The hard drive is the part of a computer that stores all of the essential data, and most computers will have an inbuilt internal hard drive as standard. External hard drives perform the same function as an internal hard drive, in that they store data, but they have the benefit of being separate from the main computer so they can be used to back up all of the important data stored on the system. This can be very useful in the event any serious problems occur with the main computer, such as infections by malware which can corrupt internal hard drives and cause data loss.
External hard drives can also be a practical solution for those computer users who have large amounts of data such as videos, music files, DVDs and photo images, which can take up large amounts of space on internal hard drive and cause computer performance issues. External hard drives are also portable, and can be connected into any computer that has a USB port so you can transport large amounts of data easily to another location.
There are two main types of external hard drives, desktop and portable:
- Desktop external hard drives have a robust encasement and are usually fan cooled and require a separate power supply input to improve performance and durability. These are designed for the purpose of high performance storage rather than portability, so are larger than portable hard drives and typically provide around 500GB to 1TB of storage capacity. These hard drives are connected to the main computer using a high speed interface cable, which allows the two devices to communicate and pass information to each other, so that you can back up files quickly and securely.
- Portable external hard drives work in a similar way to desk top version, but are more slim line and lightweight, and are easier to transport. These are normally connected to computers through a USB cable, so they do not require their own power supply.
There are many different makes and sizes of hard drive on the market and prices range from £60 right up to £6,000 and over , so you will need to look around until you find one that suits both your storage needs and your budget. Western Digital provide a great range of mid price external hard drives which start from around £70 – £100 and you can get some helpful Western Digital External Hard Drive Reviews from actual users if you look on Amazon.com, or if you want a more professional review then you can go to websites such as PC Pro.