External Hard Drive – Things you should know and which one to buy

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With an external hard drive (also portable hard drive), you can make backups of your images and important file. Thus making sure that you always have a safe copy in case something happens to your camera, memory card or computer, or even worse if something gets stolen. Then you at least have everything important except the hardware itself on an external hard drive!

What is an external hard drive?

An external hard drive is shortly explained exactly what it sounds like, a hard drive that you can connect externally to your computer or any other screen with USB-connection. The fact that it’s external means that it’s easy to bring with you wherever you might need it. The primary purpose of having an external hard drive is to store various types of important files, images or videos.

In addition to storing important files, you can also use the external hard drive to save such things that you don’t have any space for on your laptop or stationary computer’s internal hard drive. Most computers today have about 250-500 GB in internal storage, and even if that will do it for most people, at least for a while, I’m sure everyone reading this has been experiencing a slow computer or a computer where the storage is almost full.

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Whenever the internal storage is too full, the performance will drop, so it’s better to store the big files that you don’t need every day on an external drive. The same thing goes if you like to photograph or shoot videos, especially if you’re filming in 4K or photograph in RAW-format, which will give you the best quality and possibility of editing properly.

Saving images and videos might work a while on the laptop, but in the long run, your internal storage will become full or slow down your computer. Luckily, you can solve this easily and quite cheap as well.

If you buy an external hard drive with 2 TB, will mean that you have 2000 GB of storage, which will last for a long time even if you like to photograph or saving videos. You will also have plenty of space for important files and documents.

Who needs an external hard drive?

Every person who creates content and has lots of important files should invest in an external hard drive. I believe also that families should have at least one external hard drive. It’s so easy to lose or break a phone today, and even if you have a cloud, those can give an error and they are also pricier since you pay for each month.

An external hard drive is just a one time fee, instead of $9.99 each month or even more if you have lots of files that you need to store. And also no matter where you go, you can just connect the external hard drive.

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You can buy the same external hard drive that I’m using here


More Information about WD Elements 2 TB External hard drive

The portable hard drive from WD Elements is small and convenient to use and bring along. It needs no external power source as it gets all needed power when you connect it to the USB-port.

Hard drive typeMechanical 2.5″
PlacementExternal
ColorBlack
ConnectionMicro-USB 3.0
Capacity2 TB
Dimensions and weight
Width82 mm
Depth111 mm
Height21 mm
Weight230 grams

Common questions and answers about portable hard drives

So, before you’re off buying a portable hard drive it makes sense to get some more information and answers. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about external hard drives with answers, and of course which external hard drive you should buy!

How to choose the storage size?

A good question that can be tricky to answer. It’s of course individual, but most people will probably be fine with 2 TB in storage space. That will also make sure that you have enough space for a long time, unless you’re a professional photographer or filmmaker, but then you would probably already own several storage units.

Also because of the price drops in recent years, I would buy at least 1 TB since the price between 500 GB and 1 TB is next to nothing in most cases. But, again I recommend choosing 2 TB if your budget allows it.

Are there various brands to choose from?

Absolutely. There are heaps of brands making external hard drives. WD Elements is one of the bigger producers and the durability is really good. Also Samsung and Verbatim sell portable hard drives, but according to my experience, I would say that I find WD Elements a bit more priceworthy.

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How much does a good external hard drive cost?

In round terms, I would say everything from 70-150 Euros. For 100-150 Euros, you can generally get between 2-4 TB in storage space. For 70-90 Euros you can usually find from 500 GB to 1 TB. Of course, these are the regular prices, and there might be promotions available.

But now you know what the good ones usually cost.

Does it work for MAC?

WD Element’s external hard drive is actually pre-formatted for Windows, but it’s easily fixed by formatting it and thus make it work for both MAC and Windows computers.

Does it work for Windows?

Yes, it comes pre-formatted for Windows in the format of NTFS.

Where can you buy external hard drives?

Most tech-stores sell a few, and the big brands are definitely WD Elements and Verbatim along with Samsung. However, I do think that the ones from WD Elements give the best bang for the buck, so that’s why I’m using them most of the times.

You can buy the same one as I’m using here


Have more questions about portable hard drives, or have any recommendation of another external hard drive that you’re using with good results? Feel free to share below in the comment section!

January 6th, 2018|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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