiency. Once you make the switch from your traditional hard disc drive, you can expect extended battery life of up to 50 minutes thanks to the intelligent design of this SSD. It will effectively enable you to be a little more “green” and conservative with your power usage while not sacrificing performance.

Samsung 840 Pro SSD Packaging

Another key feature of the 840 Pro is the stability it offers. Corrupted drives are a headache, even if you’re fastidious about backing up your data. While nothing can guarantee a problem-free computing experience, solid-state drives are more stable by design. Furthermore, this product’s brushed metal case blocks against dust and corrosion, and Samsung’s design offers excellent shock protection. Accordingly, the likelihood of experiencing a corrupted or damaged drive is significantly reduced.

Samsung markets this SSD as being ideal for professionals (think: designers, photographers and anyone else who work with large amounts of data and requires high transfer rates) and most of their target users seem to be impressed with the quality and performance of the 840 Pro. However, it’s worth noting that in real-world usage there were a few concerns, albeit minor ones.

So is it worthwhile?

Some users have reported that since upgrading from the 830 to the 840, they didn’t notice a significant difference in performance. Therefore, switching from another solid-state drive to this one may not be worthwhile. However, the same consumers who made that point were also quick to say that anyone upgrading from a traditional hard disc drive is sure to notice a marked improvement.

Samsung 840 Pro Series

It has also been noted that after several weeks of heavy usage with the Samsung 840 Pro and a fresh operating system installation, the drive was still doing remarkably well, although it did require a few BIOS tweaks to get the most out of the hardware initially.

Overall, the Samsung 840 Pro solid-state drive is a popular and fairly priced product that is made with multi-tasking, demanding computer users in mind. Criticisms of the drive are minor, with the vast majority of consumers being pleased with it.

Apple Fusion Drive vs Solid State Drive

Apple Fusion Drive or Solid State Drive, what is the difference?  While there is a lot of buzz in the tech world about the new Apple Fusion drive, there is also a fair amount of confusion. Just what is this revolutionary new development? Is it possibly a better option than solid-state drives? And if so, just how does the technology work?

Apple Fusion Drive Performance

For those who need a high-capacity and high-speed drive, Fusion may be the answer. It partners the large storage capacity of a traditional hard drive with the excellent performance of a flash drive, making it a popular choice for photographers, designers and anyone else who needs to upload large amounts of data in an efficient manner.

Traditionally disc-intensive tasks, which range from starting up your system to uploading high-resolution photographs, are more efficient with the intelligent Fusion drive. That’s because it “fuses” traditional and flash drive technology together. The more you use it, the more the system detects what your needs are and adapts to suit them – frequently used programs are kept in flash storage while anything you access less often is kept in the traditional hard drive.

Furthermore, on Mac computers that are equipped with the Fusion drive, file transfers take place in the background, ensuring that your computing experience isn’t spoiled by lagging or other hindrances typically associated with uploading.

While the Fusion drive offers more than enough power and storage space for the average computer user, and is still up to the task of handling file transfers for heavy users, Apple does offer additional options for those who require an exceptional level of storage capacity and transfer speeds. New iMacs can now be configured with 1 TB of flash storage that is 50% faster than previous models, ensuring even extraordinary amounts of data can be uploaded and stored in an efficient manner.

So, why pick the Fusion drive over a solid-state drive or even a regular hard drive? The two most common deciding factors are speed and price. While there are those who far prefer Fusion to solid state drives, there is no doubt that SSD is the purest, fastest option on the market right now. Those who have worked with SSD drives in their Mac computers swear they’ll never go back to a traditional hard drive.

However, the downside is the cost. You get what you pay for, and a 1 TB Fusion drive is an affordable $250.00 option for your new Mac computer, compared to spending up to $1300.00 on a similar solid-state drive. If you’re willing and able to potentially double the cost of your new MacBook or iMac, then solid state is the way to go. By comparison, a new Fusion drive is affordable and still provides transfer speeds and storage capacity sure to “wow” anyone transitioning from a traditional hard drive.

The Fusion drive is also an excellent option for anyone who’s still using a Mac with a hard disc drive. Should you be after increased performance, but not to the extent of someone who needs to spend a considerable amount on SSD, the Fusion drive is an affordable choice. Better than just a “middle of the road” option, it provides the best of both worlds – lightning fast flash performance when you need it, with the large capacity of HDD.