February 24, 2022

External Hard Drive: Which one and how to choose?

An external hard drive is a storage and security drive that allows you to keep the information you have on your desktop or laptop safe. 

An external hard drive is a storage and security drive that allows you to keep the information you have on your desktop or laptop safe. In the market, there are many options so today we want to mention some so you can analyze which one is best for you.

External hard drives and their storage capacity

Laptop with external hard drive

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing an external hard drive to save our information is its storage capacity of it. This factor also influences the price of this type of device so you should also analyze what you really need when buying one. If for necessities you need to expand the memory of your computer's hard drive, the storage capacity should be greater than if you are only looking to save some documents or images.

There are external hard drives of 5 TB, which due to the large capacity they have are very expensive. If you are looking to store the information you can buy a 1 TB external drive. With a device of this capacity, you can save hundreds of movies to give you a simple example.

The price difference between a 5 TB disk and a 1 TB disk is that the first can cost around $160, while the second is possible to acquire for $ 90.


The versions of external hard drives are two: SSD and HDD. HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) use a rotating magnetic disk that stores data and read and write heads; this data can be changed when necessary.

External hard drives SSDs (solid-state drives) work through small transistors that turn on or off depending on the electrical impulses. These hard drives contain no moving parts and are usually faster than HDDs, but they are also significantly more expensive. HDDs are cheaper but their life span is shorter, their size is larger and they are usually damaged more easily.

External hard drive speed

SSD external hard drive image

In addition to storage capacity, speed is another factor to take into account, because the faster you can transfer information from the computer to the disk the better.

External SSD hard drives tend to process data faster than HDDs (plus they have less storage capacity).

Now, also the USB connectors. With regard to these external storage units, there are several generations that must also be analyzed.

A USB 2.0 is of an old generation and works to save small files because its speed is little reaching 480 Mbps.

USB-A is the most popular. It is a classic and small rectangular box with a connection to the computer. The novelty is the USB-C device that is smaller and rounded in shape, in addition to having a reversible connector. Some of these USBs operate with Thunderbolt 3 and their speed is 40 Gbps. If your computer does not have the input for this USB you can look for compatibility with USB 3.1/3.2 generation 2.

Laptop with a USB

Durability and portability

If your choice when deciding on an external hard drive for your backups is to keep it at home, portability is not a problem in terms of the weight and size of the device. But if you need to move it, it should be light and small, although most external hard drives are usually lightweight.

Once again we must mention, that an external SSD hard drive is a better option before HDDs for its durability since they resist better an accident such as a fall.

Data protection

Padlock on the keyboard of a laptop as an example of the security of a hard drive.

Security is critical no matter what information you're storing on your outdoor hard drive. For this, it is necessary to think about acquiring those with hardware encryption.


External hard drives are devices that are sold separately from the computer you use and their compatibility is usually specific to Windows or macOS systems.

Although there is the possibility of formatting them, choose in advance those that are compatible with your operating system.

In the face of so many offers on the market, you should analyze your needs to choose the external hard drive that can meet all your needs.

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