External hard drives are a great way to add extra storage to your computer, plus they are a good place to keep copies of all your important data should the hard drive inside your computer fail.
Portable External Hard Drives (2.5”)
It’s amazing the size of portable hard drives now. Although they are not generally available in as large sizes as desktop drives, the size and the fact that they’re USB powered (meaning that you don’t have to carry around a power adaptor) makes them an excellent option.
Desktop Hard Drives (3.5”)
These are basically a hard drive the same as that inside your computer put in to an external case. They are available in large sizes and are generally a cheaper option than portable hard drives.
Desktop External hard drives aren’t USB powered, which means that they require an external power supply (transformer) requiring its own mains plug.
A variety of connections are available, most people would use USB however many also come with FireWire and eSata.
Network Hard Drives
If you have multiple computers on a network you may want to think about a network hard drive. These can be connected on to your network and are then accessible on multiple computers. The data transfer speed will depend on the speed of your network; hard wired network connections will be much faster than wireless connections.