What brands make hard drives?

When it comes to data storage, hard disk drives (HDDs) are still one of the most widely used solutions for consumers and businesses alike. HDDs provide large storage capacities at affordable prices compared to solid state drives (SSDs). With so many options on the market, you may be wondering – what brands make the best hard drives?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the major hard drive brands available and compare their products across key factors like reliability, performance, price, and more. We’ll also provide quick answers to common questions about hard drive brands to help you choose the right model for your needs.

Quick Overview: Top Hard Drive Brands

Here is a quick overview of some of the major consumer hard drive brands on the market:

  • Western Digital – One of the largest hard drive makers, known for reliable drives with good performance. Brands include WD Blue, WD Black, WD Red.
  • Seagate – Another top hard drive brand, offers a wide range of models for desktop, NAS, surveillance. Brands include BarraCuda, IronWolf, SkyHawk.
  • Toshiba – Known for budget drives with decent quality, models like Canvio and P300 are popular choices.
  • HGST – A subsidiary of Western Digital, offers high-performance drives for enterprise use and gamers.
  • Samsung – Top brand for solid state drives, but also makes reliable HDDs like the Spinpoint series.

Most Reliable Hard Drive Brands

Reliability is often the most important factor for consumers when choosing a hard drive brand. After all, you want to pick a drive that will keep your data safe and avoid failures or crashes. Based on backblaze reliability statistics and other sources, here are some of the most reliable HDD brands:

Western Digital

Western Digital is widely regarded as one of the most reliable names in hard drives. According to the latest Backblaze report, WD drives had an annual failure rate of just 1.7%. Specific Western Digital models like the WD Red NAS drives are designed for 24/7 operation and high reliability. The brand also offers longer warranties up to 5 years on some drives.


Originally known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, HGST was acquired by Western Digital in 2012. These drives consistently rank near the top for reliability. In Backblaze’s reports, HGST models like the Deskstar NAS drive had failure rates around 1%. The company focuses on building enterprise-class hard drives.


Though not as reliable as WD or HGST according to Backblaze, Seagate still produces very dependable drives with decent failure rates around 2%. Models like the IronWolf NAS drives are designed to run 24/7 in RAID setups and some come with 3-5 year warranties for added peace of mind.


Toshiba hard drives tend to be very affordable while still providing respectable reliability. Most Backblaze reports put Toshiba’s annual failure rate around 2-3%. So while not the most reliable, Toshiba HDDs offer a great value if you want an inexpensive drive.

Hard Drive Brand Comparison

Let’s take a deeper look at how some of the major hard drive brands compare across factors like performance, price, warranty period, and intended use cases.

Brand Performance Price Warranty Use Case
Western Digital Good to excellent $$ 2-5 years Desktop, NAS, gaming
Seagate Good $ 1-5 years Desktop, NAS, surveillance
Toshiba Average $ 1-3 years Budget desktop drives
HGST Excellent $$$ 5 years Enterprise, NAS, gaming

Western Digital

Western Digital offers a wide range of well-rounded hard drives for desktop and NAS use. Models like the WD Black are designed for high performance like gaming and creative applications. Drives like the WD Red provide reliable storage for NAS setups. Expect to pay a small premium for WD drives, but they generally deliver excellent reliability, speeds, warranties and performance.


Known for affordably priced drives, Seagate is a good budget-friendly pick for basic storage needs. Performance is decent though not blazing fast, but Seagate drives offer good capacities at lower price points. Specific models like the IronWolf NAS drives provide robust options for home and office NAS devices.


Toshiba appeals to budget-minded shoppers with some of the cheapest consumer hard drives around. Performance is about average, but low costs make Toshiba a good value pick for basic storage needs. The brand focuses on entry-level desktop drives rather than high-performance models.


While pricier than many competitors, HGST drives excel when it comes to performance and reliability. Designed with enterprise-level engineering, HGST drives boast faster speeds, longer warranties, and rock-solid dependability. They’re a top choice for NAS devices, server usage, and gaming rigs where performance matters.

Internal vs. External Hard Drives

When choosing a hard drive brand, you’ll also need to consider whether you need an internal or external drive model. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Internal drives mount inside your desktop PC case and connect directly to the motherboard. All of the brands discussed above make internal drives.
  • External drives sit in an enclosure outside the PC and connect via USB, Thunderbolt, etc. Popular external drive brands include Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, LaCie, Samsung.

External drives provide portable storage you can easily move between different devices. But internal drives tend to offer better performance and value for money. So choose based on whether you need portable or stationary storage.

Hard Drive Brand Buying Tips

Keep these tips in mind when selecting a hard drive brand for your needs:

  • Consider the intended use case – brands like WD and Seagate have models tailored for NAS, gaming, enterprise use.
  • Check warranties – HGST and WD tend to offer longer 3-5 year warranties for greater peace of mind.
  • Compare failure rate data from sources like Backblaze for an idea of real-world reliability.
  • Factor in price – Seagate and Toshiba offer the most budget-friendly drives.
  • Read customer reviews on sites like Amazon to learn from other buyers’ experiences.
  • Pay attention to performance specs if you need a speedy drive for gaming or creative work.

Quick Takeaways by Brand

Here’s a quick recap of key points on some top hard drive brands:

Western Digital

  • Offers a wide range of reliable, high performance HDDs.
  • WD Red drives purpose-built for NAS usage.
  • WD Black line optimized for gaming and intensive tasks.
  • 5 year warranties available on many models.


  • Known for affordably priced desktop and NAS hard drives.
  • IronWolf models designed for always-on NAS RAID usage.
  • BarraCuda brand offers performance options for gaming.
  • 1-2 year warranties standard on most drives.


  • Budget-friendly drives appeal to value-focused shoppers.
  • Models like Canvio cater to basic desktop storage needs.
  • Might lack refinements or high-end features of pricier brands.
  • Warranties typically 1-2 years.


  • Enterprise-class engineering yields blazing speeds and top reliability.
  • A favored brand for NAS enclosures and server storage.
  • 5-year standard warranty coverage on many models.
  • Premium pricing but delivers excellent performance and endurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are WD hard drives better than Seagate?

Generally speaking, Western Digital hard drives edge out Seagate in overall reliability ratings from various sources. But Seagate still produces quality drives and is typically more affordable than comparable WD models. Ultimately it depends on your priorities – WD for top reliability, Seagate if you want to save money.

Is Toshiba a good brand for hard drives?

For budget-minded shoppers, Toshiba makes entirely decent and reliable drives for basic storage needs. They may lack some bells and whistles or the performance of pricier models. But Toshiba hard drives work well for backups, archiving, secondary storage.

What is the most reliable enterprise hard drive?

For mission-critical enterprise storage, HGST makes some of the most reliable hard drives, built to stringent standards with strong performance and long warranties. Specific models like the Ultrastar DC HC620 are widely used by data centers and servers that demand 24/7 uptime.

Are external hard drives good for long term storage?

External hard drives can provide reliable long term data storage as long as proper precautions are taken. Get an external drive from a trustworthy brand like WD or Seagate. Store it properly to avoid physical damage. And make sure to backup your data in case the drive fails. With care, external HDDs can serve as archives for years.

Which hard drive lasts the longest?

There is no definitive lifetime for a hard drive – it depends on factors like usage patterns, environmental conditions, brand reliability and more. But according to Backblaze’s statistics, certain models like the HGST Ultrastar He10 tend to have low failure rates and the longest lifespan under continuous operation. HGST and Western Digital drives often outlast other brands.


When choosing a hard drive, start by considering your usage needs, budget, and reliability priorities. Key brands like Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, and HGST each offer compelling options for desktop storage, NAS devices, enterprise use, and more. Models from HGST and Western Digital stand out for their impressive lifespan and low failure rates according to extensive data. Seagate drives appeal to budget buyers. And Toshiba provides basic but affordable HDDs. No matter which brand you choose, always make sure to backup your data to guard against failure.