While online backup services are a smart and secure way to protect your valuable files, it is best to have multiple backup solutions at your disposal in case your data is ever compromised in any significant way. An external hard drive, which is an external and portable version of the part of your computer that stores data, provides an excellent addition to your overall backup solution when used in tandem with an online backup service.
Copying important data onto an external hard drive takes hardly any time at all, since it simply requires you to plug the external drive into your computer with a USB cable. Also, the current external hard drives on the market require no software installation and are compatible with PCs as well as Macs.
In addition to providing a convenient backup solution, external hard drives serve as additional storage devices. You can purchase as much as 2 TB of storage for less than $100 online, giving you a practically limitless amount of hard drive space for your sensitive documents, movies, music, and photos for a low price.
Popular External Hard Drives
The Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive ($85-150) is a very popular model and is described as rather lightweight and silent (some external hard drive models are known to make a bit of noise while operating). It comes with 1 TB of storage and does not include the firmware-based CD-partition that comes with other Western Digital products.
The Oyen Digital 500GB External USB 2.5” Mini Portable Hard Drive ($67-130) is around $10 more expensive than most of the cheapest 500GB external hard drives on the market but is around the same size as a flash drive, making it a versatile storage solution that provides 10 times more storage than the average flash drive .
The Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External Hard Drive ($108-160), while slightly more expensive than the 2 TB Western Digital product, has USB 3.0 capability which provides for up to three times faster transfer rates than the USB 2.0 which it also supports.