Marshall University Information Technology recommends using one of two brands of external hard drives: Seagate or Western Digital. These brands are the largest makers of hard drives in the world and offer the best product warranties. Many other external hard drive manufacturers often use Seagate or Western Digital hard drives in their final products labeled with their own packaging and controllers. Although Toshiba, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Samsung are large suppliers of hard drives they are not as large in the marketplace in the US and do not provide as good of warranties and support at this time.

Portable Backup Drives

Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2TB for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Requires reformatting for Mac OS X. Also available in 1TB and 500GB.

A common online price for these kinds of hard drives as of November 2013:

  • $114.99 for 2TB USB 3.0
  • $69.99 for 1TB USB 3.0
  • $54.00 for 500GB USB 3.0

Desktop Backup Drives that require AC Power

Seagate Expansion 4 TB USB 3.0 for Windows and Macintosh operating systems Requires reformatting for Mac OS X. Also available in 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB.

A common online price as of November 2013:

  • $159.45 for 4TB USB 3.0
  • $104.95 for 3TB USB 3.0
  • $74.95 for 2TB USB 3.0
  • $68.95 for 1TB USB 3.0

Western Digital My Book 4TB for Windows and Mac OS X 10.6.5 or later (requires reformatting). Also comes in 3TB and 2TB.

A common online price as of November 2013:

  • $224.99 for 4TB USB 3.0
  • $118.50 for 3TB USB 3.0
  • $109.98 for 2TB USB 3.0

MU IT recommends external hard drives that are equipped with USB 3.0 ports. This newer standard should provide twice the speed of eSATA and nearly ten times the transfer speed of USB 2.0 and offer improved power management. USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0. Devices interoperate with USB 2.0 platforms.