When decided on hard drive capacity, it's important to think about how much you want, or expect to store.
500 GB is enough for backing up a single user's important documents, while a whole family looking to store films, music and photos will need at least 1 TB. If you're looking for a storage device to back up project files from creative software, anything over 1 TB is recommended, as these types of files can be huge.
Do you want to take the device with you, or are you happy to leave it in your home or office?
If you need to back up quickly on the go, an external SSD is small enough to fit into any bag or case without worry. External desktop hard drives are larger but can be left connected to a desktop PC to automatically back up files and folders.
How many devices do you want to cover?
Families or small offices all need to backup data. Rather than having a hard drive each, a NAS drive lets everyone wirelessly backup, share and access documents to a single hard drive. Everyone can have their own secure files for complete privacy and security.
Most external hard drives now support USB 3.0. This gives you much faster data transfer speeds for fast saving and loading, which is helps to cut down the waiting time when transferring video, music and project files.
Portable SSDs deliver the fastest data transfer speeds. You can even run software directly from them, making them the perfect choice for expanding the storage capacity of high performance laptops and Windows tablets.
Some devices are designed specifically for Windows PCs or Macs, so check the compatibility of the drive before you decide. Any hard drive can be reformatted to work with almost any computer, but you may miss out on handy features, like automatic backup and smart file management.
Most new PCs come with USB 3.0 ports, but some older ones won't, so look for a blue USB port on your laptop or desktop to make sure you can get the fastest speeds possible.
Things to consider when buying storage
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