Welcome to our article dedicated to external hard disk. As you know, we once had offices full of files, shelves full of books and shelves overcrowded with music CDs and films on DVD and Blu-ray.
Today, thanks to the digitization of information, we are able to store and archive documents and multimedia files on external memories with high potential.
Pendrives, SD cards, and especially external hard drives become more capacious and faster, confirming themselves as essential elements for everyday life at home, in the office, or for study.
Here we had listed out the best external hard drives that are given below.
External Hard Drives Buyer Guide
These are commonly used peripherals on the market with a large variety of different technical specifications, so the choice is not always as easy as you think.
In this section, we will explore the main features and functionalities of external hard drives. The goal will be to get a general idea of how these devices work and what to evaluate in order for the purchase to meet your needs.
What It Is and What It Is Used For?
Not everyone knows the true functioning of a hard disk – which can be internal or external -, probably because they ignore its existence or have never approached this object. Others, perhaps, consider it a tool so complicated as to avoid its purchase or interest.
In fact, to buy a good external hard drive you don’t need to be a computer enthusiast or expert. Just know some of the features and understand which ones interest you.
An external hard disk can be defined as a portable disk, with great peculiarities, capable of securing our data. This computer device ensures that we can save many of our documents, our most beautiful photos, in a safe place, i.e. inside, so as not to risk losing them in the event that our computer breaks or needs to be reset.
All our files, our work plans are important, and, for this reason, they must be protected. They will always be there at your fingertips, in a safer device than what a PC can be, always at risk of running into some virus.
Easily defined as an archive, nowadays all external hard drives are small and light enough, just to carry them always with you, on job occasions. So what is it for? To protect and archive any type of file and document.
How Does It Work?
The external device is equipped with a cable that allows its connection with a PC, printer, TV box, mini PC, tablet, smart TV, and even with a console. If the function is to store all the documents you have on your PC, it is good that they are transferred in some way.
So how does this transfer work? Through this cable, the external hard disk is connected to the PC. There are also devices that don’t need any cable to communicate with the other device. The latter is called Wi-Fi external hard drives.
Its operation is thus very simple and fast. Once you have connected the hard disk and chosen the documents to be transferred, the transition will be instantaneous. Like all USB devices, simply remove it safely and your data will be safe and secure.
One factor to consider when buying an external hard drive is storage capacity. It is, therefore, necessary to understand how much space you need, based on use, whether domestic or professional.
Now, even based on the memory of the computers on the market, it is rare to find a device that has less than 500 GB. What is certain is that for home use that does not involve moving and storing large quantities of files, to start a 1TB hard disk is ideal.
In this way, you will have a large storage capacity necessary to keep your documents safe and, at the same time, you will not have to spend a lot of money.
External hard drives intended to accommodate many files, indicated for professional or business purposes, can also be characterized by a storage space of about 10 TB.
If, in fact, you need to store large files, the market offers the possibility of purchasing external hard drives with storage capacities that are calculated in terabytes.
Think, for example, of professional photographers who need to store large photos, since they are very high resolution. Therefore, the storage capacity is fundamental to evaluate, as you don’t want to buy a small device, with little memory, but not even a peripheral that can hold a lot of data, at exaggerated prices.
Generally, the recommended storage for home use or photo storage is 1TB, although in some cases it is preferable to buy 2TB because of the relatively little price difference between the two variants.
Performing a large data transfer can often take some time before it is completed. Transfer speed is another element to evaluate.
There are hard disks that are made up of the interface, that is, the cable that allows the passage of data from the PC to the device; others that are called external Wi-Fi hard drives and do not need any connection.
There are three technologies that can be compared when we talk about the time that data takes to be transferred. There is talk of USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt port is the fastest, at the moment.
It uses two transmission channels, which can also transfer information at 10Gbit per second. This technology was born with the idea of reducing the use of cables.
The Thunderbolt connector also allows you to connect television screens that have a Display Port input to your computer. Its limit is strongly represented by the diffusion, as many still prefer 3.0 technology because it is cheaper and more versatile.
The ‘ USB 3.0 is the updated version of the USB 2.0 standard. This is capable of transferring your folders even at a speed of about 5 Gbit per second.
In reality, this data is not the concrete one, as the real speed of USB 3.0 is 3 GBit per second. This is because the USB standard uses a single communication channel, within which exchanges and passages of information take place continuously.
Consequently, it is normal for delays to arise between sending a message that starts from the PC and arrives at the external device.
However, they are not the only ports on the market, as even more prior to version 3.0, there is USB 2.0, which continues to be the most used technology at the moment, although its concrete speed is equal to 240 Mbit per second.
So the difference between the three ports lies in the transfer channels. Thunderbolt is the fastest, as it consists of two separate channels, within which data travel faster, but it is more expensive than USB ports, which are characterized by a single channel.
Dimensions, Weight, and Design
External hard drives, based on their size and weight, can be divided into two categories: portable and fixed hard drives. The latter is also called desktop hard drives.
Already from the name, we can deduce that the portable type does not exceed 2.5 ″ and only 2 centimeters in thickness. Its weight is very small and goes around 300 grams and they can always be with you. Small and light, you can carry them in your bag, backpack, or small case.
The hard drives defined as desktops, on the other hand, require more space, as they are characterized by approximately 3.5 ″ for a thickness of 4 centimeters and a weight that can even reach a Kg. Given the dimensions, these are to be placed in a stable place and fixed.
Clearly, the aesthetic aspect changes, and the design is affected, even if it is not said that the larger one must be less accurate than a smaller device. There are models, of both types, with very clean and thin lines.
As for the smaller hard drives, they should always be protected by covers, in case they can fall or go into the water.
There is a wide range of enclosures, among which the ultra-resistant and waterproof ones stand out. Clearly, the level of protection you want goes hand in hand with your use of the device.
If, usually, you keep it at home or at most in your bag, a very expensive cover that resists even water can be of little use. If, on the other hand, you carry out very risky jobs that require the use of external hard drives, always at hand, then it is good to evaluate covers with high protection.
Compatibility and Maintenance
The compatibility aspect of an external hard disk represents an outdated concept, at least for the more experienced. Using a preferred standard, it is possible to format the device and make it compatible with your PC.
However, this is a mechanism that not everyone is able to implement, and, for this reason, compatibility must be assessed at the time of purchase.
To avoid doing any other operations, when you go to the retailer or when checking online sites, it is good to be careful of the note that indicates compatibility. Nowadays, it is made explicit on all external hard drives.
As for the maintenance of your external hard drive, it is normal for the device to experience wear and tear or breakage risks. For these reasons it is good to be very careful when using it, but especially when it is not in business.
It can not be said with certainty that an external hard disk is an eternal device, but we can most likely state that its duration can be considered ultra ten years. Unless it’s careless people who accidentally drop anything, your hard drive, you can be sure it will last a long time.
We can also talk about internal data maintenance, not just the envelope. Most external hard drives are equipped with special software that has the function of preserving the security and maintenance of your data.