Trying To Find The Ideal Firewire External Hard Drive?

Here’s A Checklist Of 8 Things To Look For In Your Next Firewire External Hard Drive

The Firewire external hard drive market has exploded in the last few years, replacing CDs, floppy disks, Zip and Orb drives in a variety of applications where large volumes of data must be safely stored and even physically transported from place to place. Firewire external hard drives offer large capacities, sustained transfer rates up to 40 MB/s, and are easy to use, primarily due to the emergence and popularity of the plug-and-play Firewire interface. However, while these Firewire external hard drives are popular, there are only a select few on the market that are reliable and rugged enough to be moved around. The fact is, very few Firewire external hard drives can be safely moved around without running the risk of having all of the drive’s data wiped out with one single drop or a slight knock.

Key Factors To Consider

When shopping through the hundreds of Firewire external hard drives on the market, consumers must consider a multitude of options, such as capacity, interface type, versatility/compatibility, backup software, warranty and the shock protection (durability) provided. Firewire external hard drives can be considered a subset of the larger category known as external hard disk drive. While many manufacturers of these external hard disk drives claim that their products are portable, most fall short of the durability (or shock protection) needed in order for the drive to be truly transported safely.

Here’s Your Checklist When Shopping For The Ideal Firewire External Hard Drive

To help you choose the optimal Firewire external hard drive, here are the eight features to look for ? these are based on customer surveys that reveal the most important features in the eyes of knowledgeable end users:

  1. Adequate shock and vibration protection for surviving bumps, knocks, or drops that the drive may encounter when it is moved around preferably with rubber corner bumpers. Look specifically for a Firewire external hard drive with a shock rating of over 1,000 Gs.
  2. Cable connection between hard drive and internal electrical interface board to ensure the connection is not compromised by shock or vibration. Call the manufacturer and ask if they use a cable or just hard connect the drive to the interface board. You will want a cable connection if your Firewire external drive is ever going to be moved around.
  3. Use of through-hole components on the electrical board to avoid components falling off due to vibration or a drop. Again, call the manufacturer and ask if they use surface mount or through-hole components. If they use surface mount primarily, the Firewire external drive can easily become unusable if it is subjected to shock or vibration.
  4. Use of highly reliable internal hard drive with long operational life and warranty of at least three to five years (including protection against accidental drops). Look at the warranty statement; all warranties are not the same.
  5. Large capacity, especially for backups, video, photo and other large pieces of data. Currently, Firewire external hard drives have up to 500 GB of capacity per drive.
  6. Compact, handheld form factor that preferably has the ability to stand vertically.
  7. Good performance. Look for a sustained transfer rate of over 15 MB/s.

Versatility and compatibility with different interfaces such as Firewire, USB 2.0, SATA or 5.25 docking bay option (that allows the drive to be routinely and reliably ejected). Having multiple interface capability is an easy way to ensure compatibility with various different operating systems (PC, Mac, Linux).

How Many Firewire External Hard Drives Meet All The Above Criteria?

Unfortunately, very few Firewire external hard drives have a sufficient number of the above features. Typically, you will be lucky to find drives that meet just three to four of the features, but highly critical features such as shock protection will be missing in most popular Firewire external hard drives on the market. Shock protection should never be compromised upon because shock is the leading cause of hard drive failure. Simply stated, without this feature, your data is at major risk if the drive is ever bumped or if it is ever transported anywhere, whether it is being carried across the hall or being shipped across the world. Not to mention it can cost thousands of dollars to recover data from a damaged drive. So, look for drives that have a track record of customers that have successfully transported data using the Firewire external hard disk drive.

Olixir Technologies is the only known company that has developed a rugged and transportable Firewire external hard drive that meets all of the criteria contained in the above checklist. Olixir offers two models of Firewire external hard drives: 1) The Mobile DataVault 3DX with unsurpassed durability (1,200 Gs of shock protection) and up to a 500 GB capacity, and 2) The Mobile DataVault 2LX with military-grade (over 10,000 Gs) shock protection, which can withstand up to 7 foot drops on concrete. Both Firewire external hard drive models can be safely carried around or even shipped to different sites. These drives use proprietary shock and vibration protection technology along with internal cable connections and integrated through-hole components to maximally protect against shock and vibration.

Applications and Versatility

The Mobile DataVault Firewire external hard drive is extremely versatile compared to other Firewire external hard drives. With a fast sustained data transfer rate of 35-40 MB/s, it can be used for a variety of applications such as moving data around, video editing and recording, backup and offsite archival, mobile video surveillance, or just for additional general, reliable storage capacity. This Firewire external hard drive can also be used for secure storage in a vault for medical (HIPAA), intelligence, military, financial, and other types of sensitive data. Olixir’s customer list includes customers across many industries around the world and has a solid track record with customers in the military, government, business and consumer arenas. The interface of the Mobile DataVault 3DX is a multi-use Centronics proprietary interface that can be used interchangeably with Firewire, USB 2.0/1.1 and Serial ATA cables, or it can be plugged in and easily ejected, as a removable drive, into a 5.25 docking bay. The Mobile DataVault product line is compatible with most recent PC, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Thus, this Firewire external hard drive provides virtual platform independence very few Firewire external hard drives provide this level of versatility and compatibility.

Superior Warranty, Ease of Use, High Capacity

The Mobile DataVault is one of the few Firewire external hard drives that is backed by a three- to five-year warranty most Firewire external hard drives only have a one-year warranty. In addition, this Firewire external hard drive is plug-and-play compatible with most operating systems. Its compact handheld form factor will allow you to transport it anywhere easily. The drive is stackable and can vertically stand to save space, adding to its overall convenience. The Mobile DataVault offers high capacities of up to 500 GB. Most other Firewire external hard drives that are portable only come in capacities of up to 100 GB and are more expensive per Gigabyte. To learn more about Olixir’s Mobile DataVault product line or to obtain further information about Olixir’s data storage and backup solutions, please visit:

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