Efficiency, durability and functionality are key aspects of a good USB 3.0 external hard drive. However, with all the available wide variety of options, choosing the right external hard drive can be confusing at first especially if you do not understand the important features of external hard drives.
The important elements that you should consider when buying USB 3.0 external hard drive
1. Storage capacity
Since you will be using your external hard drive to store your important data and documents, the storage space is very important. However, the external hard drives are not the cheapest computer accessories in the market and the bigger the storage space you choose, the more you will likely pay. The ideal capacity depends on what you intend to store in your drive. If the intention is to back up some of your important documents, a medium sized drive will mostly fit the bill but if your intention is to store a lot more or keep your folders and files on there long-term, you may want a bigger USB 3.0 external hard drive. You should not pay more for storage space that you will most likely never use but it is also not ideal to buy a high-speed drive that does not have enough space to store your information.
2. Transfer speed
The speed of your drive is very important especially if you will be transferring large files back and forth on a regular basis. It can be frustrating when you have to wait for minutes before your files transfer can finish. Usually, the storage technology and the connector your drive uses are the basic factors that determine the speed of your drive. Solid state drives (SSD) are usually faster than hard drives (HDD) but they are also more expensive. When it comes to connectors, external hard drives can have the old USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 3. The USB 2.0 is too slow and the USB 3.1 Gen and Thunderbolt usually have compatibility issues, which make the USB 3.0 the ideal connectivity. USB 3.0 can reach transfer speeds of up 5Gbps.
3. Size and portability
How you intend to use the external hard drive also determines the buying process. Some people use external hard drives to store data and documents that they may need while on the move while others use it as a backup option in their home or office. If you would like to carry your drive with you, portability is a key factor. The ideal drive should be light and small enough to fit in your pockets or bag to enable quick and easy access all day.
External hard drives are very sensitive to knocks. If you want an external drive to carry along with you, you should look for the ones that meet the military standards for dust and shock protection. Plastic bumpers also play a bigger role in protecting your drive from small accidental knocks. A portable external hard drive should also look nice.