Seagate vs Western Digital: Who makes the best hard drive?

Are you looking for suitable storage devices? You have landed on the right page! The first step in this process is to choose the right brand. So, in this article, we are going to compare Seagate vs Western Digital. Both brands are market leaders so it can be challenging to decide which is better. Read the entire article to find out the advantages and disadvantages of each brand.

Seagate vs Western Digital – Quick Comparison

Seagate Technology is one of the biggest hard drive manufacturers on the planet. The company was founded in 1978. To date, the company has managed to make its hard drives compatible with servers, desktops, laptops, and even game consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox. In addition to HDDs, they also produce hybrid drives and solid-state drives.

Western Digital Corporation is a company that manufactures computer hard drives and other types of storage products. They design, manufacture, and produce data technology products, including storage devices, data systems, and cloud storage services.

HDD ComparisonSeagateWestern Digital
Storage CapacityUp to 14 TB Up to 6 TB
Read/Write SpeedFasterSlower
PriceCheaperExpensive

Seagate

Seagate FireCuda 2TB Hard Drive
Seagate Hard Drive

Pros: 

  • Multi Actuator technology
  • High reading and writing speeds
  • Data security
  • Reliability

Cons:

  • Low capacity devices compared to WD
  • Lack of NAS options

Western Digital

Western Digital Ultrastar 2TB Hard Drive
Western Digital Hard Drive

Pros: 

  • Wireless portable SSDs
  • Large-capacity devices
  • Reliability
  • Data security

Cons:

  • Lower speeds compared to Seagate
  • Lack of innovative HDD solutions for improved performance 

HDD Components Explained

A hard drive is a component that we use to store our files such as pictures, documents, music, programs, etc. The main components of the HDDs (Hard Disk Drive) are platters. Usually, HDDs have multiple platters stacked on top of each other.

Modern hard drives use platters made of some type of plastic and coated layers of ferromagnetic material. All of our data is stored on the platters. Each platter has two read/write heads. HDDs use these heads to read and write data. 

HDD main components
The main components of an HDD

Other key parts of a hard drive are the actuator and the spindle motor. The spindle motor moves the platters while the actuator moves the heads. We can read and write data thanks to this mechanism. 

Seagate vs Western Digital: Features Face to Face

Internal Storage

Capacity

As we said earlier, HDDs are far better than SSDs regarding storage capacity. However, there are some differences in the HDD market. The maximum storage limit of a Seagate HDD is 20 TB. On the other hand, Western Digital offers HDDs that have up to 72 TB of storage space.

Winner: Western Digital

SSD

Which is better: a 250 GB SSD or a 1 TB HDD? It is difficult to answer this question, but one thing is for sure, SSDs can’t beat HDDs when it comes to storage capacities. This is why some manufacturers, like Seagate, have decided to enhance HDD technology and increase HDD speeds. 

HDDSSD
Storage capacityUp to 14 TBUp to 4TB
DurabilityLess durableMore durable
SpeedSlowerFaster 
PriceCheaperMore expensive

Although HDDs have a large storage capacity compared to SSDs, solid-state drives have many other advantages. SSDs are incredibly fast and more durable compared to hard drives. 

For example, if your computer has an SSD, you can turn it on in the blink of an eye! So, if you want to have a fast operating system and fast file transfer, it might be good to invest in an SSD.

However, since we measure storage capacity in this section, we prefer Western Digital, which manufactures large-capacity storage devices.

Winner: Western Digital

External Storage

Portable

Portable storage devices are very popular, especially SSD portable devices. Since video formats and other files are becoming larger, we need more storage space. That is why people decide to combine HDD and SSD portable solutions. 

If you like beautiful colors and different storage capacities, both Seagate and Western Digital offer many interesting devices. But there is one thing that puts Western Digital on a pedestal in this segment. The company offers wireless portable SSDs. So, if you don’t like cables, this option might be the best for you.

Winner: Western Digital 

Desktop

Desktop drives are those that are not intended for portability. So, they are used for storing large data from desktop personal computers. If you like movies or are a video editor, you might need a drive with a large capacity. 

Western Digital is way better in this segment since it offers massive storage options for desktops. Their desktop HDDs range from 16 TB up to an astounding 36 TB. On the other hand, Seagate offers up to 18 TB desktop drives. 

Winner: Western Digital

NAS Devices

When multiple people via different devices, such as computers or mobile phones, want to use a data storage service, the solution is a network-attached storage (NAS)

Western Digital offers several incredible NAS solutions such as WD Red NAS, My Cloud Expert Series EX2 Ultra, and My Cloud Pro Series PR2100. Their My Cloud Pro Series PR4100 offers an outstanding storage capacity of up to 72 TB!  

On the other hand, Seagate has not invested that much time into the NAS solutions. Still, they offer some devices like IronWolf SSD, IronWolf Pro SSD, IronWolf Hard Drive, IronWolf Pro HDD, and IronWolf NAS SSD. Their IronWolf Pro HDD offers the largest capacity of max 20 TB. 

Winner: Western Digital

Network and Home Theatre Storage

These manufacturers no longer produce home theatre devices, but their NAS solutions have stepped in. The NAS solutions of both brands can be used for digital media storage, multimedia, and other entertainment content. 

Western Digital recommends their MyCloud Pro Series PR2100 and WD Red NAS hard drive. Since Western Digital offers better NAS solutions, it also has an advantage in this category. 

Winner: Western Digital

Read/Write Speed

Seagate managed to develop a technology called the Multi Actuator. This technology doubles HDD speed. According to the company, the technology is simple yet complex to develop. Seagate’s team of engineers added a new actuator to the hard drive to be more precise. As a result, the performance of the hard drive is doubled. 

Seagate Multi Actuator Technology
The Multi Actuator Technology

As we demonstrated earlier, a regular hard drive has a single actuator. The new version of HDD features two actuators. In other words, the Multi Actuator technology doubles reading and writing speeds

While Seagate focuses on increasing HDD speeds, Western Digital follows trends in the market and produces SSDs. So, when choosing a fast storage device, you should consider that both companies produce HDDs and SSDs. Therefore, Seagate is slightly better in this segment since the company has enhanced HDD technology and improved performance.  

Winner: Seagate

Reliability

Since you buy these devices to store your files, they must be reliable. It is helpful to know that any storage device you buy will eventually fail one day. But, some devices are more reliable and longer-lasting. 

How long they last depends on the manufacturer and how you use them, handle them, how old they are, etc. Overall, both Western Digital and Seagate storage devices are reliable. 

Western Digital storage devices are the most trusted among customers. But the reality is that any storage device can be prone to failure, and the reliability can vary from device to device. For that reason, various studies show that  Western Digital is more reliable, while the others show that Seagate is more reliable. 

One thing is for sure, HDDs are more prone to failure than SSDs, so SSDs are more reliable. However, regardless of which manufacturer you choose, you must back up your files. 

Winner: Draw

Capacity

Both of these manufacturers offer a vast range of storage capacities. Seagate offers up to 20 TB TB of HDD storage. Western Digital offers HDDs up to 72 TB. 

So, if you need a storage device for personal use, you can certainly find the one you need among the products of both manufacturers. It depends on how much storage you need on your laptop or other devices.

So, you won’t make a mistake if you choose Western Digital. As we said earlier, the company offers large-capacity HDDs and SSDs. 

Winner: Western Digital

Lifespan

You can expect a hard drive to last up to five years on average. It depends on how you take care of the device, how much you use it, and how old it is. The manufacturer on each individual model usually expresses the life expectancy. 

These numbers are expressed in TBW (Terabytes Written) and MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures). For instance, Seagate BarraCuda 120 SSD has up to 1,170 TB TBW and 1.8 million hours MTBF. 

Since the manufacturer determines life expectancy, we can’t claim a winner in this segment. 

Winner: Draw

Data security

Whenever you store your data on a storage unit, it is essential to keep it secure. You can achieve secure data storage on your hard discs or portable devices by using data encryption. Using data encryption means that your data is encoded, and therefore only a user with the correct encryption key can access it. 

Seagate uses the Seagate Secure self-encrypting for its hard drives. Seagate SATA devices can be encrypted, whereas their faster SSD devices can’t. WD Passport SSD (max. Capacity 2 TB) is easily encrypted with Western Digital security software by using 256-bit AES description.

Winner: Draw

Seagate FireCuda 2 TB

The Seagate FireCuda, with a capacity of 2 TB, is one of the best storage devices for gaming. The company calls this SSHD. It means that it guarantees SSD performance and HDD capacity. It is an excellent choice for gaming and other demanding apps. You can store up to 80 average-sized games with fast reading, writing, and loading speeds.  

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch

The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch is a portable HDD with an outstanding black or white color design with a woven fabric. It comes with a USB 3.0 interface, capacity options between 1 TB and 2 TB, and a long connector cable. This HDD is compatible with Windows or Mac, and it is one of the best value for money portable HDDs. 

Western Digital 14TB Ultrastar HDD

If you are looking for an internal HDD for video editing or 4k streaming, the Western Digital Ultrastar HDD might be the best choice for you. It comes with staggering 14 TB storage. High power efficiency along with 512 MB of cache guarantees outstanding performance. 

WD My Passport SSD

The WD My Passport SSD offers three capacity options of 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. This portable HDD uses the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C interface. It offers fast file transfer and outstanding performance. Its design is also appealing since it comes in various colors and small sizes. 

Price

The model’s price depends on the type of storage device and its capacity. But overall, Seagate hard drives are a bit cheaper than the Western Digital hard drives with similar capacity. For example, the 8TB Seagate BarraCuda internal HDD costs $178.99. And the 6TB Western Digital Purple Surveillance internal HDD costs $167.99. 

Conclusion

To conclude this Seagate vs Western Digital comparison, we will point out the advantages and disadvantages of each brand. We are sure you will find a product that suits your needs. 

Choose Seagate if you

  • Need a fast storage device, whether it is HDD or SSD
  • Like cutting-edge HDD technologies
  • Don’t want to spend a lot of money
  • Want to keep your files secure

Choose Western Digital if you

  • Need a lot of storage space for your files
  • Want to get rid of cables (portable solutions)
  • Want a reliable storage device
  • Want to purchase a NAS storage device
About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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