Choosing an external hard drive

What do you need to consider when choosing an external hard drive?

  • Will you be using the hard drive for backups?
  • Are you needing to travel with the hard drive?
  • What connections are available on your device?

Let’s begin!

Things to note:

  • You can use almost every hard drive on either a Mac or a PC. You will just need to reformat the drive to make sure it works with your system!
  • The faster the RPMs (revolutions per minute), the faster the backup times (generally)
    • The faster a drive is able to spin, the faster you will be able to use the drive — which may be something you want to make sure you spend extra dollars on if this is a requirement for you

Choosing the right drive for you:

  • Have a size requirement in mind
    • You will need to start with a predefined size in mind; this will help make sure you don’t buy a drive that is too small to meet your needs
  • Do you need to travel with the drive?
    • If you need to take the drive with you and need it to be mobile, you’ll need to make sure your drive is easily portable
      • This means your drive will be powered solely by your computer/laptop via the USB cable
      • If you don’t choose this option, the drive will come with a power cable and a USB cable that will need to be plugged in when you want to use the hard drive
  • If you’ll be using the hard drive for backups, you should double check the size of your computer (guides to come). This will ensure you have the right amount of disk space to meet all of your backup requirements
  • Make sure your device supports the connection the hard drive will use
    • Almost all devices will have a spare USB port that you will be able to use for your hard drive!
    • However, this doesn’t mean that all devices have a spare port available! It’s always a good idea to double check before purchasing your new drive!

Regarding which brand to buy — make sure that the hard drive ultimately meets your needs. Some of the core differences are:

Warranty coverage:

  • Some hard drives will need to be returned to the manufacturer
  • Some hard drives can come with a limited warranty

The physical size of the drive:

  • Generally portable drives are much smaller than expansion drives

Always read the reviews:

  • Reviews from those that have used the hard drives previously are generally the best way to see how a hard drive performs

We hope that this information is helpful and informative for you!

If you still feel like you are unsure of the right drive for you, please leave us a comment below and we would be more than happy to help you choose the best drive for your personal requirements!