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Seagate’s compact, budget hard drives are perfect for backups on the go

If you need to back up your data for work, school, or play, there are loads of hard drives out there waiting to be filled to the brim with your precious files. And I’ve got some good news for you: they’re getting cheaper and smaller – like Seagate’s offerings for 2019.

The new Backup Plus Slim is compact enough to fit into the front pocket of a men’s shirt, store 2TB of data, and comes in at just $60. Its slightly heftier sibling, the $110 Backup Plus that the company sent me, is thicker and weighs a bit more – but manages a whopping 5TB in its relatively diminutive form factor. And they both work with Windows or Mac right out of the box.

Credit: Abhimanyu Ghoshal

But like I said, there are several options out there, and it’s worth knowing a bit more about what you’re paying for. Let’s get into it.

Features

For starters, these are mechanical disk drives which run at 5,400RPM and connect to your computer via USB 3.0. They use the exFAT file system, which makes them good for using on both Windows and macOS, so if you share files across platforms, these are a good way to go. Just don’t expect to use Apple’s Time Machine feature with them, as that requires drives to be formatted with the HFS+ system.

The 5TB model (left) is unfortunately far slower with write speeds than the slim 2TB model (right)
Credit: Abhimanyu Ghoshal