In today’s digital era of technology, “Knowledge is Power” has taken on a much broader meaning as data becomes our most valued asset. How we as users go about portably accessing and backing up these personal files — music, photos, financial documents, and third-party software — has proven to be just as critical. Whether it’s the aspiring music producer shopping beats around to labels or the established accountant keeping tabs of clients’ paper trails, everyone can use a sturdy and high-functioning portable hard drive, especially those who remain adventurous and (naturally or otherwise) accident prone.
We’re talking an external device that can withstand the daily wear and tear. Something that can handle being tossed in the messenger bag; something that can survive a natural disaster. Need we remind you of Hurricane Sandy, or of last Friday’s party at your place? Didn’t think so. Luckily for you, there’s a handful of damage-proof HHDs available sure to safeguard all your stored data — and we’ve found the best.
Best for All-Purpose Users: Housed in a soft-touch rubberized exterior that’s both shock- and waterproof, this rugged-yet-slim HHD flaunts impressive measurements, scaling at less than half a pound and 0.85 inches thick. The HD710 passes both of the stringent IEC 529 IPX7 and Military MIL-STD-810G 516.6 drop tests, meaning you can leave it submerged in up to six inches of water for a half hour and it’ll operate at 100 percent immediately afterward.
The HD710’s unique symmetrical form factor plays a huge role in its toughness, allowing the drive to endure impacts on an even plane, therefore securing all internals from shifting. Furthermore, the carbon vinyl outline makes the device a nostalgically trendy item to lug around in a carry-on bag or in-hand. And though most of the attention is solely focused around aesthetics, keep in mind that the drive delivers pretty fast USB 3.0 speeds. The USB cable wrap-around design and blue LED data transfer indicator and power statuses make for a sweet finish, too.