The Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB portable hard drive is popular for Mac users due to its convenient size and easy set up and use.
The Canvio Connect II is available in 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB capacities.
And 3 TB drive the one focused on here. The 3TB size is attractive because it is relatively large and fast. With the February 2018 announcement from Toshiba the Canvio Connect II drive has been replaced by the Toshiba Canvio Advance although this drive is still widely available to buy.
Toshiba Canvio Connect II Pros
If you’re looking for a portable external hard drive with decent storage capacity that looks good and is easy to use then the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB portable hard drive certainly rocks.
The bottom line: This Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB Portable is a good buy when basic features in a modern external hard drive are what you’re after.
Benefits of the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB
I take a look at the overall advantages of the Canvio Connect II and the ways this portable rocks. Later in this article I go into an overview of how to fully use this Toshiba on a Mac.
1. Lightweight, Compact, and Attractive Design
The size and weight is extremely important when you plan to port around your external hard drive. The size of the Toshiba Canvio at 3.1" x 4.3" x 0.8" easy fits in the palm of the hand. Weighing in at 5.8 ounces compares well with the other portable drives in its class.
Toshiba are certainly aiming this portable at the young of heart, hipster and the trendy marketplace, by providing this Toshiba Portable hard drive in a range of colors.
The premium version of the range sports a metallic Aluminum cover.
The outward colorful design is finished off with a blinking light to tell you when the drive is in use.
2. Hard Drive Capacities
Even though I am focusing here on the 3TB version, the largest storage size available, the Toshiba Canvio Connect II drive comes in four hard drive sizes, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB.
Plenty of portable storage options for your documents, music and videos.
The data transfer rate is satisfactory, with an average rate of ~110MBps on USB 3.0. The Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB drive remained relatively cool even during prolonged data transfers, and is relatively quiet.
4. User Opinions
Over 70% of those who have expressed an opinion on Amazon have given the Toshiba Canvio Connect II Portable hard drive a top star rating, which is a great testament for this hard drive.
Take a look at the Amazon Reviews on the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB by following this link to the page and scrolling down to the bottom to view the reviews.
Canvio Connect II YouTube Video
You may like to take a look at this YouTube Video I found. A quick 15 second video showing the Canvio Connect II.
Toshiba Canvio Connect II Portable Hard Drive
Video Credit: Toshiba USA
5. Shock Protection
The Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB is designed with an internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology. This means that the hard drive detects vibrations and seeks to reduce them.
This technology does offer some protection just in case something hits the drive and is certainly a useful plus point for a portable hard drive.
Despite this, the drive is a mechanical drive with moving parts and I would highly recommend using this drive on a firm, level surface, and you should seek to protect your drive in use from knocks and drops.
After all it is not a certified ruggedized drive. And when in transit look after it with a good protective case.
6. Pre-loaded Backup Software and Password Protection
The Toshiba Canvio Connect II comes pre-loaded with NTI Backup software which includes password protection and encryption of your files.
Note this software does not run on a Mac. Time Machine is the back up software of choice on a Mac.
If you want to have data encryption to protect your files then the Mac operating system has you covered. Reformatting the drive on a Mac is quick and easy to do and you can add encryption and a password to protect your files at the same time.
7. What Comes in the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB Box?
- The Toshiba Canvio Connect II Drive
- 1 x USB 3.0 cable
Depending on how you want to use your Canvio Connect II you may find the supplied USB cable a little short. Don't worry it is a standard cable and a longer USB 3.0 cable which is type A at one end and type USB micro B at the other end is easy to source and buy.
Toshiba Canvio Connect II Connection to Mac
Now that I have taken you through the benefits of the Toshiba Canvio Connect II let us have a look at how you connect it to a Mac.
The Toshiba Canvio Connect II setup on a Mac is generally easy and straight forward as long as you bear a few things in mind.
Things to Bear in Mind When using on a Mac
There is no external power supply for this drive as the hard drive is designed to be powered via the single USB 3.0 port. The USB 3.0 port and cable is also backward compatible with USB 2.0.
Apple 2.0 ports on older Macs are strict on the USB 2.0 standard power draw standard and there have been reports of the drive failing to power up reliably.
I would suggest that if you have an older Mac with a USB 2.0 that you look elsewhere for a compatible hard drive preferably something that doesn't wholly rely on being powered via the USB 2.0 port.
For the newest Macs (2017 and later)
With Thunderbolt only ports you will need a Thunderbolt/USB C to USB adaptor to connect the Toshiba Portable hard drive.
The Thunderbolt port is technically compatible with USB 3.0 so there is no issue with regards to that, however the Thunderbolt ports are physically different to USB 3.0 ports so you will need an adaptor.
Thunderbolt native drives are more expensive and having an adaptor is a good option as it means you can choose a cheaper drive.
Question: Leave the Canvio Connect II as NTFS Formatted or Reformat for Mac
Fundamentally this Toshiba Portable is compatible with both Mac computers and Windows computers.
It comes pre-formatted as NTFS, which both Windows and Macs can read. Macs cannot write to NTFS drives natively. Toshiba does provide you with the Tuxera driver. You load the driver onto your Mac and your Mac can then write to the Canvio Connect II.
If you want to share the drive between several Macs then the software has to be loaded onto each Mac.
Great you say so why wouldn't I do that?
What to be aware of with the Tuxera NTFS Support:
- NTFS does not support back up on Macs with Time Machine. For that the drive will need to be reformatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system (also known as HFS+).
- If you are running El Capitan or Sierra then you will most likely need the updated version of this driver.
- You will need a version of the Tuxera driver compatible with any future updates of the Mac operating system before you can access the files on the drive.
- And that updated driver will need to be available before you update your Mac's operating system.
The driver can be downloaded here from Toshiba direct.
Click on the Knowledge Base tab and select the link How to Update Tuxera NTFS for Mac OS X "El Capitan" or "Sierra" and you'll find the software driver there and related instructions or use the link below directly.
To be honest I think the Tuxera NTFS driver is a bit of a distraction for a Mac user. It is so easy to reformat hard drives on a Mac I truly think you're better off reformatting the Canvio Connect II to Mac OS Extended (journaled) file system. and it only takes a few minutes to do when you know how.
I have an article on the site, which will show you how easy it is to do here.
Or if you want to share the Toshiba Canvio Connect II between a Mac and a Windows PC then formatting to ExFAT will allow you to do it . You won't need a special driver on your Mac and your Mac will be happier.
You can take a look at my document on sharing external hard drives between Macs and Windows PC's.
Or continue reading for an overview of the process.
Overview of Reformatting the Toshiba Canvio Connect II
Copying and pasting files or dragging and dropping files without the Tuxera driver means that the Canvio Connect hard drive will need to be reformatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system (also known as the HFS+ file system).
You will also need to reformat before it can be used for Time Machine backups.
Disk Utility is the command that you use to reformat the hard drive on the Mac.
1. Connect the hard drive to your Mac using the USB 3.0 cable supplied. If you are using the latest Mac operating system then the Mac will see the hard drive connected and ask if you want to use for Time Machine.
If you say yes, then your Mac will go ahead and reformat the hard drive.
If that does not automatically happen then;
2. Open the Disk Utility command. Disk Utility can be found by going into the Applications folder, then select the Utilities folder. Disk Utility is within there.
Or use the spotlight search to find Disk Utility.
Once you have the Disk Utility command open, choose the new Toshiba drive or select TOSHIBAEXT listed under the hard drive listings on the left hand side of the window.
Select to Erase at the top of the screen, then choose Mac OS Extended file system for the file system format and click on Erase to reformat the drive.
Then it is done.
Acguevara YouTube Video
This YouTube video from Acguevara explains the process very well and even the technically challenged can see how easy this is to do. He shows how the drive can also be partitioned up to be shared between a Mac and a Windows computer.
Video Credit: Acguevara
Note that reformatting the hard drive will remove the Windows only software on the hard drive and the preloaded manuals. Copy the software off the hard drive if you still want access to the software to use on a Windows PC.
You can do that by copying that software onto a Windows PC before connecting up to your Mac.
or when the drive is first connected to your Mac say no to using the drive with Time Machine. You will then have an icon on your desktop representing the hard drive. Remember your Mac can read NTFS so you can copy and paste those files into a folder on your Mac before using Disk Utility to format the drive. Then you can copy them back.
Connecting the Canvio Connect II to Time Machine
Following reformatting to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system the drive will then be formatted ready to be connected to Time Machine.
To connect, go to your System Preferences. Click on Time Machine. Click the slider to On if it is Off and then select the Toshiba Canvio Connect II portable hard drive as the hard drive for Time Machine.
After that you can either kick Time Machine off to back up now or Time Machine will do hourly backups by default when the drive is connected.
Drag and Drop or Copy and Paste to the Toshiba Canvio Connect II
Once formatted the Toshiba Canvio Connect II will appear as an icon on your desktop and you can double click to open.
Or you can open a finder window and select the Toshiba from the left hand side of your finder window.
You can then create folders, drag and drop files to the Toshiba Canvio Connect II as you would on your Mac's internal hard drive.
You can do the same if you have the Toshiba Portable hard drive either as a completely shareable drive between Mac and a Windows PC, or with an ExFAT partition so you have a shareable section, which you can drag and drop files into to share with a Windows PC.
The Canvio Connect II is made by Toshiba a well recognized manufacturer in the electronics consumer space. Known for reliable products, good performance and durability from their laptops through to their external hard drives.
This Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB should do a good job for you and at an excellent price.
Now you have had an overview of the Canvio Connect II 3TB, why not take a look at how it compares to the Canvio Basics portable hard drive.