Two External Hard Drives 

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Here I am looking at two different – yet similar – USB hard drives. Not in either case from mainstream manufacturers of this sort of item. The first from Buffalo and the second from Dane-Elec. Both these 2.5 inch drives are 250GB.

buffalo ministation external hard disk

Buffalo MiniStationLite

It is 13x8x1.5cm with just over 2cm being added to the first figure by the USB lead. It weights 186grams with the 35cm long USB cable inserted. My unit shiny black ‘crystal black’ on the face and matt black everywhere else.

I find there is little to say about hard discs of any size, most come with some ‘extra value’ software to enable you to keep your date safe. Here it is something called ‘SecureLockMobile’. There is a ‘Quick Setup Guide’ that consists of a single sheet of paper printed in fifteen languages. There is another sheet explaining the use of the security software provided.

It also boosts Turbo USB that is meant to increase transfer speed. I tested the unit with both USB 1.1 and USB 2 systems. I transferred both large and small files and was perfectly happy with both the writing and reading speeds.

You know the unit has power when Buffalo appears in white letters near the back of the unit. On the other side just in front of the USB cable is a blue flashing light when data is moving either in or out of the hard disc.

I feel the whole point of small external drives is probably the ability to put everything you want in a pocket. Yes if you have sensitive date you can protect it but I suspect most just want to move video and music files.

I transferred a total of 286 wav files in 12 folders to the unit in 4 minutes and 20 seconds this was 5GB of data. The same files from the unit to a different folder on the PC took slightly longer at 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

Doing my Internet searches found the Buffalo MiniStationLite at a best price of £50.99 from the first link below.

Dane-Elec So Mobile

This unit is 12.5x7.5x1.5cm, it weights 210grams. All but the top is chrome, the top is matt black with orange writing saying Dane-Elec towards the front and two LED’s towards the back saying power and activity, as you might expect these lights display orange.

There is a dual head 80cm USB lead. The dual head is just in case your USB power is not enough to power it. I tried it on several PC’s and notebooks but only ever needed a single head.

As I am reviewing similar products I used the same 286 files as above, firstly to the portable drive and this took 4 minutes and 38 seconds. To copy the files back to a different folder took 3 minutes and 40 seconds.

The Dane-Elec unit comes with a slip case with a Velcro strap at the end for better padding in the pocket.

There is a fold out booklet (eight languages) to explain everything. There is also a CD provided with two full applications, Easy Archive that allows you to choose which data to backup. Second Back Up My PC that makes a ghost of your internal hard disc. There are also two 90 day trials of PC Tools Anti Virus and PC Tools Anti Spyware.

Doing my Internet searches found the Dane-Elec So Mobile 250GB drive at a best price of £61.99 from the first link below.

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