External Hard Drives

External hard drives are useful for backing up data and can also supplement your computer's internal hard drive, giving you additional storage capacity.

When shopping for an external hard drive, the first thing to consider is how much storage capacity you need. Also, consider whether you'll be using your external hard drive as a portable addition to your computer's current hard drive or a stationary appliance. A notebook-style hard drive, also called a pocket or passport external hard drive, is designed to be portable and usually has about 250 GB to 750 GB of storage capacity, though some models hold up to 1.5 TB. This type of hard drive uses the computer it's connected to as a power source, so it doesn't need to be plugged into an outlet. Desktop-style external hard drives are meant to be stationary and generally have greater storage capacity — up to about 4 TB. Some models consist of a chassis containing two to four mechanisms and can hold even more data. Desktop external hard drives also tend to have long lifespans, especially if they're equipped with cooling fans.

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