Best External Hard Drive under 100: Buying Guide

It’s a great idea to back up important information on an external storage device for so many reasons. They are a quick and efficient way to ensure valuable files, such as your tax and business information, music, photos, or any other important data are protected in the event of a computer crash.

I’m going to walk you through the steps in choosing an external storage device for yourself. The first thing you need to determine is capacity. In general, the larger the capacity, the better. I recommend getting the largest size you can afford. External hard drives can range from 1 gigabytes to up to 2 terabytes.

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Once you determine the size, you will need to choose which type is right for you. Desktop hard drives are designed primarily with storage capacity in mind and are thus the bulkiest of the three. They also are powered through a wall outlet.

Portable hard drives are powered to the computer’s USB connection. These drives are compact, lightweight, and usually have smaller capacities than desktop drives. When looking for a portable unit, check out its exterior. Some come with a shock-absorbing cover for on-the-go handling. USB flash drives are the smallest of all the external storage devices, both in size and capacity. They are perfect for anyone who wants to keep files with them for easy access.

External storage devices connect to your computer in one of four common ways: USB 2.0, FireWire, eSATA, or USB 3.0. The good news is that USB 3.0 will be backwards compatible with 2.0 devices which means it’s compatible with all USB ports.

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