Many experts recommend storing all your data in the cloud because it is more reliable and secure. But, what happens when you don't have internet and need to access your valuable information? There is simply no way to get it. That's the most important reason to always have a quality external hard drive on hand. But to know which one to choose, there are many factors that influence and that is why we will help you make the right decision.
The most important specification to consider when buying an external unit is its capacity. It is not good to buy a high-speed device with encryption and remote access, if it is not large enough to actually store the information you need.
With that said, you also don't want to pay a kidney for a record you will never be close to filling, so what size should you aim for? The answer is as simple as depending on what you want to do with it.
If you want one that's good for transferring documents, photos, or other media between different devices, or just want to expand the storage space of your low-end laptop or tablet, then it might be best with a mid-range flash drive.
While the older ones have up to 2TB of storage capacity, they are very expensive and unnecessarily large. It really is better to save money and buy something in the 64GB range. Some can be purchased for less than $ 20 dollars and you get twice the size for a little more.
If you are interested in storing more information or maintaining files and folders over the long term, you will want something larger. A 1TB drive should satisfy most needs for the foreseeable future, as long as you want to store hundreds of movies, because you want to get rid of your DVD collection.
SSD vs. HDD
One of the most common decisions shoppers have to make after thinking about storage is choosing between an SSD or HDD. Traditional mechanical hard drives, (HDD, hard disk driveThey use a spinning magnetic disk to store data and read / write heads to change this data when necessary, which is why they are known for their iconic spinning sounds.
SSDs (solid state drives) use small transistors that can be turned on or off based on electrical impulses. They have no moving parts, hence the name.
Generally speaking, SSDs are significantly faster than HDDs, but they can be very expensive. The latter are cheaper, but also larger, slower and easier to damage. For external drives, it is generally best to choose an SSD, except in particular circumstances.
Size is not everything, even when it comes to external drives. Transfer speed is also important, because if you transfer files from one disk to another on a regular basis, you don't want to wait forever for the process to complete.
There are two main factors that play a role in the speed with which your drive can operate: the storage technology and the connector it uses. Although some drives are faster than others (and if you want top speed, be sure to check your option specs) in general.
SSDs can process data faster than HDDs. External SSDs tend to be more expensive than their HDD counterparts and often have less storage capacity. You don't have to have either, as there are bigger SSDs, but you will have to pay extra for it.
In terms of the connector, there are several common options to consider. Most drives use a USB interface, but there are several generations that have some clear differences, especially with the transfer speed.
USB 2.0 is an old standard and should be avoided if you are doing more than infrequent small file transfers. USB 3.0 offers a substantial increase in speed (up to 5 Gbps), while USB 3.1 (sometimes called USB 3.1 Gen 2) is becoming more common and offers transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
Devices that support Thunderbolt 3 offer the fastest connection medium, capable of transferring media at speeds of up to 40 Gbps. Some older devices use alternative connectors like eSATA and Firewire, but due to their reduced relevance they should be avoided.
Portability and durability
If you only want to use your external drive for backup in your own home, you don't need to consider portability and you can even search for network-attached storage solutions for permanent backup options. However, if you want to take your unit away from home, portability is paramount.
You want it to be light and small enough to fit in a bag or pocket for quick and easy access.
Most external drives are far from being heavy, and some, like the Samsung T5, are small, offer plenty of storage, and are physically tiny. Contrary to storage space, SSDs tend to be slightly smaller than their hard drive counterparts.
Another reason to consider an SSD over an HDD is durability. While modern outdoor units often come equipped with sturdy enclosures to protect them from damage in the event they are struck or dropped, the two technologies have a very different physical composition.
With no moving parts, an SSD is more durable to damage by falls than a traditional hard drive. While no one plans to drop their external drive, if you think about it, it can happen to all of us, SSDs offer a little more protection against such unfortunate events.
If the data you store on your external drive is confidential, it is a good idea to encrypt it. There are many drives that are compatible with software encryption solutions and are suitable for most, but for those who take security more seriously, they will need a drive with hardware encryption. If you are extremely demanding, you could even opt for a physical security system, such as pin code access for the Apricorn Aegis Padlock unit.
Some units will also come with strong casings to prevent physical tampering. While Kingston's Ironkey flash drives don't offer the same storage capacity as large-scale drives, they do have a secondary layer of security, as the cards in your drive are dipped in a resin that makes it difficult to access memory chips. internal.
Hard drives are often sold to be compatible with a specific operating system: A hard drive formatted for Windows 10 can have trouble working with MacOS, and vice versa. Some are also formatted specifically for Linux. This is not irreversible: it is usually possible to format or partition a hard drive so that it can have different capacities. However, if you want to avoid the hassle, make sure your drive matches the operating system you will be using it for.
If you are going to use their hard drive for portable gaming or to increase the storage of the console, your needs may be slightly different from those of the average user. SSD speed is even more important, since a slow disk can affect wait times and responsiveness.
USB 3.0 is pretty important too, though newer game consoles and computers are likely to update this at faster speeds via USB-C, so be prepared for this.
Automatic backup features and universal compatibility are also features that many gamers should look for. Some models, like the Silicon Power Armor A60, also have built-in cable storage and protection with military standards, which can meet your requirements.
Some units, such as gaming Seagate are specifically designed to match PS4 colors, and other models are made for Xbox only. If you want a unit that matches your console, there is probably one available.
While all the above features and specs are worth considering, there are other cool specs you can keep in mind if you're still unsure which drive to choose.
Some offer Wi-Fi connectivity for easy file access and others offer better guarantees, so if you're concerned about reliability, it's a good idea to choose to provide longer support. You can also consider cables: if your laptop or phone has USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 connections and your unit only comes with a USB-A cable, you will have to buy another cable or adapter.