There are many options for how to store data out there, but hard disks (Hard Disk) are the most powerful. A hard drive can be used to store data or to extend your computer’s storage capacity.
Each computer contains internal hard drives. In addition to internal hard drives, external hard drives can be used to store more data or backup critical information.
In fact, backing up files to an external hard drive is the safest way to ensure your data is kept securely. In case of data loss – the best option is to choose a reputed data recovery service provider.
If you are trying to add an external storage drive to your device, there are several options to choose from. Buying an external hard drive can be a confusing process as there are many different models and brands available on the market.
However, below we will share some important details to note when purchasing.
Understanding external hard drive types
There are a few different types of external hard drives you can choose from. Sometimes specific drives may be needed, depending on how much data you need to back up or if you plan to travel with the external drive frequently.
Below are some of the most common types and some information about them:
- 2.5”: Smaller in size and storage capacity than drives larger than 3.5″, 2.5” drives are ideal for traveling or storing data that needs to be moved from one location to another frequently.
- 3.5″: While drives larger than 3.5″ come with more storage space and sometimes faster data transfer speeds, the larger format isn’t without its flaws. 3.5” external hard drives generally require dedicated power connections or are very large in design and can be heavy or fragile when traveling.
- Powered: Some types of external storage require a separate power connection along with the USB connection to the PC to function. This is usually due to the large capacity or high transfer speeds of the external hard drive.
- Portable: External hard drives that use only one cable for power and data transfer are considered portable storage. These drives are perfect for students or professionals who need to move large amounts of data between machines frequently. The single cable makes the device easy to use and comfortable to travel.
Choose your external hard drive according to these characteristics
The essential files that you usually move from computer to computer are text, images, audio, videos, and photographs. Read through several reviews before deciding on the total storage capacity you will opt for.
Hard disk capacity ranges from 250GB to many terabytes. For long-term storage, the safest choice is to have a larger disk size, such as 1TB or more.
It doesn’t make sense to buy a high-speed system if it doesn’t meet your flash storage needs. Be sure to search and better understand the different types of storage and their characteristics.
2. Transfer speed
Another attribute to remember is transmission speed. Speed is critical if a lot of files need to be moved. Most hard drive hardware comes with a spindle speed of 5400 rpm.
If you need to perform heavier transfers, you can select a model that has a faster CPU. A drive’s efficiency depends on its storage technology and components.
If your problem is moving data quickly, it’s best to use a solid-state drive (SSD).
If you are working with sensitive material, you should prioritize protection. To maintain data protection, opt for encryption.
Various devices compatible with compression tools can be found. For optimal security, the external hard drive should be encrypted with hardware-based security.
Another important tip is to look for a virtual private network (VPN) for an extra layer of security. The VPNs that work best for Windows, Mac, or Linux guarantee anonymity and privacy at the time of data transfer.
Physical backup is important, but keeping a virtual copy is essential so you can gain access to your data in case of unforeseen events.
And if you’re using a Mac, you should make sure the drive is suitable for your device. When looking for a new external hard drive, you should consider the device’s compatibility with your computer.
Some options work exclusively on certain systems only. The external hard drive must be compatible with the computer’s operating system, whether it’s a Mac, Windows, or Linux.
Final considerations on using external hard drives
More and more our lives are being recorded in digital files rather than physical items. That’s why we must back up important data, unique photos, and videos to external hard drives to preserve and protect them.
The right external drive needs to be compatible with all your devices, have enough storage space for your heaviest files, and be portable enough not to overwhelm you.
Finding the right hard drive will save you a lot of heartaches – an unexpected failure or power outage isn’t as devastating when you know you can overwrite files or data.