• Synology BeeStation review – hard disk with internet access

    Product test

    by Martin Jud

External hard drives

External hard drives are indispensable tools for anyone needing to store, back up, and transport large amounts of data securely. These devices serve as an extension of a computer's internal storage, offering added space for files, or as a means of creating a reliable backup to prevent data loss due to system failures. Users incorporate them into their daily lives for various reasons, ranging from professional use, where large video or image files may need to be stored, to personal use, where they serve to keep valuable documents, photos, and media collections safe and easily accessible.

When selecting an external hard drive, there are several important properties to consider to ensure you find the perfect match for your data needs. The interface is vital; with a typical value being USB-C, customers should confirm compatibility with their devices for seamless connection and fast data transfer rates. The form factor, often at 2.5 inches, determines the drive's portability and physical size – a compact device is especially handy for those on the go. Storage capacity is another key factor, with 2TB being a common value that provides ample space for extensive data libraries. Lastly, power supply through USB power delivery means that an external hard drive can typically be powered directly from a laptop or desktop computer, eliminating the need for an external power source and thus enhancing portability.

Brands like WD with its popular Elements series provide reliable storage solutions designed for easy use and durability. LaCie's Rugged USB-C drives deliver a robust exterior ideal for rough handling and harsh conditions. Seagate is another trusted name, offering products like their Expansion Desktop series, which are suited for users needing large storage capacities in a stationary setting. Toshiba satisfies consumer needs with their Canvio Basics line, known for straightforward, no-fuss data storage, while SanDisk Professional's G-DRIVE EMEAI stands out for its high performance and premium build quality, catering to professional-grade requirements. Each of these brands offers distinct benefits, and understanding these specifications allows customers to navigate towards the external hard drive that aligns best with their storage needs and usage habits.