FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvineTechnoratiLinkedinMixxRSS FeedPinterest

Choosing The Best External Hard Drive For Your Needs

Although your average computer or laptop comes with at least 250 gigabytes (GB) of storage space, you might soon find that it proves to be less than you imagined. With the download and sharing of movies and series, you might require space in the ranges of terabytes (TB), rather than gigabytes. If you find yourself continually having to delete old files to make space for new ones, perhaps the time has come to invest in an external hard drive (HDD). With a whole spectrum of options on the market, from feather light USB flash drives that double as key chains to the bulkier desktop models, it can get confusing when deciding on an external HDD for yourself. The most important key to making the decision is to keep in mind what exactly you are planning to use the external HDD for.

Storage capacity

The main deciding factor will be your reason for acquiring an external HDD. If you want to easily transfer small files or documents between your home computer and work, then a USB flash drive will be more than sufficient. But, if you are looking for a device on which to store your family photos or home movies, then you will need a bigger external HDD. Keep in mind that documents and music take up less space than photographs and videos. A 3TB external hard drive can store approximately 960,000 photographs, 50,000 hours of music or 3,000 hours of video. You usually get better value for money the bigger your drive is – they become cheaper per megabyte as they get bigger. Also keep in mind that, even if you don’t have 3,000 hours of movies yet, you never know what will happen in the future. If in doubt – get the external HDD that can store more.

Type of computer

In the old Mac vs. PC debate, the external HDD also factors in. The Mac OS X platform uses a HFS+ file system, where a Windows operating systems works with NTFS file systems. Many externals are Mac- or PC-specific, and if you should buy a PC-specific drive for use on your Mac, you will need to reformat the drive before you can use it. The Mac OS X operating system can read files on the NTFS systems but cannot write them, however software is available for Macs that allow you to use a PC-specific drive on either system. You can download NTFS-3G for free to do this.

Interface

The type of connection that your external HDD has to the computer will also determine the speed at which transfers can take place. At the moment, USB 2.0 is the most widely used interface but it is quickly being taken over by the much faster USB 3.0 ports. Where a USB 2.0 port has transfer rates at a top speed of 480 MB per second, the USB 3.0 connection allows a ten times faster maximum transfer rate at a whopping 5 GB per second. An even more tempting option is the Thunderbolt ports – a common point of connection for the latest Macs, but becoming more common on laptops and desktop computers as well. In a review done by pcworld.com they say that Thunderbolt ports can do transfers op up to 10 Gbps – “speedy enough to transfer a full-length high-definition movie in less than 30 seconds”. The price for this speedy efficiency is still high though, as a 500GB Thunderbolt interface HDD costs roughly the same as a 2TB USB 3.0 interface disk.

Portability

The way that the external HDD connects to the computer is also determined largely by what kind of external you buy. For the heavier desktop versions, it is likely that a secondary power source will be needed, either through a second USB port or a connection to a power outlet. If you are buying a desktop version, make sure it has a built-in fan, as that will extend the life. Desktop versions are less likely to become damaged (as they are hardly ever moved around) and price wise they have a higher capacity for the same amount, but you lose functionality if you need something on-the-go. To protect your data with a portable external HDD, you can look into encryption software, which will prevent your data from being stolen (or in case the disk gets lost) and make sure you have a solid case which can absorb shock and prevent damage if the disk should fall in transit.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices and you need to make a final decision, always keep in mind that technology is evolving at breakneck speeds. Rather get something with a newer interface, faster speeds or more capacity than the one that might be outdated in a year or two. You won’t regret it.

About the Author

 is a digital horder with more (legally obtained) movies, music, and TV shows than she can reasonably expect to watch in her lifestime, and still the collecting goes on. Her world might not fall apart if something should happen to one of her external drives, but it's still a comfort to know that there are specialist companies, like Datadetect.com.au, which can restore lost data and keep her addiction to Mad Men fed.

Comments   

 
wikisarkarikaam.com
0 #15 wikisarkarikaam.com 2016-02-25 18:58
Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures
on this blog loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's
the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Erase Repair
0 #14 Erase Repair 2016-02-07 12:21
This website definitely has all of the info I needed concerning this subject
and didn't know who to ask.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Leandra
0 #13 Leandra 2016-01-06 17:44
It's the best time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy.
I've read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you
few interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.

I desire to read even more things about it!
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
cclrd.org
0 #12 cclrd.org 2016-01-02 06:27
It's really a great and useful piece of information. I am glad that you simply
shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date
like this. Thank you for sharing.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
modeling videos
0 #11 modeling videos 2015-12-17 05:07
Heyy there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your blog inn Ie, it looks fije but when opening in Internet
Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a
quick heads up! Other then that, amazing
blog!
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Tranquille Eye Cream
0 #10 Tranquille Eye Cream 2015-11-26 08:01
Hello, I want to subscribe for this weblog to obtain latest updates, so where can i do it please help out.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Brain R8
0 #9 Brain R8 2015-11-26 00:06
I'm not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading incredibly slow for me.
Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
I'll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
www.lingtou.org.tw
0 #8 www.lingtou.org.tw 2015-11-02 17:33
It's going to be finish of mine day, except before finish I am reading this great paragraph
to increase my knowledge.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
collagen production
0 #7 collagen production 2015-10-31 06:49
I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.
I'm quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here!

Good luck for the next!
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Minneapolis Website
0 #6 Minneapolis Website 2015-10-18 07:31
I was more than happy to uncover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time
due to this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every bit of it and
I have you book-marked to check out new information in your site.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

Startup  
Key Effect
C Start from CD
D Start from 1st Partition
N Start from Net Server
R Resets laptop screen
S Single-user boot
V Verbose Mode
OptPR Zap PRAM
V Unix console msgs
   
Power Keys Effect
Ctrleject icon Shutdown, sleep, restart
Opteject icon Sleep
CtrlOpteject icon Shutdown
Ctrlpower Restart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FTC 16 CFR Part 255 Disclosure

Since 2006, iTechGuide.com has provided independent reviews. Our reviews, ratings and awards are not based on any incentives or commissions. Notwithstanding, to keep our service online we accept compensation from some of the companies whose products we review within and outside of the IT industry, including, but not limited to, paid advertising placements, referral fees, and in-content advertising links.

English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Popular Content

Partners