A Closer Look At The Best And Worst Hard Disk Brands

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Ever wondered which hard disk brand is the best, and which brand should you stay away from? Blackblaze, an unlimited online backup company comes to the rescue to answer this difficult question, and the findings are indeed interesting.

Blackblaze currently has approximately 28,000 hard drives powered up and constantly spinning, and they have taken into account how the hard drives from different brands compare, which are the most reliable, and which are the least. As you can imagine, Blackblaze won’t want to buy hard drives that are less reliable and stop working, which ultimately needs takes more effort to replace the drive with a new one.

Which is the most reliable hard drive?

Blackblaze breaks down their data in two parts – by brands and by specific drive. At the end of 2013, they had 27,134 consumer-grade drives spinning in the Backblaze Storage Pods. There are 12,765 drives by Seagate, 12,956 drives by Hitachi and 2,838 drives by Western Digital. When a new drive arrives at the market, proper testing is done to ensure that it works in production. The company buys the drive only when the price is right.

Let’s talk about failure rates. “We measure drive reliability by looking at the annual failure rate, which is the average number of failures you can expect running one drive for a year. A failure is when we have to replace a drive in a pod.”

As per this chart, Seagate has the highest failure rate while Hitachi has the lowest which makes it the most reliable. After about 3 years of spinning up constantly, 96.9 percent Hitachi drives are still running. Whereas, 94.8 percent of Western Digital drives are still running. Seagate on the other hand scores low with only 73.5 percent of drives running.

Which hard drive brand survives the most, and least

Here’s the chart, which shows survival rate for each brand. In the words of Blackblaze “Hitachi does really well. There is an initial die-off of Western Digital drives, and then they are nice and stable. The Seagate drives start strong, but die off at a consistently higher rate, with a burst of deaths near the 20-month mark.”

Overall, most of the drives survived for at least 3 years, but the most reliable ones are from Hitachi and Western Digital with lowest failure rates, and for the time being, you might want to stay away from Seagate.

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About the Author

Saqib Khan
Saqib is a technology writer, contributing news and how-to's. He thinks tech all the time, even when dreaming. Besides writing on ValueWalk, he also writes on Technostarry. You can reach him via Twitter.

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