I often get asked my opinion about the best storage solutions for creative media and digital content so I put together this article with a bonus giveaway at the end! The truth is it’s been a trial and error process over the last 10 years, trying out several different types of external hard drives. I found out the hard way (after losing footage, photos and documents due to cheap failed drives) that in the end, you get what you pay for. Creatives like myself should invest in good quality storage solutions to avoid disastrous consequences.
GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!!
I started Davidsbeenhere.com back in 2007, and have since accumulated several dozen terabytes of content from 60+ countries. This includes footage, photography, contracts, back-ups of my emails and computer files. I began with several 1TB external drives labeled “Spain,” “Switzerland,” and so on.
Eventually, it became apparent that it wasn’t feasible to have all those drives stacked on top of one another. Also, I needed to back up my work, which meant I would have needed to invest in even more drives. There had to be an easier way.
That’s when I discovered Drobo. It’s the easiest way to condense all your creative media into one place. Here’s a good read-up of how Drobo works. It’s basically a machine that holds hard drives and keeps your data safe using their RAID technology. You can insert any type of drive you want, whether it’s a 2 TB or 10 TB. Each Drobo has bays (slots) for a certain number of drives.
The Drobo 5D is the one I use. It has Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity in the same box, which means I can transfer my media really quickly. It comes with a battery backup safeguard, so if I lose power, the Drobo stays alive long enough for the data to be written to disk, ensuring my important information is always safe. The onboard battery recharges itself and is designed to last for the life of the product. Aren’t convinced? Check out this article about the five reasons you should use a Drobo.
If you’re really trying to safeguard your data, get a second Drobo as your designated back-up. I have a second 5D at home with back-ups of everything in case something goes wrong with the one I have at the office. Thankfully, so far so good!
For drives, I recommend Seagate IronWolf internal hard drives. They are tough, ready and scalable, plus they are optimized to work seamlessly with Drobos. They come in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 7TB, 8TB and 10TB. If you want to start off with tons of storage, get two 10TB drives and leave the other three bays in your Drobo empty for future expansion.
And since I’m still actively traveling, I need to take along external drives to backup my work. I trust all my creative content to LaCie professional rugged drives. These drives are designed to go anywhere. They are water, shock and drop resistant plus they offer Thunderbolt connectivity so you can transfer and access your data super fast. They are compatible with both PC and Macs.
If you’re shooting in 4K, I would suggest a LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 5TB. Most photographers, videographers and writers would only need a a LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB. When I travel, I take along two rugged external drives as a way to back-up my work (can you tell I’m scarred after losing all of my Dominican Republic content?!)
So those are what I think are the best storage solutions for creative media and digital content. Now for the GIVEAWAY! As a huge thank you for reading this article and being a fan of David’s Been Here, I’ve partnered with LaCie to give away a Rugged 2TB drive valued at $199.95! A winner will be chosen at random and announced the first week of April 2017.
How to enter the giveaway:
- Share this article on Facebook or Twitter
- Leave a comment below about why you need the drive
Please note that the giveaway is only open to US residents age 18+. Good luck and thanks for entering!
For those of you looking to create your own in-house studio here are some awesome pieces of equipment I recommend.
I partnered with Drobo, Seagate and LaCie for this article. All opinions are my own.