should i buy an esata drive and how to connect to my computer

i am in need of a backup drive of 1 tb or 2 tb and it typically takes 8-10 hours to backup my files (lots  of photos).  i was interested in esata connection drives since it seems that it is much faster than sata with a usb connection...  my computer is a dell xps 730 and about 2 months old running vista ultimate 64 bit o/s... so the questions are:  how much faster is an external esata drive compared to a usb connected externa drive?  is there a particular drive that you would recommend?  do i need to add hardware to my computer before i connect the drive (new card?)?  will vista have any problem recognizing the drive or do i need to do something special once the drive is connected?  any other concerns about esata drives?
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valheru_mConnect With a Mentor Commented:
eSata is functionally identical to internal Sata so your drive will move at the same speed it would if it was installed inside your computer on one of the primary Sata channels.  Much faster than USB overall.

If your computer does not have an eSata port already then you'll need an add-on eSata card for it.  then you just need an external drive that has an eSata port as well, and an eSata cable.

The only driver you might need to load is for the eSata card, but then after that it should recongnze any drive attached to it automatically.  I'm not sure if eSata is hot pluggable though, so you might want to check on that befroe you decide to yank it with the O/S running.
Alan HendersonConnect With a Mentor Retired marine engineerCommented:
eSATA is about 3 times faster than USB.
It's not the drive that's different, it's the connection to your PC. Many laptops alraeady have an eSATA connection, you can add an eSATA bus card to a desktop or an express card to a notebook.
The eSATA connection cable is slightly different to a SATA cable. It has no L shaped lug.

It's all explained well here:
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