Up Your Digital Closet Space: A Buyer’s Guide to External Hard Drives

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While not all hard drives are created equal, they do all serve about the same purpose: to provide you with additional storage than your computer was originally built to hold. By connecting to your device through a USB cord (hence, external), hard drives can substantially increase the number of programs and files you are able to store on your computer and are great for backing up your files.

 Ultimately, the major benefit to this type of storage expansion is the high level of portability that comes with it. Want to run a file on a few different devices, or be able to jump between your laptop and your desktop? An external hard drive is definitely right for you.

What are the different types of external hard drives?

There are a variety of different types of external hard drives, with some of the more commonly used options being SSDs and HDDs. Of course, both of these come with varying degrees of space and can be further adjusted through different features. Read on to determine which type is right for you.

SSDs: Solid State Drives

Using flash memory to store your data, SSDs are great for those who want their files, and want them now. Rather than seeking out your data on a spinning element, SSDs can use these flash memory files to recall your data in an instant, which means that anything you store on them is available at the mere click of a button. This speed can often mean improved performance for your computer. Non-moving parts also provides more longevity for these drives over their traditional HDD counterparts and makes them a bit more resilient to jostling and bumps.

 Not sure where to start? Try to Inland Premium 1TB SSD 3D TLC NAND USB 3.2 Gen 2. With the ability to read and write data at a speed of up to 1,050 MBps, this hard drive offers the ultimate gaming solution. It will load your images at the speed of light and render your computer sleeker, and more agile for the adventures you tackle in your games.

If you’re looking for a heavier hitter, we recommend the Samsung T5 2TB SSD V-NAND. Designed to be compact and durable, this is a massive amount of storage ready to go whenever and wherever you are.

HDD: Hard Disk Drives

What it really comes down to is how you want to store and access your data. Because an HDD needs to spin in order for your data to be accessed, it can run slightly slower than an SSD. On the flip side, this option tends to come in much larger sizes for smaller prices than their SSD counterparts.

While the SSD, as mentioned above, is a great buy for those looking to store operating systems, video game files, or even frequently used files, the HDD is excellent for storing extra data, like movies, photos, and documents that you’re just not ready to part with. Whether it’s those thousand baby photos you’re not ready to delete or work files that can’t be safely uploaded to the cloud, an HDD is exactly the solution for someone who simply needs more digital filing space.

When it comes to hard disk drives, Seagate is a stellar choice. Take a look at their 1TB USB USB Portable Hard Disk Drive. No need for setup–all you need to do is connect the cables, and you’re ready to go! Additionally, this drive is automatically recognized by all Windows systems, so if you’re a PC user, you won’t need to worry about the hassle of installation.

Rarely in this industry do we get to recommend something that is both effective and gorgeous, but today we get the privilege. WD’s My Passport line of external hard drives are not only functional but also fashionable. With a huge capacity, this drive offers a safe and secure way to store a multitude of files and comes with multiple cables, to save you the hassle of digging up one that renders it compatible with your particular device.

Ready to get moving on those file transfers?

Check out Micro Center’s massive selection of external HHDs and SSDs We’ve got an incredible variety of options for whatever you need, whether it’s a backup OS or a backup for your library of family photos.

Browse online and schedule an 18-minute in-store pickup or stop by your local Micro Center and talk to one of our helpful associates if you’re not quite sure which external storage solution is right for you! 

And if you need help either recovering or backing up your computer, Micro Center offers comprehensive Data Backup and Recovery Services to make data problems a breeze!


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