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Selecting The Best External Hard Drive

Jun 4, 2008
Backing up the information on your computer's hard drive on a regular basis is one of the most crucial tasks that you can perform and should be at the top of your list of daily things to do. Though external hard drives have been available for a while, it is only recently that they have become extremely popular, compact, and ultra affordable. However, selecting the best external hard drive for backing up your files can be a little confusing especially if you are not really comfortable with technology.

Sure, you could use either DVDs or CDs to back up your files, but eventually all those discs add up. Add in the fact that backing up data using discs is time consuming and discs are easily damaged, and external hard drives become a much more appealing option. Plus, discs take up excess space and can be misplaced. Choosing the best external hard drive for your needs will depend on a few things, though.

One of the first things that you will need to consider when selecting the best external hard drive for backing up your files is the type and size of files you are saving. Some types of external drives are more portable than others, so the best external hard drive for your needs will depend on the types and amounts of files you need to store. For example, if you have tons of graphics, photos, videos, etc., you will obviously choose a drive that is less portable.

If you like being able to carry your files with you, then the best external hard drive for you may be something like a flash drive. Flash drives are great if you need to have your files handy and you do not want to carry around a larger external drive. They fit easily on your keychain or in your purse and come in different sizes from about 128 MB to up to 4 GB, so you can fit a great many files on the drive.

If you backing up all the files on your computer's drive, then the best external hard drive for you is going to be something a little larger. You can purchase an external hard drive with tons of storage - up to a terabyte - that is approximately the size of a paperback book. So while these drives are also theoretically portable, they are considerably larger than flash drives.

One of the best things about the new generation of external hard drives is that you can pack so much more information in a smaller space, making them ultra portable. They do not even need to be plugged into an outlet and can be powered via the USB ports on your computer.

Choosing the best external hard drive is largely a matter of doing your research. If you look in the circulars in the newspaper each week, there are numerous hard drives on sale and the prices are steadily decreasing. In the end, selecting the best external hard drive will be a matter of choosing the drive with the features that work best for your storage needs.
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