By Ian Bush

By technology editor Ian Bush

SAN MATEO, Calif. (CBS) — When buying a personal computer, you normally don’t get to choose the brand of hard drive inside.  But when you’re upgrading a PC’s storage capacity, or shopping for an external drive, you might do well to consider the results of a new study.

Storing copies of document, photo, and music files for customers is a service of the company Backblaze.

“We have over 25,000 hard drives in our data center to do that,” says CEO Gleb Budman.  And, he says, over three years, they’ve kept figures on how those drives hold up.

The most reliable brand?

“Hitachis have a failure rate down around one percent per year.”  Not far behind, Western Digital.

But according to Backblaze results, Seagate drives crashed most often — with one of the 1.5TB models failing for every four installed.

Regardless of any of the findings, Budman says, “Counting on a single copy of your data to be stored reliably on a drive is a bad plan.”

So, he recommends backing up often, whether it’s to an external drive or an Internet service — or both.

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