If you want a hassle-free and convenient way to store large volumes of data, you can’t get much better than an External Hard-Drive. More reliable and with far more capacity than thumb-drives or SD cards, they provide an excellent option for those who want the stability and data storage capacity of a proper hard drive, with added portability and convenience, and without having to go through the hassle of installing one internally.
However, if you don’t know exactly what you want, it can be a challenge to find the right external hard drive for your personal needs. In this article, we’ll go over some advice on how to pick an external hard-drive that matches your specific requirements and give you an overview of ten different models that may meet those requirements, and provide you with what you’re looking for.
What to Look For in a Best Buy External Hard Drive
When looking for an external hard drive, there are many factors you will want to take into consideration. In this section, we’ll go over the most important of those factors, and talk about how you should use them to figure out exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to external hard drives.
The first and probably most important factor is exactly how much storage space you’re looking for, and this is influenced heavily by what you’re planning to use the external hard drive for. For example, text files don’t take up much space at all, but videos, music, pictures, and games can take up a significant amount, and enterprise data can take up even more.
Other factors include portability, reliability, and compatibility with your hardware. The following short reviews will give you a variety of different drives to look at and compare to find the one that best suits your needs.
The Seagate ‘Expansion’ portable external drive is an excellent choice for general usage. An all-rounder with decent reliability, it’s neither too large nor too small and is entirely portable. It features instant compatibility with modern Windows operating systems, as well as high-speed USB 3.0 connections, and it is available in sizes ranging from one terabyte to four terabytes, which, for general usage, should be plenty.
The drive is also backwards-compatible with USB 2.0 connectors, albeit at a slower speed, and can be easily formatted to run on Mac and Linux systems. Professional installation and carrying case are available as optional additions.
Overall, the Seagate ‘Expansion’ Portable model is an excellent all-rounder with hassle-free usage and an abundance of data storage space for general use.
If you’re looking for something a bit more heavyweight, the Seagate ‘Expansion’ series also offers the larger desktop model. A bit heftier than the more portable version, this desktop drive is less portable, and more appropriate to be stored on the desktop. However, the ‘Expansion’ Desktop model also offers more in terms of both reliability, with more robust construction, as well as in terms of storage space, with options available up to eight terabytes of storage space.
The desktop model has the same compatibility as the more portable version, utilizing high-speed USB 3.0 ports, and full compatibility with modern Windows systems, and compatibility with most other systems given minimal configuration. As with the portable model, the desktop version also offers the availability of professional installation.
A more robust external drive than the portable model, the Seagate ‘Expansion’ Desktop model offers an exceptional external drive for general usage with high storage capacity in a simple and easy-to-use package.
The ‘Elements’ Portable external drive by Western Digital is smaller and lighter than the Seagate ‘Expansion’ Portable, with a smaller form-factor, and a smoother exterior, it offers a more discreet and compact option. Offering a simple and lightweight drive for general usage with easy-to-use USB 3.0/2.0 compatible connection ports, and the ability to easily reformat for Mac compatibility.
As with many Western Digital drives, the ‘Elements’ Portable drive comes standard with a free trial of Western Digital SmartWare Pro auto, as well as cloud backup software. With sizes ranging from one to four terabytes, this drive is a great choice if you want a lightweight and portable drive without compromising on data storage capacity.
The ‘Elements’ Portable drive is ideal for on-the-go storage when a slimmer model just doesn’t have the storage capacity you need. In addition to offering a simple and easy-to-use option for portable data storage, it also comes complete with excellent software, and the option for professional installation.
For those who want something a little more than a simple external drive, Western Digital offers their ‘My Passport’ Portable drive. With a vibrant design, built-in password protection systems via hardware encryption, and automatic backup software included, there’s very little not to like about this drive.
With several cosmetic finishes to choose from, as well as optional professional installation and availability of a bundled flash drive in addition to a range of available drive capacity options ranging from one to four terabytes, ‘My Passport’ offers a more high-tech, stylish, and personalized candidate for your general-use external drive.
If you’re looking for something a bit more personal, and with a bit more technology packed into it, ‘My Passport’ by Western Digital could be exactly what you need.
For a higher-capacity data storage solution that doesn’t compromise on features or technology, you don’t need to look any further than the Seagate Backup Plus Hub external hard drive. Offering a high-quality, reliable device with plenty of bells and whistles, the Backup Plus Hub is ideal for anyone who wants all the bells and whistles, as well as significant storage.
The Backup Plus Hub features two front-mounted USB 3.0 ports, allowing you to use it as a charging point for other USB devices, or to more easily transfer files. The drive is also compatible with the free Seagate Mobile Backup app, allowing you to interface with the device painlessly.
Seagate offers an outstanding high-tech external drive with the Backup Plus Hub, giving you all the fancy features without compromising reliability or storage space.
If you’re looking for the high-tech features of the Backup Plus Hub, but want something a bit more portable, then the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is for you. With specialized Seagate Dashboard software included by default and instant compatibility with both PC and PS4, this device also offers a good option for gamers who need more space, in addition to being great for general use.
With many of the bells and whistles of its larger counterpart, but in a more convenient and portable package, the Backup Plus Slim offers up to five terabytes of storage in an easy-to-handle package. In addition, complete installation by a professional and a protective case are optionally available.
The Backup Plus Slim gives you the power of a desktop external drive at the size of a portable one and doesn’t compromise on quality or storage space. In addition, it’s immediately compatible with PS4, making it an ideal choice for gaming.
Basic is certainly the right word to describe this small drive. The Canvio Basics external hard drive doesn’t come with any superfluous software or fancy gimmicks. It just plugs in and works. It’s simple, reliable, and doesn’t have any needless complexity. The perfect device for someone who just wants some extra file storage, and doesn’t need any bells or whistles.
Available in sizes ranging from five hundred gigabytes to three terabytes, the Toshiba Canvio Basics external hard drive is perfect if you don’t need a lot of extra space, but are still looking for something that’s reliable and convenient.
Overall, this drive offers simple storage and reliability, perfect for the person who just wants a simple and easy-to-use device that doesn’t need anything extraneous.
The A30 is rugged, reliable, and can handle anything you throw at it. If you’re looking for an external hard drive that can survive hazardous environments, then the Silicon Power Rugged Armor A30 is exactly what you’re looking for. Fully shock-resistant and rated for military-grade usage, it doesn’t get much more durable than the A30.
Available in one and two terabyte models, as well as the enclosure alone, allowing you to install a custom hard-disk. What this external hard drive lacks in storage space, it more than makes up for with its extreme durability, and its ability to handle even the most hazardous environments.
With professional installation available, a 3-year manufacturer warranty, and military-grade construction, the A30 guarantees a reliable and durable external hard-drive, perfect for outdoor usage, or usage in hazardous locations.
If you want the most compact and portable external hard drive possible, you want the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim. At less than ten millimeters thick, and less than three inches across, the Ultra Slim certainly lives up to its name. For ultra portable high-volume external storage, it doesn’t get any more compact.
Seagate Dashboard software is included to make backups and file transfers as convenient and hassle-free as possible, and USB 3.0 compatibility means lightning fast file transfer speeds. Available in one and two terabyte volumes, and with installation available by professionals, the Ultra Slim is exceptionally convenient and is perfect if you value portability over raw file storage capacity.
The Game Drive for the Xbox One by Seagate is ideal for gamers. It offers two and four terabyte options, as well as an eight terabyte option with included USB hub, and a five-hundred-and-twelve-gigabyte option using solid state technology to give you blisteringly fast loading and transfer times.
The Game Drive is made for the Xbox One, and it works instantly. It gives you the space for all your games and media, as well as offering an SSD option. The SSD model of the Game Drive offers unparalleled speed both for file transfer, as well as loading times between levels and during gameplay.
If you’re looking to get more file storage space for your Xbox One, the Seagate Game Drive is the ideal choice.