Amazon sells approx MaxDigitalData proprietary 14TB hard drive (opens in a new tab) for less than $120. Not only is it backed by a full five-year warranty, but you can also download a 3-year data recovery plan from Amazon for just $14.99 and have it serviced by Seagate’s Rescue Data recovery service should anything go wrong.
Costing less than $8.60 per TB (unformatted capacity), this is the cheapest hard drive per TB we’ve been able to source, and it’s cheaper than any optical media. In comparison, Blu-ray, for example, costs around $15 per TB, almost twice what MaxDigitalData’s deal is when bought in 25GB wholesale BD-R spindles.
Now there are a few things to highlight; MaxDigitalData (MDD) is not what you would commonly call. It is not one of the three established hard drive vendors which include Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba. Instead, MDD – which is a white label brand owned by Goharddrive – stocks hard drives that look like new but EOL (end of line).
MDD, like the popular EOL HDD retailer Water Panther, sells both refurbished and non-reconditioned models, so make sure you pick the right one. Confusingly, there is another 14TB model from MaxDigitalData, the MD14000GSA12872, which costs the same but has a lower warranty.
The MD14TGSA25672E is likely to be a rebadged Western Digital DC HC530 based on SATA, with 7200 RPM, 256MB cache and an impressive 550TB/yr, 24×7 workload, making it ideal for DVR, CCTV, surveillance, etc .
This particular model has been a darling of cloud storage providers as well as hyperscalers (e.g. Facebook, Google, Microsoft or Amazon) and its corporate label means it is geared towards very long term reliability.
If you want a more recognizable brand then Seagate Barracuda ST80000DM04 (opens in a new tab) it’s the next cheapest model at just under $100 for 8TB (under $12.50 for TB). It is a slower hard drive (5400 rpm) with 256 MB cache and a known brand.
Don’t forget about the backup
No storage device is 100% secure, so backing up your data makes a lot more sense, especially when we’re talking about terabytes of data. A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device with RAID capabilities can help reduce the existing risk of data loss, especially when combined with a cloud backup solution such as iDrive, Internxt or BackBlaze.
Why is MDD controversial?
Search MaxDigitalData online and Reddit is the first result. This is not what you expected from a hard drive manufacturer whose products will store your data. That said, the fact that there is no website can cause some anxiety, but there are enough safeguards (return policy, warranty) to assure us that if something goes wrong, there will be an escape route.