Why buy an external hard drive

Our laptops and PCs hold just about our full lives on their hard drives. We’ve got family photos stored there, important documents, spreadsheets for work, our CVs.

So, with the increasing amounts of data storage our busy lives seem to need these days, it makes sense to invest in an external hard drive. That way, not only can you give yourself peace of mind by backing up anything invaluable to you, you can also add additional space without upgrading or buying a new computer.

When your internal hard drive is almost full, your PC can slow down. But there’s no need to delete files. You can just free up space on your internal hard drive by transferring files to an external  drive, getting your PC moving again. And, if you choose a portable drive, you can take all your data with you.

Here we take a look at some of the most popular hard drives on the market.

Buffalo MiniStation 500GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Disk Drive

Costing around £51.99, Buffalo’s MiniStation is a budget-friendly, easily transportable solution to carrying your extra data with you. Compact, sleek and lightweight, you can store, back up and transport digital images, music and other files without taking up much-needed space on your PC hard-drive. It’s compatible with both PC and Mac and you can use it straight from the box, with no further power supply needed as it is plugged directly into the USB port of your laptop.

Its 500GB capacity will hold up to 140,000 digital photos, 12,000 songs or 200 DVD quality films. And access to whatever you’ve stored is easy. You just plug it in via the included USB cable and your information is seen automatically so you don’t have any confusing drivers or firmware to download. When it comes to copying data to the drive, it’s just a case of dragging and dropping.

Western Digital Elements 500GB Portable USB 3.0/2.0 Hard Drive

Offering a good capacity for value-conscious consumers, Western Digital’s offering has a RRP of around £93, but is on sale for around £50 in many retailers. With reliable, high-capacity storage you can take with you, this device has been future-proofed to work with USB 2.0 now and with USB 3.0 later.

The drive has also been built for durability, shock tolerance and long-term reliability to protect your data. It’s compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 and can be reformatted for a Mac.

Toshiba PX1626E-1HEO 500GB StorE Alu2 USB 2.0 2.5 Inch External Hard Drive

Not only does this hard drive do a great job of storing your data, it also looks extremely stylish. Costing around the same as the Western Digital and Buffalo versions, Toshiba’s device is lightweight, and is just 12 centimetres in height and 40 millimetres in width, so it’s easy to take wherever you need it. With a fanless design, it also offers a near-silent operation.

Toshiba’s hard aluminium case also protects it from knocks and drops unlike more brittle plastic ones so your valuable data should be safe.

Samsung S2 USb 2.0 1TB Ultraslim Portable Hard Drive

Samsung’s hard drive is more expensive, at around £74, but it offers an incredible amount of storage space. And, not only are these drives designed for practical use but for aesthetic appeal to, with an ultra-glossy front cover and leather-like back.

Smaller and lighter than most external hard drives, the S2 Portable is a pocket-sized wonder, ideal for people who need to carry massive amounts of digital content on the go. It also offers a raft of security features – SafetyKey safeguards your back-up data with a password, while SecretZone creates a virtual drive which encrypts your data.

Samsung also offers an auto back-up feature for those of us who have forgotten to back up important files and ended up losing everything. You can either back up in real time, or on a pre-arranged schedule, so no matter how busy you are, you can be sure your data will be saved.

Whichever hard drive you decide to opt for, you should be able to rest assured that your data will be safe.

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