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Best External Hard Drives For Every Budget Range: A Buying Guide

Best Value

Western Digital (WD) My Passport External Hard Drive

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Best Choice

Toshiba Canvio Basics External Hard Drive

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Premium Pick

Samsung Portable SSD T5 Hard Drive

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External hard drive

USB drives are convenient small storage. In this modern age, a regular priced USB will allow you huge amounts of data into your pocket. But what if even that is not enough and you need to store hundreds of gigabytes or terabytes? Good thing the external hard drive is here. 

Portable hard drives utilize different technology. But their application is pretty much the same as that of a USB drive. It can store data in a safe and cost-efficient manner. Whether it’s for the sake of transporting large volumes of data or even as a backup.

There are a lot of hard drives in the market available. In this article, we will bring you a selection of the very best external hard drives for every need you have. At the end of this article, there would be a buying guide that will help you find the perfect one that suits your needs. 


Best External Hard Drives of 2020

  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Value for money: 4.5/5
  • Price range: $50-$100
  • Performance: 4.5/5

Western Digital is one of the leading hard drive manufacturers in the world. That’s why it’s no wonder that a product of theirs would be on the top of this list. 

This external hard drive is reliable. It is pretty much everything that most people look for in a hard drive. Compact, easy to transport, and it looks good to boot.  To make it one of the best, it is easy to use and comes with some of Western Digital’s useful software.  

WD My Passport comes in 4 different storage capacities, 1TB to 4TB. It is also available in a total of eight different colors and color schemes. What makes this portable hard drive a cut above the rest is its size. It can fit in your hand, bag, or purse with no hassle. 

There are no glaring issues with this hard drive. Although when it comes to performance, it does lag behind more high-end models. This will be a downside for professionals and those who need to back up large amounts of data regularly. But for regular use, it is pretty much an ideal choice.

  • Quality: 3.5/5
  • Value for money: 4.5/5
  • Price range: $50-$100
  • Performance: 4/5

Toshiba may not be as popular compared to Western Digital when it comes to hard drives. But they also make some of the best hard drives around.

Canvio Basics might be a basic external hard drive but is a reliable and efficient one. These portable hard drives come in different storage capacities, 1TB to 2TB. It has two different styles: classic and contemporary. The classic one is a simple model with rounded edges. The other has a sleeker, more angular variant. Although it is only available in one color. 

It is comparable to other portable hard drives available in the market in price and design. Although, it does perform a little better, in comparison to other brands. All in all, it shares most of the strengths and weaknesses of the remove WD external hard drives. Check out the Toshiba Canvio Basics on Amazon.

  • Quality: 4/5
  • Value for money: 3/5
  • Price range: $140-$250
  • Performance: 3.5/5

Compared to the abovementioned portable external hard drive, this is a bit on the larger side. This is a different solution to your storage needs as this is a desktop version of an external hard drive.

It is a massive external HDD compared to the others, having its own rubber feet to stand on. The storage capacity of these models is as huge as it looks, having as high as 8 TB. The model has a simple minimalist exterior, making the design a bit lacking. It performs well and has a large amount of storage in one sizeable package. Although it isn’t on the affordable side, if you price each terabyte, it has a competitive price.

The biggest downside of this hard drive is that it isn’t compact but that’s why it is a desktop model. Though, some users may say it’s hideous because the device stands vertically. Apart from that, the only practical flaw is the lack of any software whatsoever. The Seagate Desktop Expansion is an all-around solid desktop external hard drive. Check it out on Amazon today and save all the files you want while still having more for backing up your computer.

  • Quality: 4/5
  • Value for money: 4/5
  • Price range: $70-$120
  • Performance: 4/5

This hard drive series comes in two different versions: slim and portable. The former is slimmer, lighter, and is the lower storage capacity. While the latter is bulkier and has a higher storage capacity. Both versions come with a sleek metallic finish, as well as different colors to choose from.

When it comes to performance, Seagate Backup Plus drives are a bit ahead of most external hard drives. It has great read and write speeds, and has great build quality. It comes with a handy software, an area where the other models were lacking. 

Well, there are no downsides to note about this portable hard drive that is that big of a deal. That’s why it’s one of the best external hard drives available. 

  • Quality: 4/5
  • Value for money: 2.5/5
  • Price range: $150-$200
  • Performance: 4/5

The Samsung T5 SSD is a great storage device when it comes to performance. You can plug this directly into both PCs and Macs. It is roughly the size of a matchbox. And it contains no moving parts, so it can survive even when you drop it.

External SSDs may be more expensive than hard disk drives, but the extra money and faster speeds can go a long way. You’ll be able to install applications onto it. You can even run an entire alternative operating system off it at full speed if you want to.

The downside is its price. SSDs give you less storage capacity but are more expensive, so it is not recommended for backup. It’s better to have a bigger hard disk for that and use the SSDs for situations that need more performance.  For a portable and durable hard drive, the Samsung Portable SSD is your best choice.

External Hard Drive Buying Guide

External Hard Drive
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With dozens available in the market, how do you know which external hard drive should you buy? What should you know? These are the things you should consider before purchasing an external hard drive:


Storage Capacity of External Hard Drive

When looking for a portable hard drive, consider the amount and kind of data that you want to store on it. Do you want it to back-up your entire operating system, music, movies, and other files? Look for a high capacity drive. You can even consider looking into cloud-based storage. Or do you need it for small files? Then if so, you can opt-in for the smaller storage. Most of the drives today range from a capacity of 500GB to upwards of 8TB.


Speed of External Hard Drive

Speed is another important factor to consider when buying a hard drive. The higher the speed, the higher the data transfer rate of the drive. The data transfer speed of every hard drive depends on its interface. For most external hard drives, USB is the interface. There are revisions of USB found on drives. 

Most PCs and laptops support USB 2.0 connectivity. The newer ones come with USB 3.0 ports. But expect to have better performance when you buy the one that comes with USB 3.0 ports. 


Power and Form Factor

Most of the external hard drives connect through a USB cable. And some may need an extra power source. In the case of portable hard drives, they only use a USB cable. Although the desktop hard drive storage may need an extra power supply transfer.

While external hard drives are portable, some have a thicker form factor. And others may be sleek and slim like a mobile phone. They are available in different sizes and shapes. You should always consider the design and build quality.


Extra Features & Warranty

This is an important factor that you should always check. Some of the utility software already comes with external hard drives. These kinds of software include online backup features. Some of them offer online space on the web as well. You can store a remote backup of your important data through this online space. Some manufacturers also provide password protection software. This password protection will help you keep your data secure from strangers. 

The warranty of the external hard drive is also something to consider when buying one. Some manufacturers offer a one-year replacement warranty. While some of them may also offer up to three years of warranty.

Armed with the necessary information, you should be able to choose the right hard drive. If at any point you feel confused, feel free to check the review we have above so you can find the perfect one for you. 

Best External Hard Drives For Every Budget Range: A Buying Guide

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