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The 8 Most Reliable Hard Drives of 2021 – Enterprise, NAS and Consumer Options |

In this article we are going to take a look at some of the most reliable hard drives for enterprise, mobile and consumer use. First up is the enterprise market. A hard drive from a major brand such as Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Samsung, Hitachi, or Fujitsu will offer high reliability, performance and capacity.

The hardest part about buying a solid state drive is knowing which one to buy. With hundreds of options out there, it’s not easy to know what to get. We’ve put together a list of the best SSDs for different use cases.

For most of us, hard drives are an ancient technology that we use to store data that’s essential to our everyday lives. But hard drives aren’t just for storing data. They can also be used for backups and Business Continuity (BC) planning, and they’re often used in data centers and cloud environments. The hard drives we use can have a huge impact on how reliable our data is, so it’s important to know which ones are the most reliable and why.

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Have you ever considered how dependable hard disks are? Have you ever had a hard disk crash or fail on you? Are you in the market for a new hard drive but aren’t sure which one is right for you?

You’ve come to the correct spot if you’ve ever wondered about any of these topics. We’ll go deep into the mechanics of what makes a drive dependable. We went ahead and pre-selected 8 of today’s most popular hard drives to discuss their dependability for the “Most Reliable Hard Drives of 2021!”

The definition of hard drive reliability is a drive that never fails or has a very low failure rate for the application or job it is assigned to. Selecting the right kind of hard drive for your purpose, job, or application is also an easy way to obtain a dependable hard disk.

These hard drives are divided into three categories: consumer, network attached storage (NAS), and enterprise, and we chose and evaluated the most dependable ones from each category.

Roundup of the Most Reliable Hard Drives in 2021

The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the most reliable hard drives currently available on the market. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in respective row.

       

The “Most Reliable NAS Drive” is the Seagate IronWolf Pro NAS.

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2. “Most Reliable Consumer Drive” by Western Digital Black

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3. Gold Enterprise from Western Digital is the “Best Enterprise Drive For Home Use” according to Western Digital.

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4. Western Digital Red NAS (Network Attached Storage) “Excellent Value for Money NAS Drive”

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“Perfect Budget Consumer Option” by Western Digital Blue

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6. Western Digital UltraStar DC HC520 “Most Reliable Enterprise Level Drive” HGST Western Digital UltraStar DC HC520 “Most Reliable Enterprise Level Drive”

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7. Exos X14 Seagate runner-up for “Most Reliable Enterprise Level Drive”

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1. Seagate IronWolf Pro Network Attached Storage

4–18TB | SATA 6 Gb/s interface | Cache: Up to 256MB | Spindle Speed: 7200RPM | MTBF: 1.2 Million Hours | Warranty: 5 Years

Seagate IronWolf Pro NASREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Warranty period: 5 years
  • Provides a variety of capacity choices
  • Ideal for a RAID solution
  • Suitable for virtually every application
  • A three-year recovery service is included.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Price increase
  • Not recommended for use in a business setting.

Our score is 9.8 out of ten.

The Seagate IronWolf Pro Network Attached Storage (NAS) Drive is available in storage capacities ranging from 4TB to 18TB and operates at 7200 RPM. Although the IronWolf Pro Series may be utilized as a single drive, they are best employed in a RAID Network Attached Storage (NAS) system with up to 24 bays.

The IronWolf Pro comes with Seagate’s best guarantee, which includes a 5-year limited manufacturer’s warranty and 3-year data recovery services. It’s almost unheard of for a company to provide free data recovery services for a period of three years – thus this is the greatest backup for a dependable drive, and Seagate certainly stands by their products. Keep in mind that in order to get the 3-year data recovery service, you must first register on Seagate’s website.

The IronWolf Pro is certified for 1.2 million hours of reading and writing operations and can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week (about 136 years roughly). I don’t know about you, but we think these drives will outlive technology – the only reason to replace them is if new technology or capacity becomes available.

The IronWolf Pro was designed with the dependability of a small to medium company in mind, as well as certain bigger companies. These drives are excellent for video editing, high-level gaming, dependable backup, and much more when used in pairs, but they may also be used as a single drive.

You can’t go wrong with the IronWolf Pro if you need a big capacity storage drive that’s both dependable and quick. When connected with another NAS, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) offers superior RAID Technology than a Consumer Level Hard Drive, providing it greater performance and dependability.

The IronWolf Pro from Seagate, on the other hand, falls short of datacenter level operations since it lacks important vibration and security features present in drives like the Enterprise Level Storage Drives we’ll be looking at next on our list.

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Western Digital Black (#2)

500GB–10TB | SATA 6 Gb/s Interface | Cache: Up to 256MB | Spindle Speed: 7200RPM | Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF): N/A | Warranty: 5 Years

Western Digital BlackREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • HDD that is ideal for home use
  • Warranty period: 5 years
  • Exceptional speeds
  • Quality and dependability that has stood the test of time
  • Excellent value for money

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

Our score is 9.7 out of ten.

We selected a WD Black series drive for the second place on his list since it has been on the market for a long and has proved to be extremely dependable and popular among the community. We strongly suggest the Western Digital Black Series for a variety of personal, professional, and corporate use cases.

These drives use the standard SATA 6/GBs at 7200 RPM, which provides excellent read and write speeds, as well as a DRAM cache of up to 256MB. Western Digital backs this drive with a 5-year limited manufacturer’s guarantee, which is the industry standard. Aside from that, the Black Series drives are available in storage capacities ranging from 500GB to 10TB, providing you lots of choices.

It’s ideal for all levels of gaming, video editing, video processing, and a variety of other professional applications that a creative desktop computer can handle. This is one of the few drives that most gamers and we suggest for any desktop computer, as well as attaching it to a gaming console such an XBOX or a PlayStation.

The Western Digital Black Series is the way to go if you’re searching for the most dependable HDD on a consumer level. These drives outperform certain Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives, so you won’t be disappointed.

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You may also be interested in: Best SSDs Under $100

3. Western Digital Gold Enterprise

MTBF: 2 – 2.5 Million Hours | Warranty: 5 Years | Capacity: 1 – 18TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Cache: Up to 512MB | Spindle Speed: 7200RPM | Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF): 2 – 2.5 Million Hours

Western Digital Gold EnterpriseREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Exceptional speeds
  • Warranty period: 5 years
  • Datacenter drive that is cost-effective
  • Helioseal technology is included.
  • Reliable

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • It is missing enterprise-level functionality.
  • Consumers find it costly.

Our score is 9.6 out of ten.

We’re going back to the Western Digital Rainbow of Colors for our first Enterprise Drive, since this is one of the Gold Standards in Datacenter Hard Drives – Western Digital Gold Series.

They are one of the fastest drives through the SATA 6/GBs Interface, with storage capacities ranging from 1TB to 18TB with read and write speeds of about 220 MB/s – like other Enterprise Drives, they are the quickest of the big capacity storage.

The Gold Series is a low-cost datacenter hard drive that can handle 2.5 million hours (approximately 285 years) of reading and writing operations. Nonstop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Western Digital has chosen to use its proprietary HelioSeal technology on hard drives with capacities of 12TB and above. This HelioSeal replaces the air within a hard drive with helium, resulting in lower friction and quicker read and write speeds, as well as extended drive life and less wear and tear.

Furthermore, Western Digital backs this corporate drive with a 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

Anyone can utilize the Western Digital Gold Series of Hard Drives, but they thrive in applications like video surveillance, web hosting, and anything that processes a steady quantity of data.

Because of the absence of vibration technology, they are not suitable for datacenters, although they will suffice in small to medium datacenters. The Gold Series is often regarded as a cost-effective datacenter hard drive for storage bays with up to 48 bays and lengthy cable lengths, such as cloud storage.

They would also be suitable for use in a Network Attached Storage (NAS) system, but this is a costly option that we do not advocate. The Western Digital Gold Series, on the other hand, is ideally suited to storing video surveillance data or live multiple stream game video recording in a small datacenter.

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4. Western Digital Red NAS

1–14TB | SATA 6 Gb/s interface | Cache: Up to 256MB | Spindle Speed: 5400RPM | Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF): N/A | Warranty: 3 Years

Western Digital Red NASREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Limited guarantee of three years
  • A fantastic NAS drive on a budget
  • Suitable for a wide range of applications
  • Quality and dependability that has stood the test of time

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Slowed down speeds
  • Quite a ruckus

Our score is 9.5 out of ten.

Keeping with Western Digital’s rainbow of hues, we’re now looking at the Red Series Network Attached Storage (NAS) Drive.

NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives are often built to function in a RAID system with a single higher capacity storage drive that operates in a small environment to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving you with the dependability you need.

The Red Series drives have storage capacity ranging from 1TB to 14TB and are designed to operate with up to 8 drives in a RAID at once. Although these drives have a sluggish spin rate of just 5400 RPM, when used in a good RAID or Network Attached Storage setup, they make up for it.

These drives have a workload of 2 to 3 times that of a consumer drive, averaging 180TB of read and write operations per year. The Western Digital 3-Year Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty backs this up.

The WD Red Series hard drives are a cost-effective way to start a RAID system and may be utilized for a variety of tasks. While the Red Series is not superior than the Black Series on its own, in a RAID system, they provide greater performance and durability, which is why some users prefer the Red Series over the Black.

Overall, the Red Series is ideal for small to medium companies as a home media server, data backup, gaming, and even video editing. A Pro Model of the Red Series is also available, which offers quicker speeds per drive at a greater price. 

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Western Digital Blue, No. 5

500GB–6TB | SATA 6 Gb/s Interface | Cache: Up to 256MB | Spindle Speed: 5400RPM | Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF): N/A | Warranty: 2 Years

Western Digital BlueREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Cost-effective
  • One of the most widely used consumer hard drives
  • Consumers’ best budget drive 

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Only a 2-year warranty is available.
  • More sluggish and loud
  • Each drive should have a maximum capacity of 6TB.

We give it a 9.2 out of 10 rating.

The Western Digital Blue Series of Hard Drives is the most popular of these consumer-level hard drives.

The Blue Series offers storage capacities ranging from 500GB to 6TB with a spin speed of 5400 RPM, making it one of the slowest drives on the list. The Western Digital Blue series features a standard SATA 6GB/s interface and up to 256MB of cache for a modest read and write performance increase.

A few Western Digital Blue Series drives, such as the 1TB 7200 Version, are available in a 7200 RPM version. But, in general, unless you’re on a tight budget, I’d advise staying away from this journey.

The Blue Series comes with a two-year limited manufacturer’s warranty that does not cover data loss and only covers hard drive failure. Western Digital Warranty, on the other hand, makes it simple to replace your failing drive by just submitting a claim.

The Western Digital Blue Series is designed for everyday computer usage, such as office programs, online surfing, and e-mails, with a work load of a small office that is only open 5 days a week for 8 hours a day.

Although the Blue Series drives aren’t terrible, they aren’t meant to be pushed past their limits. Yes, you can get away with using this drive for years if you rarely use your computer. You will save the most money with this budget friendly drive.

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Best 1TB SSDs (Related Reading) 

 

Western Digital UltraStar DC HC520 from HGST

12TB | 12 Gb/s SAS, 6 Gb/s SATA | Cache: Up to 256MB | Spindle Speed: 7200RPM | 2.5 Million Hours Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) | Warranty: 5 Years

HGST Western Digital UltraStar DC HC520REASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Exceptional speeds
  • Exceptionally dependable
  • It’s ideal for protecting huge quantities of data.
  • It has cutting-edge technology and features.
  • Best drive at the corporate level
  • It’s available in both SATA and SAS formats. 

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

Our score is 9.8 out of ten.

The UltraStar DC HC520 drive from HGST Western Digital is the finest of the best, with 12TB of capacity. This drive is available in both conventional SATA 6/GBs and SAS, which enables for up to 12/GBs of storage, making it very fast.

The Ultrastar series has a basic Enterprise Drive that can read and write nonstop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, has a 2.5 million hour rated lifetime (approximately 285 years), and can handle a 550TB annual workload.

Because of the similarities, many people have compared it to the Western Digital Gold Plus Hard Drive. However, this drive has additional features and technologies. The UltraStar’s innovations include a dual-stage actuator for fewer traveling heads, vibration reduction, and security format features, to name a few.

Mitigation of vibrations and detection are essential for large-scale datacenters to withstand the combined vibrations. HelioSeal Technology, like the Western Digital Gold, is available in storage sizes more than 10TB to assist minimize friction and extend the life of the hard drive.

This is why Western Digital offers a 5-year limited manufacture guarantee on the HGST Western Digital UltraStar DC HC520 Hard Drive.

The UltraStar Series, unlike the Gold Series, is not a Western Digital Datacenter Budget Hard Drive. If you’re searching for a big capacity Western Digital SAS hard drive, this is the only option you have right now.

Due to the format security of 512e and 4kn, which can’t be read by anyone else, these drives are primarily intended and utilized for datacenter storage solutions. Because of the security technologies incorporated into a dual firmware, I only suggest these drives if you operate in a large scale datacenter setting or where protecting huge amounts of data is required, such as cloud storage, video security, medical, legal, and so on.

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7. Seagate Exos X14

Capacity: 8–18TB | Interface: 12 Gb/s SAS, 6 Gb/s SATA | Cache: 256MB | Spindle Speed: 7200RPM | MTBF: 2.5 Million Hours | Warranty: 5 Years

Seagate Exos XREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • It’s available in both SATA and SAS formats. 
  • Warranty period: 5 years
  • Quick and dependable
  • Healumseal and other technologies are included.
  • It’s ideal for protecting huge quantities of data.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

Our score is 9.7 out of ten.

Seagate Exos Enterprise Hard Drives come in sizes ranging from 1TB to 16TB, with the higher storage capacity including Helium Seal for increased durability and speed.

The Seagate Exos boasts read and write speeds of over 200MBs, allowing it to perform tasks like cloud storage and video monitoring with ease.

They are rated to operate 2.5 million hours (approximately 285 years) non-stop in a big datacenter coupled with other Exos Enterprise Drives to offer it equal speed and data dependability distributed over many hard drives, much like all the other Enterprise Drives on the list.

The format security of the Exos series of business hard drives, such as 512e and 4Kn, restricts compatibility. All of this is supported by Seagate’s best-in-class 5-year Limited Warranty, ensuring a high degree of dependability and peace of mind.

Large corporate datacenters coupled with additional hard drives to create a cloud storage solution are the best option for this. This is for any big company that requires a significant amount of data storage, such as a medical, security, communication, or technology firm.

The Exos Series, like other business drives, allows for easy scalability from one to 100 drives without losing data by using technologies to securely and quickly format huge capacities. These drives are seldom damaged, and the only time you should replace them is if you want to upgrade to a quicker, more suitable technology or a larger capacity.

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Toshiba’s MG Series 8.

Capacity: 1–16TB | Interface: 12 Gb/s SAS, 6 Gb/s SATA | Cache: Up to 512MB | Spindle Speed: 7200RPM | MTBF: Up to 2.5 Million Hours | Warranty: 5 Years

Toshiba MG SeriesREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Extremely fast HDD
  • It’s available in both SATA and SAS formats. 
  • Vibration mitigation
  • Features of security
  • Warranty period: 5 years

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Premium cost
  • The upper drives have 2TB less capacity than the bottom drives.

Our score is 9.6 out of ten.

The last drive on our list is a Toshiba MG Series Enterprise Hard Drive with storage capacities ranging from 4TB to 14TB and SATA 6GBs or SAS 12GBs in a 3.5” form factor.

The Toshiba Enterprise Drive, like most of the Enterprise Drives on the list, has the fastest sustained rate of 237 MB/s, although it presently lacks the maximum capacity of 18TB, which some others have. If speed is important to you, this is the drive to choose, but if you want the most storage, you’ll have to go with the Seagate Exos or Western Digital UltraStar.

Vibration sensors and security features through software are also available on the MG Series of hard drives, as well as the option to use the 512e format. With a 550TB Workload Per Year, Read and Write 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and a 12.5 million hours (approximately 285 years) rated operating time, this Enterprise Drive is no exception. All of this is backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty, which is industry standard.

The Toshiba MG Series of Enterprise Hard Drives appeals to me because of the high speeds it provides, which makes it ideal for large-scale video surveillance with fewer drives.

The MG Series drives are suitable for a wide range of applications, including cloud storage, security, large-scale medical, and so on, but they are particularly well suited to anything that is mission essential and time-sensitive, where milliseconds matter.

Perhaps in the area of science, where you crunch data to forecast a storm. Of course, this can be done with all drives in a RAID solution, but when a fraction of a second makes a difference – as in gaming with frames per second – these drives will behave the same.

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Also see: The Best CPUs Under $300

Now that we’ve covered 8 of the most dependable hard drives for 2021, let’s take a quick look at each class and see what qualifies them for that classification.

The Consumer Level Hard Drive is the first class we’ll go through (Western Digital Blue and Black Series). Consumer-level hard drives are manufactured at a low cost and on a big scale, resulting in a low cost per GB. We’re talking about bearings, plates, and overall internal component quality, which isn’t a terrible thing. The consumer drive is designed to operate for 8 hours a day and do basic tasks like web surfing, emailing, and gaming.

The Network Attached Storage (NAS) Drives from our list, such as the Western Digital Red and the IronWolf Pro, come next.

These drives are intended to work in pairs or many hard drives in a RAID Storage Solution to improve performance or single local capacity. These are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to offer backup or speed for tasks like video editing.

The Enterprise Drive (Western Digital Gold, Western Digital UltraStar, Seagate Exos, and Toshiba MG Series) is the last option, with speed and security geared for large-scale companies like video surveillance, web hosting, and cloud storage. These drives are built to withstand years of use in a high-vibration datacenter.

Vibrations cause mechanical objects to break down over time, therefore vibration mitigation technology is typically incorporated into Enterprise Hard Drives. Along with vibration technology, these drives include format security that can only be read by business equipment, ensuring data protection in the event of a thief – which does happen in datacenters.

That brings us to the conclusion of our study of these drives, and my last advice is that I prefer performance, therefore I recommend the Western Digital Black Series for any level of desktop computing; you will not be disappointed.

If you need more storage or want to create a Storage RAID or Media Server for your small company or home, the Seagate IronWolf Pro is the way to choose since it comes with a stronger guarantee.

If you plan on running big operations, I would recommend the Seagate Exos because of the Seagate guarantee, which is the finest in class.

These are my suggestions based on your requirements and my experience working in a datacenter in the colocation department with clients’ servers.

With the world of enterprise storage moving towards flash-based storage, the 8GB flash SSD has taken on a new role within the enterprise. In order to truly compete in an environment where offsite backups are the norm, storage needs to be fast, reliable, durable, and fully supported. The new Intel SSD DC P4800X is a great example of an enterprise class SSD that meets all of these requirements. With a TLC NAND flash based architecture, as well as an NVMe 1.2 interface, the DC P4800X is a great choice for customers looking to build a boot environment for their business.. Read more about hgst hard drive and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who makes the most reliable NAS drives?

Seagate is the most reliable NAS drive manufacturer.

Are enterprise hard drives more reliable?

The answer to this question is not yet known.

What is the most reliable external hard drive?

The most reliable external hard drive is the Seagate Backup Plus 5TB Portable Hard Drive.