The increase in the number and weight of files means that internal disks in common desktops, laptops and gaming consoles often turn out to be insufficient. In such situations, it may be a good idea to buy an additional external drive, which is usually connected via USB ports, although of course you can also buy models that use other standards.
Hard disk drive (HDD). Their construction is based on moving parts (plates and head), which are responsible for reading and writing data. Due to the fact that this type of equipment is already quite outdated, they offer rather average work speed, which is noticeable mostly when copying huge amounts of small files.
Equally important, moving parts are very susceptible to vibrations and impacts, which is extremely important for external models. The biggest advantage of HDDs is the excellent price-performance ratio. They are simply cheap. So, when is it worth deciding on an external HDD? In a situation where we want to efficiently transfer files between computers. Such disk is not recommended for installing programs on it.
External solid-state drive (SSD). Their construction is based on Flash memory, it has no mobile constructions. Thus, we gain a much higher level of security of saved data. Flash memory itself also ensures faster performance. However, it costs a bit more, the prices are falling all the time.
SSD models will be the best option when we value the speed of action the most, considering both program support and files transfer.
Disk sizes. Currently, the most popular external disk formats available are 2.5 and 3.5-inch. The first type is characterized by smaller size and weight, as well as a different power supply (via USB). Therefore, it should be chosen by people who are looking for a good way to transfer data between computers.
Volume. In this case, the individual preferences are crucial. Not only 12G and 3 TB models but also larger are available. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone needs such a large surface. When the external disk is to be used as a multimedia file storage (high-quality photos and videos), a larger capacity is recommended. However, if there is not enough space for projects or ordinary office package files, it is not worth investing in an external disk significantly exceeding the value of 1 TB.
Speed. If you choose a Hard disk drive (HDD) with an interface better than USB 2.0, you should get familiar with the speeds of different models. The higher the speed, the faster the data will be read. The most common speeds are: 5400 RPM (revolutions per minute) and 7200 RPM. In the case of SSDs these values will be much higher, which of course will prove crucial for faster data transfer, as well as better program support.
Cache. When buying, this is not the most important factor and for many it will be simply unnoticeable. Despite this, it is worth checking what size is the buffer, because the cache stores data with much faster access. So, the more capacious it is, the more data it will fit.
Quality of the cover. To make sure that the sensitive parts of the hard disk are not damaged, it is worth checking of what and how solid the cover is made. Poor quality plastic can not only reduce the comfort of use, but also indirectly contribute to data loss. What’s important, there are waterproof external disks available on the market that will also prove durable in extreme conditions. Some devices are also equipped in dustproof covers.
Power. For 2.5-inch drives, manufacturers use energy-saving solutions, making the USB port sufficient enough to power the media. Some drives require a double cable to connect the drive to two ports. 3.5-inch external drives often need an external power supply because of the higher energy demand. As a result, they become less mobile.