Tips for Choosing an External Hard Drive

External hard drives are larger, more reliable and less costly than ever. When you go out to purchase an external HDD for your computer system, you would find a large number of options. Consider the following points when making the choice for the right external HDD.

The first factor to consider is the type of external HDD you want for your system. There are two types of external hard drives – a desktop class and a laptop class type. The desktop class hard drives have a 3.5-inch mechanism and need a power adapter, and they are made for keeping in one place. Currently, the highest storage size in this class is at 4 TB. Choose a desktop class external HDD having a built-in fan to help extend its lifespan. A larger hard drive has been my most telling factor in helping to speed up my PC.

Laptop class hard drives are more portable and have a 2.5-inch internal mechanism. They get their power through a connector cable and the usual size capacities range between 250 GB and 750 GB. You can also find laptop class external HDDs with 1.5 TB storage capacity.

The next factor to consider is the performance of the external hard drive. This includes its specifications, its storage space and transfer speed. The better portable HDDs are available in storage capacities ranging between 500 GB and 1 TB. They have more than enough space for saving your videos, games, music, images and documents.

The rate of transfer of files or transfer speed between the drive and your PC’s internal drive is measured in terms of Mbps or Gbps. You should look for an external hard drive with the highest possible transfer speed. Keep in mind that the practical transfer speeds can vary based on the size of the files being transferred.

You should also consider the interface connectivity of the external hard drive. They can have either USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 interface and can be connected to your PC using a USB cable. If your budget allows, then you should choose a drive with USB 3.0 interface as it has faster transfer speed while at the same time being compatible with USB 2.0.

Design may not be an important factor from a functional perspective, but still you would want to have an external hard drive that makes you look smart and sophisticated. In addition, you should choose a portable hard drive that is lightweight and compact. It is also important to evaluate the casing material and dimensions of the drive you want. In addition, it should be bus-powered and shouldn’t require an additional power supply.

Then, you should also consider any of the security features of the drive. Portable drives are more likely to be lost or stolen. Make sure that it has security features that help protect the data using password or data encryption. The other features you can look for include plug-and-play and the availability of backup software.

Adam K is a gaming and technology enthusiast with a marketing and music background. He also writes for and owns