External Hard Drives: USB Powered Vs AC Powered

sglee
sglee used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi,

  In the past, big size external USB HDs used to come with AC Power.
  These days, I can get 4TB USB HDs without AC Power although 5TB or bigger HDs still comes with AC adapter.
  For Servers which may have two or more external USB hard drives attached for backup purposes, would you recommend  AC Powered or just go with portable units that draws the power from USB ports?
  Does it make any difference?
 
Thanks.
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EE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional
Commented:
The "old days" external drives required external power because they simply required too much to be driven via USB. Now they don't.

Bottom line, if the (good known brand-name) external drive came from the factory with no external power, they are expecting it will work that way.
Jane UpdegraffSr. Systems Administrator
Commented:
Brian is right. This is sort of a matter of opinion. Those devices that are designed to work without an external power supply are not necessarily better or worse, they just get their power in a different way (over a different cable, in this case via usb). More important than where it gets it's power is how well the manufacturer supports the device if something should go wrong. So do your homework and find the one with consistently good reviews. A really strong warranty helps too. But don't limit your choices based only upon the power cable.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional
Commented:
That's true and is why I also said the external drive should be a good drive from a recognized company.

However my inner sysadmin is also asking about using a USB drive for backup at all. But that is off topic for this question, so *if* you ever thought about that and want to get more information, please post it as a new question.
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Author

Commented:
@Brian,
"my inner sysadmin is also asking about using a USB drive for backup at all. " --> are they suggesting NAS instead of USB?
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
Something like that. But really if you are exploring disk backups as a new solution for you work or whatever, I would ask it as a new question so the right Experts see it and you can hear from others besides myself.

Author

Commented:
I got it.

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