Toolbox: Big Storage
Give your photo library some elbow room with high-capacity external hard drives
Buffalo's DriveStation Duo hard drive can use two 7200 rpm disks simultaneously for a full one-terabyte capacity (that's 1,000 gigabytes) or separately as a RAID 1 configuration for instant mirroring of your system. The 3.9x6.4x8.7-inch footprint eases placement within a limited desktop space and offers USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 connectivity. Estimated Street Price: $40
The two 7200 rpm SATA II hard drives of G-Technology's G-Raid2 1 TB external hard drive array feature 16 MB of cache buffering and an Oxford 924 bridge chipset for boosted communication through the FireWire 400, 800 and USB 2.0 triple-interface. The design, dimensions (5.1x2.9x9.3 inches) and aesthetics make it an ideal match for an Apple Mac Pro. Estimated Street Price: $700.
Iomega's 6.5x6.5-inch MiniMax is designed for a perfect fit beneath your Mac mini. The 500 GB drive uses an advanced thermal probe cooling system to regulate the fan speed for efficiency and silence. The built-in FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 ports (three each) connect six more devices to your computer without the need for a separate USB or FireWire hub. The drive includes Iomega's Backup Pro and Dantz Retrospect Recovery software. Estimated Street Price: $220.
Stackable hard drives are nothing new, but the LaCie Brick family of external hard drives has taken the option to a new level. Inspired by a popular children's building block, the Brick desktop and mobile drives stack playfully with each other for added storage capacity without further loss of desktop space. The functionality is meant for adults, though, with included 1-Click backup software and USB 2.0 connectivity (FireWire 400 is available with certain models). They vary in capacity, from 40 GB to 500 GB, and are available in red, white and blue. Prices range by capacity and model.
On the other end of the spectrum, LaCie also offers the Bigger Disk Extreme 2 TB external hard drive. That's about as big as you can get without spending serious cash. The massive 2000 GB storage capacity alone makes the Bigger Disk Extreme a serious consideration, and the triple FireWire 400, 800 and USB 2.0 interface only adds to the appeal. Despite the large capacity, the drive stands on a 10.6x3.5-inch footprint. Estimated Street Price: $700.
The Maxtor high-capacity 1.5 TB OneTouch III Turbo Edition is no slouch either, providing everything its name would suggest and more. User-configurable RAID 0 and RAID 1 setups on the two-disc array allow the unit to perform as one hefty-capacity drive or divided into a constantly replicating data mirror. The drive's OneTouch system works with the included Retrospect Express Backup software for push-of-a-button data backup, and the triple-interface features fast FireWire 400, 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity. Estimated Street Price: $530.