External Hard Drives: The Ultimate Buying Guide for the Novice

Written by: Omar Amanat

Summary: External storage drives can save the most important data if a fatal crash were to occur to your computer or laptop.

If you’re like most people, you’ve been slowly accumulating photos, video, music, and other data on your computer. Maybe you have numerous files for clients that carry sensitive data. Or, you might have 5,000 digital photos sitting in numerous files on your desktop. Either way, this media takes up precious space on your computer and needs to be allocated properly. External hard drives are the solution, and if you’re in the market for one, this guide will help you get the ball rolling.

Back Up Your Computer

Leaving content on a computer without backing it up is a definite no-no. For one, your computer will begin to slow down over time. And another, you risk losing everything in the event of a catastrophic hard-drive crash. A $3000 computer doesn’t mean you’re completely safe from crashes, it can occur to anyone at anytime.

Choose What Type You Want

There are essentially two different types of external hard drives: solid state drives (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD). SSDs, while extremely fast, can be extraordinarily expensive. And, the higher the capacity, the more you’ll have to fork over. On the other hand, you have HDDs which are half the price but don’t have the exact speed that an SSD has. Although an SSD is much safer, an HDD also works, as long as you aren’t reckless with it. If durability is truly a concern, look for external drives that boast ruggedness. These drives are reinforced with a variety of materials to increase the overall protection of your drive. Take a look at the various models and see what fits your budget and preference the best.