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External Drives for all of your data needs

In a world of ever smaller and lighter mobile digital devices, we all seem to be running into the same problem. This is simply that the hard drives in these devices won't store all of our data. It may be that one or more of your devices is simply full, or you just need backup for your most important files. An external hard drive may be the answer.

Popular external drive brands include Seagate, WD (Western Digital), LiaCie, MiniStation, and Adata.

Desktop Hard Drives vs. Portable Hard Drives

External hard drives may be portable drives or they may be purely desk-mounted devices. The main differences are in their bulk, the degree to which they can withstand the jostling of travel, and their power supply.

Portable hard drives tend to be physically smaller, and often fit into a pocket. This type of hard drive may lack high-end storage capacity, but many portable hard drives have a full TB of storage or more. Most importantly, they are powered by the laptop, phone or device they are plugged into, usually through a USB-B, USB-C or another type of powered communication cable.

Desktop hard drives tend to be larger, and have a power cord that plugs into the mains AC. These tend to be physically larger, and many have several TB of storage capacity. They can backup entire PCs and laptops, as well as storing all of the pictures and videos that may be bogging down your smartphone.

Either type might be a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD).

Types of cable

One of the most important aspects of choosing an external hard drive is selecting one which can plug into all of your devices. Some accept multiple communication cables, but a few, especially some portable models, only accept one kind of cable. Cable types include Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt2, Thunderbolt 3, USB, USB-B (USB Type-B), USB-C (USB Type-C), and Firewire.

Some external drives avoid the problem altogether by using a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.

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