Deciding what kind of storage you need for your files and media can be a difficult task. HardDriveList.co.uk aims to provide you with clear information and comparisons in order for you to find the best external hard drive that is specifically for you. Browse our reviews and articles and discover better ways to keep your files safe, secure and organised.
Choosing the Best External Hard Drive for your needs
The modern home is full of electronic devices, a fully connected hub where lots of files are created and shared daily. Our mobile phones double as digital cameras and are even capable of recording HD video. Millions of files and programs are available to download via the internet, and everyday we store music, documents, movies and games onto numerous devices. Having all these cherished memories is a wonderful thing, but this also places more importance than ever on keeping everything you have backed up. External hard drives enable you to keep vast amounts of data saved on a lightweight and secure portable device that you can carry in your pocket or bag.
Different types of hard drives
Hard disk drives are traditionally internal components, placed inside a PC or Mac in order to provide storage for data and other necessary digital information. Being inside the ‘guts’ of a computer meant that no real emphasis was put on how they looked, other than making sure the size was an efficient use of space within the machine.
Modern demands mean that we now want our data to be transferable between devices and portable. So the rise of the external hard drive was necessary to facilitate this need. USB sticks are useful for moving small amounts of data around, 16GB & 32GB versions are commonly available and enable you to put important files in your top pocket. Portable external hard drives are slightly larger, being about the same size as a wallet or large smartphone. This increased size allows for a massive jump in capacity, with sizes reaching up to 2TB. Desktop external hard drives are less portable and are best suited to sitting next to your computer. Capacities available for desktop external hard drives are currently reaching up to a huge 6TB.
Desktop drives are also beginning to be integrated with cloud services, this means that you can share and stream your media files wirelessly around your home to other compatible devices such as a smart TV or tablet. Lots of top companies offer devices in all these areas, brands like Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba all sell a large range of hard drives for slightly different purposes.
Portability or huge capacity
Consider where you want to use your hard drive, and how often you will need to travel around with your files. USB sticks are no bigger than a pen, but cannot store anywhere near as much data as other hard drives on the market. At the other end of the scale, desktop drives provide massive amounts of storage, but they aren’t designed to fit in your jacket pocket. Portable hard drives offer large storage capacities while remaining lightweight and easy to carry on your person. These considerations should be weighed up against your own expectations. Make sure you pick the best external hard drive for your needs, for example don’t purchase a USB stick if you want to save your entire movie collection.
External hard drives are not just for storing files, you can also run programs or stream videos directly from the drive itself. This is made much easier by using USB 3.0, which drastically boosts data transfer speeds. If you have a USB 3.0 port on your computer you will be able to reduce transfer time by up to three times when compared to USB 2.0 transfer rates. Fast transfer speeds are important for accessing files directly off the drive and allow you to move huge amounts of data quickly and efficiently.
Cloud based multimedia hub
A desktop or portable hard drive is an excellent solution for keeping all your multimedia files in one central place. A 1TB drive can hold the following:
- 2,000,000 photos (500kb each)
- 285,714 mp3 music tracks (3.5mb each)
- 1,000 movies (1gb each)
With personal cloud storage you can stream your media content to your connected TVs, media players, consoles and other DLNA certified devices. You can also stream your music library to any PC or Mac with iTunes. Some devices also let you transfer files between your hard drive and Dropbox via the cloud.
Use our resources to find the right device for you
Whatever you decide, here at harddrivelist.co.uk we will provide reviews and information so that you can make informed decisions and find the best external hard drive deals for your needs. With so many hard drives on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. We will attempt to guide you in the right direction, and our blog will provide you with lots of ways to make the most of your purchase.