8.4 Our Picks

Here are the removable hard disk drives we recommend:

Removable cartridge-based hard disk drive

None. The day of the Iomega Peerless, Castlewood ORB, and similar cartridge-based removable hard drives has passed. They do nothing that can't be done better by writable optical drives, frame/carrier-based systems, and external USB 2.0 drives.

Removable frame/carrier-based hard disk drive

StorCase Data Express. Data Express units are available in every hard drive interface from IDE to Ultra320 SCSI, and with options such as support for hot-swapping and RAID. We use a Data Express IDE unit in our main test-bed system (http://www.storcase.com).

The sole disadvantage of the Data Express is that it is oriented toward VARs and system integrators, and can be hard to find at retail. If you have difficulty finding the Data Express and prefer something available from retailers, consider the Antec DataSwap series, which can be purchased directly from Antec or from numerous resellers (http://www.antec-inc.com).

External hard disk drive

Maxtor Personal Storage 5000-series. Frame/carrier systems are the most flexible solution, but require that each system to or from which data is to be transferred have a frame installed. If you need Plug and Play connectivity and high capacity and performance, the best solution is a USB 2.0 external hard drive, and the best product we know of in that category is the Maxtor Personal Storage 5000 (http://www.maxtor.com).

For updated recommendations, visit: http://www.hardwareguys.com/picks/remstore.html.