The retail prices of multi-Terabyte (TB) external and internal hard drives have declined significantly over the past few months. I can't think of any correlation between hand drive prices and the COVID-19 virus but the price decrease may have something to do with declining sales. In addition, 10 TB, 12 TB, and even 16 TB hard drives are now becoming competitive with smaller capacity drives.
Amazon.com has 8 TB external hard drives for about $140. In the recent past, this capacity hard drive has been the "best deal" measured by cost per unit of storage. 8 TBs are enough storage to last even a computer file hoarder a long time to fill. We often measure the size of a hard drive by about how many movies (full-length feature films) could be stored. An 8 TB drive will hold 1,600 movies. So a 15 TB drive would hold 3,200 movies or about 266+ days of solid 24 hours a day video.
Here are some representative prices rounded up to the nearest dollar:
- 10 TB Seagate $185
- 12 TB WD $242
- 14 TB WD $300
- 16 TB Seagate (internal) $398
The 8 TB drive costs about $17.50 per TB. The 10 TB drive is (of course) $18.50 per TB. The 12 TB drive is $20.16 per TB. The 14 TB drive is $21.42 per TB. Since the 16 TB drive does not yet have an external model, the price is not competitive.
Do genealogist need all this storage capacity. Well, I am still able to back up all my files with 8 TB drives but I keep scanning documents and adding digital photos and they may still come a time when I need a higher capacity drive.
I guess the point I would make, as I have many times in the past, is that there is no valid reason given the time and effort that goes into genealogical research to fail to have an adequate backup of your entire computer and all the files you have created. You can buy an 8 TB drive on Amazon but I would suggest buying two external drives one to back up your Mac or PC with the system backup program and one for your files to use every day.