Toshiba Canvio Alu 

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The unit I was sent is a 2TB USB3 drive and the ‘Alu’ stands for aluminium which makes the case very sturdy. This is part of Toshiba’s mid-range statuary for USB3 external drives it comes with built in back up software from NTI.

Toshiba HDTH320ES3CA USB Canvio ALU Hard Drive
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This Toshiba external hard disk measures 11.3x7.4x1.9cm and weights 213grams with the supplied USB3 attached.

While this is not a ‘rugged’ unit unless a drop happened while data was being read or written I cannot see any harm coming to it or your data.

Some transfer times are given on the back of the box a three hour HD movie should transfer in 5 minutes and 16 seconds on USB3 or 16 minutes and 26 seconds on USB2, 350 photos in 15.2seconds on USB3 and 36.6 seconds on USB2 and finally 400 songs in 52.7 seconds on USB3 or 2 minutes 16 seconds on USB2.

The USB3 speed is stated as up to 5Gbps.

This unit was sent to me from Germany and apart from a link to UK technical support one of 22 languages there were no other instructions in the box.

Once you have attached the USB3 lead and plugged the unit a USB port – it works on both USB2 and USB3 but the latter is faster the claimed speeds are above and they seem to be more or less consistent.

On the drive are the software for NTI backup and two different 22 language PDF files the first the obligatory safety instructions and the second the more useful six pages of User Manual in English.

You are advised to use the ‘safely remove hardware’ icon that should be in your computers tray before removing the lead from the unit just in case of it writing something at that precise moment that is about the only point that you need to remember.

This is a bus powered unit so all the power it needs is provided by your PC or laptop and unlike some that need extra power from a ‘Y’ lead that takes another dose of power from a separate port this only needs a single USB port.

The NTI software looked interesting in that it defaults to three types of backup the first to the Cloud for photos, the second for files and folders which by default goes to the unit and third also to the unit a complete system backup.

All are controlled from the single front end screen and you can set the intervals for each backup to take place or just accept the defaults.

If your requirements are different just untick a box and make the backup you require at the interval you need which could – if wanted – be a continuous task. You can say how much of the system resources you need the faster the backup the less responsive the system will be but if you do the task at night when the system is not in use that may not be a problem.

I liked the drive and the solid construction should make it something you could carry with you, if you have sensitive data then the Toshiba high end products have password protection built in.

The Toshiba Canvio Alu 2TB is available from Amazon priced, at the time of publication, £74.99 with free delivery.

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OverallToshiba Canvio Alu rated 76 out of 100

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