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3 TB External Hard Disk Drives

With data needs constantly growing bigger, purchasing an external hard drive to store precious files is a good idea. Not only would it serve as a backup, but it could also be a way to give crowded internal hard drives some breathing room. External drives with 3 TB of storage capacity can hold close to 50,000 hours of MP3s, over 900,000 digital JPEG images and up to 700 DVD-quality movies.

External Hard Drive Speed

External hard drives use a standard hard disk to store data. These differ from the newer solid state drives, which have no moving parts. However, the former can be faster or slower depending on how fast the platters in the drive spin. Slower 5400 RPM drives are cheaper to buy and fast enough for most situations. Faster models use drives that spin at 7200 RPM or even 10,000 RPM. These can be useful for users who need to move large files regularly or who do data-intensive work, such as editing photos or videos directly from the hard drive. The fastest option is a solid state external drive, but these can be very expensive.

External Hard Drive Data Connection

Most use a standard USB cable to connect to a computer. However, not all connections are the same. More recent computers feature USB 3.0, USB-C or in the case of Apple devices, Thunderbolt ports. Models with matching ports, such as a USB 3.0 external drives will take advantage of the speed these newer connections offer. Older computers may use other ports, such as eSATA or FireWire, although these are not found in current devices.

External Drive Portability and Durability

Portable hard drives are small in size and do not need an external power supply. On the other hand, external drives designed for desktop use are larger and sometimes need their own power supply. However, these larger drives can be cheaper than portable versions of the same capacity.

Operating System Compatibility

Some external hard disk drives are only compatible with one operating system. For example, some models designed for Windows PCs may not function properly on Apple computers. However, it is also worth noting that drives larger than 2 TB in size will not function properly on 32-bit operating systems.

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