Has your computer suffered damage and the data is gone? With a backup on an external hard drive you can prevent that. Of course, the record is also easy to take movies, music or other data. It is important that there is enough space on it . A terabyte (1TB) is to have a good price-performance ratio, but even larger hard drives no longer cost the world.
How to find the right External Hard Drive in 2019
- An external hard drive is the ideal solution when either additional storage space is required or sensitive data is to be securely stored and transported.
- Thanks to USB 3.0, even large amounts of data can be transferred quickly from a computer or laptop to an external hard drive . Thus, data can be backed up quickly or made mobile.
- Good hard drives offer at least 2 terabytes (TB) of storage for backup and also have cloud connectivity or encryption so data stored on them can not be easily read.
Especially Windows users know the problem: With each update of the operating system shrinks the available memory on the internal hard drive and the USB flash drives are full faster than you would like. Programs, applications and above all games additionally take up space on the hard disk. Already the next data storage can become a problem.
The simplest solution: an external hard drive. These handy devices act as an extra hard drive with plenty of storage space, but do not have to be permanently installed, but can be easily connected via USB cable . Thus, external hard drives are always mobile and can be taken anywhere , similar to a USB stick or SD card.
Is your hard disk almost full? Then you should soon buy an external hard drive. This type of external hard drive has become very cheap, has enough space for many files, large photo collections or full movies and has the additional advantage that sensitive data can thus be physically brought to safety .
Simply plug in the connection and stow the external hard drive and the data on it can no longer be hacked or stolen. In our comparison, we show you which criteria you need to pay attention to, which size is sufficient for which type of user and which brand is currently the leader.
1. External hard drive, USB stick, cloud – these storage options are available
To save and store your files on your PC, for a long time, only the factory-installed hard drive was an option. Additional disks or a CD burner were expensive, the first USB sticks took only a few megabytes of data. Today, the selection is much larger and for every purpose is the right storage medium.We have compiled some options:
|Internal hard drive||
|External hard drive||
|CD / DVD / BluRay||
Advantages of an external hard disk compared to an internal hard disk:
- does not have to be permanently installed
- can be connected and disconnected with just one touch
- works in the system like an internal hard disk
- brings additional features depending on the model
- could be lost because not permanently installed
2. External hard drive purchase advice – you must pay attention
2.1. The storage capacity – there is not too much!
In 1965, Gordon Moore, one of Intel’s co-founders, claimed that processors’ computing power would double each year, but costs would drop. Although one relativized this statement, but in principle, the assumption is true today. CPUs, graphics cards and memory are becoming ever more powerful at ever shorter intervals , without necessarily becoming significantly more expensive.
If you want to buy a new external hard drive, you should think in the medium term and get a model that provides as much space as possible. It makes a huge difference whether an external hard drive has 500GB or another external hard drive 2TB of memory.
Even if you do not need that much right now, keep in mind that applications will need more and more memory in the future . Even a 1TB external hard drive is faster than you think.
Especially if you back up data frequently and save it to the external hard drive, we recommend a device with maximum space.
2.2. The file system – Windows, Mac or both?
The file system is the structure in which the files are stored on a hard disk. Basically, an external storage is able to create any file system, but it is most convenient if the right system already exists at the time of purchase. Most external hard drives come with the NTFS system, the standard system of Windows .
This can also be read by MACs, but not described . The counterpart to this is HFS, Apple’s system that can only be read by Windows operating systems. If your new external hard drive Mac and PC support, so offers the FAT32 system , which is equally well interpretable for both. Disadvantage: With a FAT32 system, files larger than 4 GB can not be moved.
2.3. Connections – USB 3.0 is required
Almost every modern external hard drive you can buy in 2018 will be connected via USB 3.0 . This is the fastest and most widely used option, as computers without a USB port should not exist anymore. An external hard drive that supports only USB 2.0 is much slower and is only an option if your computer does not support USB 3.0.
Note: USB ports are always backwards compatible. This means that an external hard drive with USB 3.0 can easily work with a PC that only has USB 2.0. However, of course, only the transmission speed of the oldest version is achieved.
3. The external hard drive test winner and major brands and manufacturers
3.1. Freecom and CnMemory at the top
The Stiftung Warentest published an external hard drive test last 2010. In this external hard drive comparison had in the 1-Terrabyte area with the Spaceloop of CnMemory a very cheap external hard drive ahead . Among the 500-gigabyte models, Freecom’s Tough Drive was voted the best external hard drive. At the time, they scored with faster data transfer via eSata and larger memory. However, these criteria are obsolete , since modern 2.5-inch disks with USB 3.0 have more than made up for these disadvantages.
3.2. Some major brands and manufacturers for external hard drives
- Western Digital
4. SSD, NAS, SATA – small term customer
If you’re interested in an external hard drive, or more generally in backup, you’ll sooner or later come across a number of technical terms that can be quite confusing. So that you understand every external hard drive test and make no mistake when buying, we clarify briefly the most important terms . First of all, an external hard drive is sometimes called external hard drive. An external drive, on the other hand, is a device for reading CDs, DVDs and BluRays. A 2.5-inch external hard drive is the standard format , which has now become widely accepted. An HDD hard drive with 3.5 inches is hard to find.
Often you will often be offered an external SSD hard drive. In fact, SSD technology is much faster in data delivery, but also significantly more expensive than regular external hard drives. In addition , SSD usually pays off mainly as a score for the operating system , but not as additional memory. An SSD external hard drive with 4 Terabytes of memory is currently still priceless.
Gamers beware: An external hard drive also works as a memory extension for game consoles. If you connect an external hard drive to a PS4, games and applications can be installed there when the console’s own memory is used up.
An external hard drive can also serve as a network hard drive to which multiple computers and laptops have access. This is especially interesting if the device is WLAN-capable. A WLAN hard disk can also be used as additional storage for the smartphone and thus one of the most annoying limitations of the Han Dys handle, namely the small storage space. As a backup for photos and music is good for an external hard drive anyway.
A NAS disk, on the other hand, is part of an external file server that you can use as a private cloud. However, that does not have much to do with an external hard drive as we describe it here. The same applies to the SATA hard disk. This is a hard disk that is connected to the computer via SATA connection. By contrast, modern external hard drives almost exclusively use USB, which is why SATA is used almost exclusively for internal disks.
Attention: Some retailers also like to praise their devices as a laptop hard drive. Technically, this is nonsense, since a laptop is just a computer and any external hard drive can be connected to any device with USB.However, it may be that some external hard drives are particularly robust and made for mobile use. Often, these have more stable hard drive enclosures than some other portable external hard drives.
5. Questions and answers
5.1. What is an external hard drive and how does it work?
An external hard drive is in principle only a normal hard drive, which is just not permanently installed, but remains flexible outside the case of the computer. Like any other hard disk, it works on magnetic disks that are read by a scanner and then sends the information to the PC or MAC via USB.
Modern smart TVs can also be connected to an external hard drive. If you want to connect your TV to an external hard drive, then this is best done via a USB cable or via WLAN.
5.2. How long does an external hard drive last?
“The external hard disk is not recognized” or “The external hard disk is not displayed” – Such messages on the screen are the horror of any PC user. The biggest misfortune is when important files get lost because the storage medium breaks down. In principle, digital data is infinitely durable without loss of quality.
But the devices – as well as an external hard drive – are of course subject to physical wear. If an external hard drive is used frequently, it usually lasts only a few years. If the hard drive stays in the drawer externally and is rarely updated, the life expectancy of the hard drive increases to 10 years or more . By then you should save the data otherwise.
5.3. How do I backup my data from the PC to an external hard drive?
For almost every type of external hard drive, backup is easy via USB . If the external hard drive is connected to the USB port of the computer, it will be recognized in the operating system and files can be moved easily . If you want to format external hard drives, you can easily do that via the Windows Explorer or Apple’s counterpart.