Are you forced to delete some of your favorite songs and pictures from your PC to accommodate new files? Do you get all snappy due to repeated occurrences of unresponsiveness from your computer? Are you looking for a way to speed up your device and also, wanting secure storage for your albums and other data? If yes, you are in dire needs of a good external hard drive.
An external hard drive is a portable auxiliary data storage device, working just like a normal hard drive but isn’t inbuilt. Rather, it is connected to the PC, in most cases, via cables linked to a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port.
These external drives are caged in enclosures. There are two types of External HDDs: Portable ones are generally 2.5” used for laptops, whereas Desktop external drives are 3.5”. A few models boast of cooling fans and biometric identity recognition. The memory capacity ranges from 160 GB to 6 TB. Statistics show a 1 terabyte external hard drive or a 2 terabyte external hard drive is more preferred than others. Like a normal HDD, these devices store data with the help of rotating platters with magnetic heads. External RAID arrays and solid-state drives are also becoming popular.
An External HDD can be of great help as you can securely tuck away all your important files in it and retrieve them whenever you want. It can be used with multiple devices. Also, it is a useful tool for creating a backup of your data. It can also be used as a network drive. It can be accessed via Wi-Fi enabling you to rapidly copy files to another PC in the vicinity. When plugged-in, the files can run directly from the drive. The removal of data from your PC into an external HDD means that you will end up with a lot of free space, resulting in more speed and fewer cases of unresponsiveness.
The external drives come with cases. You can store them in safes which are water and fireproof to protect crucial data, especially if it is related to the deals and finances of a company. Additionally, you can lock your drive with encryption software and fingerprint security for preventing others from knowing what’s inside. Some models also come with data recovery tools.
While buying, select models according to the amount of storage you need and your budget. Also, keep an eye on the RPM as the drives which have faster spin results in lesser time to get work done. You can buy external HDDs from any reputed store. Online e-commerce portals give you discounts. Always go through the external hard drive reviews before zeroing in on a model. An economical purchase of 1 terabyte external hard drive for normal backup and file storage is highly recommended. Companies and banks have frequent data updates and new entries. A 2 terabyte external hard drive would be perfect for company use and high multimedia storage. The 2 TB ones are way bulkier and not advised if you need to move around with the drive a lot. Decide on the TB range according to the type of your PC.
Before plugging in the device, you may be required to run a CD to install the software. You can also plug-in the drive and wait for your PC to give you directions for manually installing the drive by inserting the CD which came with the drive. You may also be required to download drivers from the internet.
Do make a check for power cords. If any, connect it to a power source and turn on the switch. Usually, the Desktop External HDDs need them.
The attachment of the drive varies with respect to its company, storage memory, version, and dimensions. Mostly, USB ports are utilized. Lately, the usage of high-speed USB 2.0 ports is popular due to good compatibility with big storage capacity devices. If you have an older computer and bought an external HDD requiring USB 2.0, just install a USB 2.0 card in your device. Many drivers work via plugging into external Serial ATA port or use FireWire.
After you figure out the ports you will be using, plug-in the drive. Follow the instructions given by your PC.
You would be able to copy or shift files from your computer to the PC by simple drag-and-drop method. Create folders on the external drive for your convenience. You can perform automatic backups as well as online data sharing.
The transmission speed ranges from 12 to 180 Mbps for USB 2.0 connections. FireWire gives better speed at 400 to 800 Mbps and allows multiple interfaces. SATA and eSATA are the fastest but they require additional power cables and are quite expensive. The newer models, mostly promote their connectivity with USB 3.0 which maxes out at 625 MB/s. They are equally compatible with USB 2.0.
Be careful while removing the external HDD after you have completed using it. It takes the CPU some time to finish saving items to the drive. Abrupt disconnection results in loss of data and harms the device. Always eject your mass storage devices safely.
You can compare the quality before buying by reading external hard drive reviews. This would save you from getting duped and help you get answers to any queries you may have while buying an external drive for the first time.
You get an idea of the pros and cons of a specific model with respect to weight, size, speed, plugging, noise, customer service, cooling, cable length, capacity, prone to scratches, cost per GB etc.
The reviews also contain information about the number of seconds a specific amount of data needs to get transferred.
Compare the capacity of a 1 terabyte external hard drive and a 2 terabyte external hard drive, in terms of video hours, a number of music files, text documents or albums to get an idea as to which one would suit your needs more. Don’t forget to check for the warranty. Also, search for a robust, durable and shockproof model. Make sure its compatible with your operating system and computer model.
If you have any problem with the product, search for external hard drive reviews and browse through multiple sites, as the experts and companies themselves provide solutions to the posted complaints. If you can’t find a solution, simply post your problem or call the service provider. Always prefer companies who have service centers in your country. This helps in the accidental recovery of lost data, repair or replacements.
Have a happy time securely storing away your much-cherished files or those hush-hush company data. No more deleting ‘memories’. Well, literally! (All puns intended)