External Hard Drives

External Hard Drives

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  1. If you are looking to expand the storage capacity of your desktop or laptop computer and you are not comfortable opening up your computer, an external hard drive is your best choice. External hard drives give you a flexibility that an internal hard drive doesn’t have. With an an external hard drive, you can not only expand your data storage capacity on your desktop or laptop computer, you can transfer the it from one computer to another and make your data completely portable.

    External hard drives are connected through open USB ports on your computer. Depending on the type of external hard drive that you use, it can be powered directly through the USB port or from an external power supply included with the drive. When connected to a computer, your external hard drive is recognized as a removable mass storage device and can function just like an internal secondary hard drive. The plug-and-play capabilities of an external hard drive make it ideal for use on multiple computer systems.

      Files can be dragged and dropped to and from your external hard drive in the same way that you would with an internal hard drive. External hard drives are very useful for creating backups of your existing data in the event of a hardware failure of your computer or data loss caused by a virus or data corruption. They are also quite useful for freeing up space on your internal hard drives by storing your larger files, such as videos and photos on the external drive.

    If you happen to be upgrading to a new computer and you don’t want to transfer all of the files from your old computer to you new one in small pieces, you can actually take the internal hard drive from your old computer and turn it into an external hard drive with the assistance of a hard drive enclosure. With an external hard drive enclosure, you can essentially plug your old internal hard drive into the control board of the enclosure, close the case and take the entire contents of the old hard drive with you. 

    External hard drives are not only useful in computers. As technology advances, external hard drives can be integrated into other technologies, as well. Gaming consoles, digital picture frames and even some multimedia configured TVs can accommodate the use of external hard drives. Some automotive multimedia systems allow USB input that could enable you to access your mp3 collection from an external hard drive.

    When it comes to cost, external hard drives can cost anywhere from less than $50 to well over $500. The more expensive external hard drives can include features like built-in encryption and biometric security. One of the other factors the effects the cost is the type of hard drive used. The three types of hard drives used in external hard drives are IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) drives, which are the oldest of the three technologies, SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment), which superseded IDE in 2003, and SSD (Solid-State Drive) which, unlike the other two, contains no internal moving parts. The storage capacities of these drives are constantly growing with each year and the most expensive models are capable of holding terabytes of secured information in a relatively small and portable package.   

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