An external hard drive is a very versatile piece of equipment and can be found in homes and offices everywhere. The type of external drive you might need depends on what you are using it for. Three of the primary uses you might have for an external hard drive are:
- To expand storage, either on a desktop or laptop when the existing storage is full or to store large files that do not need to be accessed regularly.
- As an external back-up that ensures important files are safe in the event of loss or destruction of your primary hard drive.
- Providing shared storage for a household or an office where they can all be accessed from several different computers.
HDD and SSD
The two main types of external hard drive available are Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD). HDD uses a physical disk that spins similar to a CD or DVD. This means it takes slightly longer to retrieve data than an SSD but it can hold substantially more information.
SSD are incredibly fast and lightweight. They also do not require as much power to operate and so are ideal for mobile use.
Let’s take a look at 2014’s top 5 hard drives for each of five different applications.
Hard Disk Drives
Desktop expansion – Western Digital My Book
Used as a media centre, storing music and movies in high quality formats the Western Digital My Book is ideal for expanding computer storage in the living room. Available in 3, 4 and 6TB versions the WD My Book features USB 3.0 connectivity for super speedy file transfer.
Laptop expansion – Western Digital Elements
For a more portable storage solution the Western Digital Elements external hard drive provides a small form for expanding laptop hard drives. Cramming an enormous 1.5TB into a 2.5” drive the WD Elements offers a great way to bring your media files with you on the road.
Office/Group Storage – Western Digital My Book Duo
Smaller offices, work projects or even student accommodation may benefit from a larger external hard drive for shared storage rather than a standalone server. For sharing large amounts of data between small groups the Western Digital My Book Duo is an effective solution.
Back Up – Seagate Backup Plus
Keeping a secure copy of important data is the best way to safeguard against data loss. The Seagate Backup Plus provides 4TB of back up storage to ensure critical data is kept safe. The Seagate Mobile Back Up App allows you to remotely back up files directly from your mobile device to the hard drive.
Solid State Drives
Portable Device Storage – Sony HD EG5S
For a lightweight hard drive that you can take with you and use for smart phones, mobile media devices and ultra light laptops a solid state hard drive provides optimal functionality. Sony’s HD EG5S is a slim and highly portable storage device. As a SSD it draws less power than a HDD, saving battery power on smaller devices. AES 256-bit encryption also prevents others from accessing the data.