NewerTech Voyager Q Review

Posted in Photography Blog, Technology

Every now and then I come across an amazing product, and just need to share it. I saw this product in a catalog several months back and thought it would be a neat solution for creating bootable backups of my iMac, Macbook Pro and older Powerbook G4. Well, it took me a while, but I finally got around to ordering the theNewerTech Voyager Q Hard Drive Docking Solution (FireWire∆ 800/400/USB 2.0/eSATA SATA I/II ).

Laptop and Desktop Drives!

As you can see from the picture (left), it accepts both SATA Desktop hard drives as well as SATA laptop hard drives. I like this because you can utilize existing hard drives (that you have either upgraded or pulled from old machines, etc.) and not have to put them into external enclosures. If you don’t need to take the drive with you, that’s important. I can’t tell you how many times I ripped open an external enclosure to swap out a hard drive! It’s time consuming and a pain in the neck.

Quad Interface Goodness

I REALLY love that this has a quad interface: eSATA, USB 2.0/1.1, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800. This means that I can use this one device on every model of Mac I have in the house. I can even use it with my wife’s Windows laptop, although I won’t be able to create a bootable backup.

This makes this device especially useful for me because now I can purchase any SATA I/II drive, plug it into the drive bay, and have instant access to additional storage space. In my case, I’m using this as a disaster recovery device for my Mac. The my 27″ iMac i7 has a 1TB hard drive in it, so backing that up with Time Machine would require LOTS of space – I was using a 500GB portable Firewire 800 drive I picked up last year, but I have already passed the 500GB mark on the iMac’s hard drive (I’m now using that drive to hold a copy of my Lightroom library so I can use it on both my iMac and MacBook Pro as well as saved videos, recorded programs, etc.)

The Firewire 800 interface is nice and fast, I cloned my 1TB drive in just about 3 hours (554GB). I useCarbon Copy Cloner, which is a great little app. Once I ran the full backup, I setup a job that runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday that does an Incremental backup, which will just copy over the files that are new or have changed since the last backup. The last incremental I ran took about 12 minutes.

I’m really psyched about this solution because there’s nothing worse than losing all your files to a hard drive crash. I have backups of my stuff, but having to recover from a crash can be time consuming and painful – this makes it a breeze. I know I could use Time Machine, but so far, in my limited use of it, I find that it uses way more drive space than I’d like it to and this solution gives me a bootable backup, so if I’m busy (or lazy), I can boot off the external copy of the drive and use that until I get the drive in my machine replaced. *** I should knock on wood real quick here… In the 8 years I’ve owned my various Mac machines, I have not ONE single drive failure, so I’m double-happy that I have this because I’m sure I jinxed myself! ***

I have a couple of other products that help my life a lot, and I’ll post them in separate posts – one being that Verbatim 500GB Firewire drive I spoke of earlier, the other being the 1st Generation Drobo – which I LOVE… and another NewerTech product that I just can’t live without in my box of tools…