“My sis is looking for an affordable, but fast and reliable backup drive for her Mac. Suggestions? Is Firewire or USB faster these days?”
I got a huge number of really helpful responses, so I thought I’d go ahead and share. Enjoy!
stuscuba: @ryancarson Firewire if you can…I wouldn’t touch Western Digital I’ve found them serioulsy flakey
davehodg: @ryancarson anything but lacie.
kyleridolfo: @ryancarson For the absolute fastest speeds I’d recommend an eSATA card and eSATA drive. They are available for both MBPs and MacPros.
erskingardner: @ryancarson that is one i have and it’s awesome.
lewisking: @ryancarson firewire is faster for big files as it stays at a constant rate, USB jumps up and down in speed. As for drives, WD 1TB £80 odd.
pd0: @ryancarson what kind of backup drive? If just USB HDD, buy any. Otherwise, Time Capsule or @dropbox, IMHO
stevekennedyuk: @ryancarson FW800 is faster than USB2.0 (800Mb/s vs 480). FW is 400Mb/s, however USB max is burst, FW sustains
SteveMarshall: @ryancarson FW800 is, as @drewm said, fastest. FW400 runs 380MB/s stream, USB2 can only do that in bursts (ie. short periods).
tanya_peasgood: @ryancarson FW is a more consistent transfer speed than USB and FW800 is much faster if available. I’d get a Seagate FreeAgent – has both.
nikf: @ryancarson Maplin were doing some good deals on External drives recently (Maxtor & Seagate USB drives).
john_oshea: @ryancarson Go Firewire if possible. Avoid Western Digital “MyBook” products like the plague unless she has a penchant for data-recovery
herus02: @ryancarson Firewire = 800mb/s, USB = 400mb/s.
rik1p: @ryancarson DON’T BUY AN IOMEGA ULTRAMAX – had 3 fail in less than 2 months. Buy 2 seperate drives and RAID (mirror) them. FW800 FTW.
drewm: @ryancarson FW is faster. FW800 is fastest, but new Macs have no support. USB2 is similar to FW400 for small files, slower for large.
pauljevans: @ryancarson Recommend USB 2. I *love* WD Passports, small, silent, robust, cheap. Up to 320GB. Perfect Time Machine drives.
JulianKross: @ryancarson FireWire trends indicate it’s on it’s way out. FW800 still beats USB 2.0, and the deals are everywhere on those drives
lachenmayer: @ryancarson USB2.0 is slightly faster than FW400 (480 vs 400Mbps). And seeing as FW has disappeared from MacBooks, I’d say go with USB.
lvtrii: @ryancarson Firewire’s still faster, for now. USB3 is coming, though. And that’s 10x faster
spaulds1: @ryancarson ur sister will want firewire;I like Western Digital or LeCie Drives. Use Carbon Copy Cloner.
awojtowski: @ryancarson Personally prefer Western Digital. If she isn’t editing video or rendering high end graphics I would say usb 2.0.
nikf: @ryancarson USB are cheaper. Firewire more consistent transfer speeds (but would only matter for 1st backup w/Time Machine). Avoid MyBooks
G_Masta: @ryancarson Firewire is still the faster interface, no matter what the USB guys say. FW800 is the shizza. WD MyBook is great