LaCie Rugged 5 TB HDD Long-Term Review

LaCie Rugged 5 TB HDD Long-Term Review
Photo by Andrew Neel / Unsplash

It's been over five years since I purchased my 5 TB rugged portable HDD from LaCie, and at first, I didn't understand the hype. I have had other external drives from WD, Samsung, and even some off-brand competitors and haven't had a single drive die on me, until they all did...

I am a fairly avid photographer, and when I started, I began storing my files on numerous external drives with little rhyme or reason as to where I would place new files. If the drive I plugged into my computer first had space, I would save it to that one. Once one of the drives filled up, I would leave it at home and only pull files from it when needed. Eventually, I had around five external drives ranging from 500 GB to 4 TB of storage that were all above 90% full. It came time for me to purchase one drive that I would carry around in my backpack, throw in a suitcase, leave plugged in for too long, and edit off of. I had a big decision to make, and after reading many reviews, I chose to buy the 5 TB LaCie Rugged HDD.

After condensing all of my data onto that one drive, deleting extra copies of pictures I did not need, and implementing an organized file structure for my photos, the drive read around 50% full. One month after I completed this data consolidation, I decided to take the previously used drives and wipe them to make room for additional storage in the future. Much to my shock, none of the drives were recognized by Windows. Two gave off clicking noises when plugged in, and a few others did not even start to spin when powered. In the heat of the moment, I panicked and checked the LaCie last, realizing that I had not lost all my data. Around a week before this, I had placed all the hard drives in a backpack and went on a road trip. During a stop at a gas station, when the car door opened, the bag that had the drives rolled off of a stack of suitcases from inside the car and fell around five feet onto the concrete. That one drop rendered all of the drives but the LaCie useless and forced me to throw them away.

The rugged nature of the LaCie drive is not just for eye candy and does, in fact, work. It single-handedly saved around 2 TB of data I had not backed up previously and would have been lost otherwise. But besides the drop protection, this drive is also dust and rain-resistant, meaning that it can get a sprinkling when the protective orange cover is on (which, by the way, is VERY easy to lose!). Inside is a 3.5'' HDD that has probably been modified and a nice protective metal case that the flashy orange rubber helps protect. This drive has a female USB-C port and a Thunderbolt 2 cable permanently attached to the drive. Either can be used to connect the drive to a USB port on the host computer. The drive is very quiet when in use and occasionally powers down into a "sleep state," where the platters inside stop spinning when data is not accessed for a longer period of time. If this happens, there is normally a 5-10 second delay in File Explorer when the drive is clicked on; however, after the drive spins back up, access is on par with every other HDD on the market. The average performance of these drives is approximately 150 MB/s read and write but does fluxuate with how full the drive is.

This drive is by no means the fastest, flashiest, or lightest HDD on the market, but it is built for a specific type of consumer. This is made for the one who always has their portable drive thrown in the bottom of their backpack on every trip, accidentally packs it in a checked suitcase, or swings their camera bag around like a scarf and hits every wall conceivable. If that person is you, or if you just like the extra piece of mind of a rugged portable drive, consider checking out the LaCie 5tb Rugged HDD at this link. This affiliate link helps support the website at no additional cost to you.