Most computers these days have somewhere around 250GB-500GB of internal hard drive space available. For most people, that is not enough. Photographers who have DSLRs can easily fill up that space in no time. Video editors need even more. Media addicts, who download a lot of movies and television shows (especially in HD) would have an easy time filling it up within days.
So, what’s the solution to all of this? It’s buying an external hard drive of course. Here are the top 7 external hard drives available in the market now (in no particular order).
1. Western Digital My Passport Studio
This external hard drives comes in various sizes starting from 250GB and going all the way up to 2TB of space. The Mac specific version of this hard drives comes with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 cables included and provides excellent dollar per gigabyte value. It looks good but is not small enough to carry without a bag. It gives pretty speedy performance without breaking the bank.
Price: The 2TB version goes for around $200. The 500GB for about $70.
2. Western Digital My Passport Essential SE
This one has well-designed software, is easy to use to back up and restore files, includes diagnostic tools, the 1TB version is good value for money. The downside is that it looks bland. It’s pricey compared to other 1TB drives in Australia and some places in Europe, but in the USA, it could be gotten for cheap. It is compact and lightweight and so could easily fit into your pockets. It is also available with USB 3.0 which is a plus.
Price: $99 for the 1TB version. $84 for 750GB.
3. Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex (Portable)
It’s the best value for money drive out there on the market currently. The 1TB version offers you everything you need. It has fast disk transfer times, includes great backup software, it’s got support for both Windows and Macs (no need to reformat, just install the software). The only downside to it is being the flimsy feel of the drive. A 5GB file consisting of documents and media transferred in about 1 minute and 26 seconds according to Laptopmag. It comes in flavours of USB 2.0, 3.0 and FireWire 800.
Price: It’s a steal at $98 for 1.5TB. $157 for 3TB.
4. Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk (4TB)
This behemoth of a hard drive is meant only for extra storage space and definitely not for portability. If you are looking for that, look elsewhere. This drive has a huge 4TB capacity, supports mostly all interfaces available and provides a low price per gigabyte. The only problem is the plastic construction that it’s been made with. That shouldn’t be a problem, as you won’t be taking this drive anywhere. Using the USB 3.0 interface, the drive transferred a 1.2GB test folder in 15 seconds and in 42 seconds using the USB 2.0 connection according to PCMag’s tests. It can also be easily swapped between Windows and a Mac without having to reformat.
Price: Can be got for about $215.
5. Iomega eGo USB 3.0 (1TB)
This drive is bulkier than most but offers a more rugged design and can withstand a 7-foot drop. It’s got solid read/write speeds and some helpful utilities. Its sleeve is shock resistant. It’s got USB 3.0 which is almost a given these days. It’s available in 500GB and 1TB versions. It does deliver top of the line performance but if you want absolutely the best speeds, then look at the previous entry in this list. The 1TB version is priced at a premium over competing drives but is worth it if you have clumsy fingers.
Price: $199 for the 1TB USB 3.0 version.
6. Buffalo DriveStation HD-HXU3
This isn’t exactly portable. It does need to be plugged into the wall to be able to use it. It has a big capacity in a slim casing. It offers very fast USB 3.0 transfer speeds and has backward compatibility with USB 2.0. If you need an external hard drive at your desk, a nice looking one too, with large capacities and fast USB 3.0 speeds then look no further. It’s available in 3 capacities; 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB.
Price: The 2TB version goes for around $140. 1TB at $78.
All the hard drives mentioned above are very good hard drives. Some might be better than the others in some cases but each are good in their own way. Depending on your budget, and what you are looking for in an external hard drive, there are plenty of options available.
One thing you should definitely make note of, is to buy a USB 3.0 compatible hard drive whatever you do. You will not regret it.
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About Sahil Bhalla
Sahil is a freelance technology writer currently studying at Sarah Lawrence College in NYC. He loves journalism, technology, sports, travel, and food. He also regularly attends technology events in the city and reports them for us. Always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in every which way; rumors kill his day.