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Buying a New Hard Drive? – 5 Things You Must know

Whether you’re transferring files from one PC to another or backing up data from your PC for safekeeping, a portable hard drive is the best affordable option that will get the job done and protect you from data failure or needing emergency data recovery services. In today’s post, we are going to take you through what you need to look to choose the right external hard drive that will suit your needs.

Here are the 5 major things you need to look at

1. HDD or SSD

External storage drives come in three types i.e. HDD, SSHD, or SSD. HDDs are the traditional hard disk drives while SSDs (Solid State Drives) are the more recent storage drives that use flash memory and don’t have mechanical parts. While both serve the same function of storing data, they each have their cons and pros.

  • SSDs use less power while maintaining faster read and write speeds compared to HDDs. This conserves more energy that leads to longer laptop battery life.
  • HDDs make some noise which some people may find disturbing while SSDs operate quietly.
  • SSDs have a longer lifespan.
  • The cost of SSDs per GB is almost twice that of HDDs.

If your priority is getting more storage space at a competitive price, then go for HDDs. However, if your priority is speed, then SSDs are the ideal option

2. Choose the Right size

The size largely depends on what you want to store on your external hard drive. Those with hundreds of movies and music files could need around 500GB to 700GB of storage space. While those who want to use the drive to transfer work files like documents and zipped files may need around 120GB to 250GB of external hard drive space. But it’s never bad to go big and get yourself a 1TB or 2TB sized hard drive. You may need the space in the future.

3. Choose the Right Connection Interface

The common connection interfaces at the moment are; Thunderbolt, USB-C, or a USB-A connection. The thunderbolt is the fastest of the three followed by USB-C and then USB. So, choose one with a connection interface that will suit the data transfer speed you need.

4. Casing

Hard drives come in different types of casings that are normally made out of different materials and designs. The casing is what keeps the internal parts of the hard drive safe. If you intend to use the hard drive in harsh environments, consider getting one with a rubber casing that is thick enough to absorb shock in case the hard drive suddenly drops.

5. Price and cost of External Hard Drives

When choosing an external hard drive, you will find multiple storage drives with different price tags that almost look similar on the surface but very different underneath. It’s up to you to decide which features and specifications fit your needs. SSD drives tend to be super expensive compared to traditional HDDs. An external hard drive with a USB-C type connection tends to be more costly compared to those with USB type A. And of course, the bigger the size, the more it will cost.

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Kamran Sharief

I write about technology, marketing and digital tips. In the past I've worked with Field Engineer, Marcom Arabia and You can reach me at

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Kamran Sharief

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