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We all know how important is our data on our hard drives and any breakdown could lead to disaster if that is the only place you stored your precious data. But with that big number of hard drives available out there which one to choose? Don’t get fooled by all the fake reviews out there. There is a saying in Romanian language that translate like this: not everything that’s flying can be eaten. While the ratings of consumers that purchased a product might be a good hint whether to make it worth buying, still defects may occur afterwards. Most often, people write their product review in the first two weeks after getting their product. What happens if it fails after 1 or 2 years? Can be the product considered a good investment? Find out which are the most reliable hard drives for 2018.

What and how to choose?

While we are unable to test hundreds of thousands of models of hard drives, there are some people and companies that do. And the really good thing is that they are sharing their results with others. Surfing the internet I came across a company called Backblaze, who is specialized in back-up solutions. They are using in their data center thousands of hard drives. And the really good part is that they are posting regularly reports with the situation of their hard drives. Personally, I think that this is great as the customer knows how safe his/her data is. Additionally it gives us an insight in the most reliable hard drives on the market.

Below you can find the report for Q1 2018 with all the drives used and their failure rate.

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Before making any assumptions based on the data values above there needs to understood certain things. These results are only for Q1 of 2018, which means that it is only part of the story. To have a full picture we will need to wait till the end of the year to see whether some models failed or not. These values will show up in the Annualized Failure Rate. Additionally the Drive days represents the number of drives multiplied with the number of working days. Because the report is for first quarter that means the the number is equal to 90-91 days.

As you can see the guys from BackBlaze used for their report 98,046 hard drives ranging from 3 TB up to 12 TB. While you can see in the chart above some drives have 0% failure rate. However we need to compare the failure rate with the total number of drives and the drive days to have a correct conclusion.

Top 3 worst performers

If we rearrange the data a little bit and take a look of which drives have the highest annual failure rate the this looks the situation is the following:

MFGModelDrive SizeDrive CountDrive
Days
Drive FailuresAnnualized Failure Rate
SeagateST4000DM0004 TB3094128222821782.30%
WDCWD30EFRX3 TB1801620012.25%
HGSTHUH728080ALE6008 TB10459402431.16%
SeagateST12000NM000712 TB168001296465320.90%
SeagateST8000DM0028 TB9891888774210.86%
SeagateST8000NM00558 TB143901293557280.79%
HGSTHMS5C4040ALE6404 TB557850504580.58%
HGSTHMS5C4040BLE6404 TB153391363173169.43%
SeagateST6000DX0006 TB188116901710.22%
HGSTHDS5C4040ALE6304 TB10812350400%
SeagateST10000NM008610 TB122010973800%
WDCWD60EFRX6 TB4373920100%
ToshibaMD04ABA400V4 TB1461309000%
ToshibaMD04ABA500V5 TB45405000%
WDCWD40EFRX4 TB45405000%

As you can see the top 3 worst performing drives are:

  • Seagate ST4000DM000 with 2.30%
  • WDC WD30EFRX with 2.25%
  • HGST HUH728080ALE600 with 1.16%

For those that don’t know HGST is a subsidiary owned by Western Digital. Therefor we have 2 WD products and 1 Seagate product on the podium.

Conclusion

While the presented hard drives are mainly used for backup in a data center, these drives are stressed more than the ordinary drives we use at home. These are running 24/7, therefor the results are more than concluding. In addition these could be a better alternative than the traditional drives we purchase for home usage.

If your data are important whether you are a photographer or some sort of video editor, investing in quality gear might get you out of trouble. What do you think? How important is your hard drive quality compared to drive capacity? Leave an answer in the comment section

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