Here’s an important fact about me: I am loyal to brands. For example, I use Dell for all of my Windows computers. It doesn’t matter if the competitor offers the same specs as Dell for a few bucks cheaper – I will always buy Dell until the day I see a serious reason to switch. This concept applies to every category of item I use, so when debating switching from Seagate to WD, I did a lot of extensive research to decide if I was going to make the jump.

81cl9epn5nl-_sl1500_I Started With Seagate

Since the beginning, I’ve always used Seagate for all of my external hard drive needs. My original 1TB Seagate Backup Plus drive is running great several years after buying it, so when I was I was in need of additional storage, I purchased the new Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB. This hard drive looked promising! It has a premium metal and plastic build quality, and it’s super slim. I got the drive and I loved it.. For 3 months.

Seagate Made My Life Miserable for Months

For the past 3 months, my computer has been running worse than I’ve ever seen it run. I don’t install any bloatware, and I keep it free from viruses and malware with routine scans and checks. This made me puzzled! My computer was acting up in a serious way! The OS would regularly crash, and explorer.exe got corrupt twice, causing me to have to clean install Windows two times. I would never suspect that an external hard drive could cause all of this, but it did. I store all documents on my external drives (I only put the OS and programs on my internal SSD), so I’m regularly relying on them. After a hard 3 months, my hard drive finally revealed that it had been slowly failing. I started to notice clicking noises coming from the drive, and then it happened. I saw an error saying I couldn’t open a file I had requested due to a “critical hardware failure.” I ran a test provided by Seagate, and the test confirmed my suspicions. My hard drive had failed.

WD Never Looked More Promising

Clearly, I was mad. I get it.. Hard drive failures happen, but this was my first time experiencing one, and it sucked. By the time I caught it, my data was corrupt beyond restore (huge thanks to BackBlaze for getting me my backup drive to make sure I did’t miss a beat). So, I was pretty mad at Seagate! I’ve never been a big fan of WD (I’ll explain why shortly), but I was seriously considering making the switch. The WD drive I was looking at (the MyPassport Ultra) had the same exact reviews as the Seagate Backup Plus Slim, so I decided to dig deeper and do a little more research.

Hard Drive Failure Statistics

According to internal studies performed by BackBlaze, Seagate has a slightly higher failure rate than WD, but not enough to make a difference. With the that being said, I think it’s time to explain why I’ve always hated WD.

The new WD My Passport, which is WD's latest invention in eye sore technology.
The new WD My Passport, which is WD’s latest invention in eye sore technology.

I’m Nit-Picky

Before you guys hate on me, I need to make it clear that I have experience with both brands. Here’s why I hate WD: I think the build quality on their external drives is crappy. The base model is all plastic, requiring you to shell out more money for the metal version, and the drives are excessively thick (thicker than any of my Seagate drives). Seriously, have you SEEN the newly released My Passport drive? It’s a total eye sore. In addition, WD drives are loud. In my testing, I can hear a WD drive spinning. If I rest my hand on the drive I can even feel it spinning. My Seagate drives are much quieter, and I can barely feel it spinning when I rest my hand on it.

Seagate Lives On

After much research, and seeing that the reviews and failure rates on both brands were similar, I decided to press on with Seagate. I received my new Seagate drive, restored my data, and am happy to report that it is working perfectly so far. I have’t experienced one issue that I had with my previous hard drive.

The Moral of the Long Story

This article was quite long, so here are the takeaways: a hard drive is a hard drive, failures happen with any brand, and both Seagate and WD offer solid external hard drives. I prefer Seagate because I feel that they’ve mastered the little details to make it as good of an experience as possible.

Kevin Nether