If you are asking “what is an external hard drive?”, an external hard drive is the ultimate computer maintenance backup device. How much data it stores depends on how big the hard drive is inside the external case. If you find that there is not enough storage space you can simply remove the hard drive and replace it with a bigger one. Computer backup devices are a part of our lives now as people are accumulating more and more files. Gone are the days of tape backup devices, external drives are the in thing for now.
Most newer type external hard drives connect to the computer via a USB cable. Most computers have a front USB port and therefore make it easy to plug and play or use your external computer backup devices.
What does an external hard drive do?
Once connected to the computer, your hard drive backup device will show up in my computer as another hard disc drive. All you have to do is double click on the drive icon and you can paste or drop any file you like there. Now days people have a 500gb external hard drives or even larger, but the smaller ones are fine too. It all depends on how much space you personally need.
After connecting your external hard drive, go to the start menu, then computer, then you will see all the drives connected to the computer. C drive is usually your computers main hard drive so the device you just plugged in might be named D or F etc.
The benefits of having an external hard drive
If you are wondering why you need an external hard drive, take note of these points below.
- It’s a portable device You can easily pick up your external hard drive, take it to a friends house, and connect it to their computer. Most computers have a USB port through which it can be connected.
- Safe Backup Device Because the external hard drive is not permanently connected to your computer, if your system crashes, the information and files on your external hard drive device will still be safe. There this is a great easy secure backup device.
- Easily upgradeable If you find that it does not have enough storage space for your backup files you can easily replace the hard drive with a bigger one. You cannot, as yet, upgrade a normal USB Flash drive.
- Can store a huge amount of Data and files For example if you had a 160gb external hard drive you could fit movies, backup your files such as music, photos, entire programs, and more on it.
- Will save your computer from getting clogged up with downloads and large files. If you find yourself downloading a lot of files it is always better to remove them from your computer to store somewhere else. This way your computers performance will not be effected by storing unnecessary files, data, and movies.
- You can format anytime.
See 5 kinds of computer backup storage.
What size external hard drive do you need?
If you just want to store documents, emails, small backup files, and photos then 20GB is enough for an external hard drive. However if you want to store in type of movie, video footage, large amounts of music, or even entire backups of your system, then you will need at least 100GB or more.
How much money does an external hard drive cost?
Nowadays you can buy a 2TB hard drive for about $79 and then you just have to buy an external hard drive enclosure which can be around $20 or $30. However there is no point buying them separately any more as they are just so damn cheap! For example you can get a Western Digital 2 TB external hard drive for under $100 and this includes everything you need. (may change) You can store or backup everything on your external hard drive. I cannot live without mine!!! It is a fantastic device…
Make sure you see my external hard drive buying guide to help you decide on what you need to buy.
What happens if the eternal hard drive fails to work and I lose my files?
OK this is not funny. It has happened to me. I had my 300GB external hard drive sitting on a chair and knocked the cord and the whole thing gently slid off the chair. The hard drive was dead. It just tapped the floor. Anyway I was absolutely devastated and vowed this would not happen again. Now I have an external hard drive that backs up the other external hard drive. I know this sounds silly but imagine loosing 10 years of goodies that I had on that hard drive.. I would rather keep my files safe and have two computer backup devices.
It is very important that we all own an external hard drive to backup our precious files.
What is the Best External Harddrive?
Most external hard drives are pretty good. Of course I do recommend staying with the main well known brands as there is no rules or guidelines that hard drive manufacturers have to follow. Therefore reputation is the only thing they can lose.
But one of the best external harddrives is the WD harddrive (western digital as mentioned above) simply because it works for both Macs and PCs. This is a big factor to consider as many households have both types of computer systems.