External Hard Drives: USB Powered Vs AC Powered


  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?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
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.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Jane UpdegraffSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
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 ProfessionalCommented:
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.
Python 3 Fundamentals

This course will teach participants about installing and configuring Python, syntax, importing, statements, types, strings, booleans, files, lists, tuples, comprehensions, functions, and classes.

sgleeAuthor Commented:
"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 ProfessionalCommented:
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.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
I got it.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.