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Best Hard Drives for Time Machine

5 Best Hard Drives for Time Machine in 2020

Backups are great for ensuring you have a restore point for your files in case something happens to the main disk.

While you can do a backup and store it on the main disk, its often advisable to use another disk, one that you can use to restore your files.

Mac users can do this by getting the best hard drive for Time Machine.

With this, they can use their computers with full assurance that if something like a hard drive crash occurs, their system can be restored from the backups they made prior.

List of Best Hard Drives for Time Machine

We have chosen the following as the best storage drives for Apple Time machine.

  1. Toshiba MG07ACA14TE – Expensive but reliable internal hard drive for Time Machine
  2. WD Blue – Very affordable backup hard disk
  3. Seagate IronWolf NAS – High Cache specialized NAS drive
  4. WD My Book – Affordable external desktop hard disk
  5. WD My Passport Ultra – Highly affordable portable HDD

1. Toshiba MG07ACA14TE – Expensive but reliable internal hard drive

According to Backblaze, the Toshiba MG07ACA14TE is one of the most reliable internal drives with a 0% annualized failure rate when tested against other drives.

Because it’s very reliable, it can make a good drive for important backups because you can be sure that when you need to restore your system, chances of being let down will be minimal.

This 3.5-inch SATA HDD is the best hard drive for Time Machine when you have a lot of files to back up and reliability is the feature, you’re most keen on.

Being a datacenter-grade drive, purchasing this will cost significantly more than getting a regular user-grade drive.

The device makes up for its expensive price tag by having a high workload of 550TB per year. This is great for a backup drive as you can do a lot with it including taking multiple large backups.

Additionally, the drive can operate 24/7 so once installed you can have Time Machine constantly make automatic backups without the fear of wearing-off the device.

With high reliability and a fast 7200RPM disk, this is a great choice for backups.

2. WD Blue – Very affordable backup hard disk

Average users will benefit a lot from the WD Blue’s very affordable price tag and high performance. This makes this one of the best hard drive for Time Machine since you don’t have to overspend to get quality performance.

In addition to being affordable, the drive comes in multiple storage size configurations which will suit different users comfortably. Sizes go up to 6TB which may be sufficient for most users’ systems.

This is a 3.5-inch internal drive which can be used with an appropriate enclosure for external backups or be installed inside a case on the correct drive bay.

The drive is a high performer as well since it comes with a 7200RPM disk and 64MB of cache. This lets you access your files much faster allowing for quick backups and restores.

Being an internal hard drive, you can install it on the computer and back up to it from the main drive. You may also decide to get an enclosure and use it externally. It’s built to be reliable and perform well while keeping costs down.

3. Seagate IronWolf NAS – High Cache specialized NAS drive

NAS drives are great to use when you want a system to be up and running continuously with a limited risk of a hard drive failure.

The IronWolf is a specialized NAS drive that comes with a very large cache of 256MB which improves the disk’s performance during operation.

In addition to the cache, users also benefit from the drive’s 5600RPM disk. It’s not among the fastest but its more than sufficient for Time Machine backups.

With this, you can implement a NAS system and write your backups to it.

Also, the drive comes with large storage capacity options which are great when your computer already has a lot of files that need backing up. Because you’ll be making file duplicates, large size drives will come in handy.

What makes this the best hard drive for Time Machine is its ability to handle large workloads efficiently. Its reliability of a whopping 1 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) means you can carry out your backups for a long time before you lose the drive.

4. WD My Book – Affordable external desktop hard disk

Mac users who love doing external backups will find the WD My Book to be the best hard drive for Time Machine due to its high affordability as well as large storage options.

The hard drive comes with an added auto-backup feature but with Time Machine, this can be taken care of by the PC according to your directions.

The drive has hardware encryption that keeps your files safe therefore by an extra layer of security to your backups.

The drive is very reliable and supports USB 3.0 which facilitates fast transfer speeds that result in faster and more efficient backups and restores.

This desktop hard drive comes with built-in compatibility for Apple Time Machine and this allows you to get up and running quickly with your backups.

You also get shock tolerance and high reliability that’s backed up by WD. And aside from that, when you get one with large storage, you can take Time Machine backups of large media files and restore them when needed.

Being reliable, easy to use, and very compatible with Macs makes this a great buy for users.

5. WD My Passport Ultra – Highly affordable portable HDD

When you have portability in mind then the WD My Passport Ultra will be the best hard drive for Time Machine backups.

This is a very portable 2.5-Inch drive that unlike the WD My Book, isn’t meant to sit on desktops.

Being portable allows users the freedom to take backups with this drive at any time without having to carry around a large desktop hard drive.

The drive comes with support for USB 3.0 which lets you leverage high transfer speeds between computers and the drive for faster backups and restores.

The drive comes preformatted for Windows so if you need to use it on your Mac, you may have to format the drive for the correct filesystem. After this, you can continue to make backups easily.

With the drive’s password protection, Mac users can rest easy that their sensitive backed-up files are safe from unauthorized access, and in case you lose the hard drive others won’t be able to easily retrieve its contents.

Being affordable makes this drive attractive to many users. Getting it and using it for backups won’t cost a lot.

What to Expect

Regular backups can help users recover from catastrophic data losses easily because the necessary files where stored in an accessible location separate from the main working copies.

Backing up is a great idea for professionals and even casual computer users as sudden issues can stall your work.

What is Apple Time Machine?

As part of the Apple ecosystem, users get a backup software that takes care of handling disk backups and all.

Mac users know it as Time Machine and it has been part of the OS distribution. With seamless integration to macOS, Time Machine has enabled users to carry out full system backups.

With Time Machine, users can back up system files, music, documents, photos, emails, and even apps to the local disk or to an external one which is the best alternative.

Besides, you can even track changes made to files and save those snapshots in chronological order. This allows you to return to any of the saved versions of the file when you need to.

Simply, Apple Time Machine is a very advanced backup software for macOS users that lets you back up your computer, letting you restore to a working version as soon as possible when needed.

Also Read: Best Hard Drives for Movie Storage

Recommended Hard Drives for Time Machine

best internal hard drive for video editing
The most recommended drives for crucial back up in Apple Time Machine are the Data Center Grade Hard Disk. Source: Toshiba MG07ACA14TE 

As with most storage devices, there’s no one-size-fits-all fix. You, therefore, find drives that are good for a very particular task.

Here are some of the most recommended drives by users for Time Machine.

Also Read: Best External Hard Drives for Youtubers

Seagate Backup Plus

This ones great and comes with support for macOS out of the box. It’s great for backups and comes with many storage sizes.

WD My Passport

For users with large files to backup, this drive can come quite in handy. Large storage options exist and they are very affordable.

Are SSDs Good for Time Machine?

Best SSD for Boot Drive
SSDs are fast but for backup, they are not recommended

There’s a lot of benefit with having an SSD and the main one among them is fast speeds.

High speeds mean you will spend less time waiting for backups to complete and even when doing a restore if its significantly large, it won’t take a lot of time.

However, SSDs can be very expensive, especially when compared to HDDs. For this reason, having an SSD for just backups is not recommended.

If you use one to run the computer and to make internal hard drives that’s okay. But for just backups, you’ll be better off with an HDD.

Final Words

Here we looked at some of the best hard drives for time. Since Apple Time Machine is a software dedicated for backup, we recommend going for the most reliable hard disks.

Unfortunately, highly reliable hard disks, particularly internal hard disks that are Data Center grade, are expensive. Similar, external hard drives that feature IP protection are expensive too.

If you just need a simple hard drive for backup then any affordable hard disk can do just great.

The key here is to realize the important of your backup. If you are baking up very important material, then spend a bit more. If you just want casual backup of your system, go for an affordable option.

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