Some criteria and practical advice to choose the external hard drive that best suits your needs. An external hard drive is becoming increasingly indispensable with each passing day. It can help back up your computer hard drive or always carry essential files for work or study. However, it is not always easy to juggle the many models on the market. Is it better to choose the self-powered one or a hard disk equipped with an external transformer? If you choose a multimedia one, what advantages will it bring compared to a normal one? Let’s try to answer these and other questions in the following paragraphs.
The first question you need to ask yourself when buying an external hard drive is: what should I do with it? Guessing the meaning of this question is anything but complicated. If the device you are looking for will only be used to hold text files and other business documents, then even a 500-gigabyte hard drive may be sufficient. If, on the other hand, you want to use it as a backup device or to archive data, then you will have to look for a model with a hard disk of at least two terabytes. Given the marginal price difference between the two “cuts,” you could still opt for the solution of at least 2 Terabytes. What is known, the space to store data is never too much.
Transfer Speed And Connectivity
Equally important is the transfer speed between the computer and the external hard drive. Especially if you intend to use it for backing up data on your computer, the external device must be equipped with suitable connection slots. Therefore, those looking for pure performance must verify that the device they are about to buy has USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt connectivity. These two technological standards ensure high transfer speeds – even 10 gigabits per second – allowing you to move files between computer and device or between various computers in no time. If, on the other hand, you don’t need such extreme performance, even an external hard drive with USB 2.0 connectivity might be enough.
Here too, the choice depends on the use to be made of it. If you are looking for a device to always carry with you, it must be small in size, and the choice will inevitably have to fall on a 2.5-inch self-powered portable hard disk. This device does not take up too much space, is light and easily transportable, and does not need external transformers to be powered.
Ease Of Use
It is a determining factor, especially for users unfamiliar with computing and technology in general. The simpler an external hard drive is to connect to the computer, configure and use, the greater its attraction will be to users looking for a simple product without too many frills. If, on the other hand, you have a particular skill with computers and the configuration of external peripherals, you can opt for more complex devices with advanced functions, such as a multimedia hard disk or one with an automatic backup function.
At the time of purchase, you must be very careful if the device is compatible with all operating systems or, for example, can only be used by Windows users. The file systems of Windows, Linux, and Mac OS are different from each other and are not compatible with each other. If, for example, you bought a hard disk with a file system for Windows, Mac OS would not be able to read the files already saved, much less save others inside it. Same thing if you are using a Linux distribution.
A last, short paragraph should also be dedicated to solid-state hard drives. Due to the still high prices, finding an external SSD hard drive is not easy. Also, the usefulness of these devices is minimal at the moment. The main feature of an SSD is that it operates at very high speeds, and it is much more helpful, therefore, to have one inside the computer rather than outside.