You could be interested in buying an external hard drive for any number of reasons:
- You want to safely store digital photos you’ve taken
- You want to back up your laptop or computer in case it crashes or in case you accidentally delete files
- You need additional storage space on your laptop or desktop but don’t want to delete files to get it
- You need to carry a large number or sizable documents with you for work
- You want a secure place to store sensitive materials
- You have an extensive music or video collection you don’t want to lose
- Your desktop or laptop is beginning to run really slowly as a result of being too full
- You want to transfer files between two computers securely
- You have a large collection of digital images that take up too much space
- Etc, etc
Whatever the reason, let’s face it… all of the external hard drives on the market will allow you to do pretty much all of these things. They will all allow you to transfer files off your computer and onto the drive, they will store them until you need access to them, and if you get a portable one it will be much more straightforward to carry with you than the computer or laptop you use at work or home.
There will, however, be things that are more important to you and will help guide your choice through the vast number of external hard drives available. You may need a huge drive to back up your whole laptop so you’ll be more interested in storage as a primary focus. Or perhaps you need a drive that you can take with you to work or college every day, to save you lugging a laptop around with you. Maybe you just want something to use every now and again, something easy that will take just a few minutes of your time to plug in and use. Or you could be most concerned about keeping your files safe and secure at all cost (see the Buyer’s Guide for more things to consider).
Whilst any choice you make will probably have to be based on a compromise of a number of these qualities, you’ll probably have in mind the top one or two that are the most important to you. So to help you understand which external hard drives are the best for what, check out the pages above or the links below to see my views on the best external hard drives for: