Arguably the most important part of your computer is your data. This includes your documents, photographs, music and videos – the stuff that makes your computer yours. The last thing anyone wants is to lose this data, but a computer virus, a corrupted hard drive or even someone stealing your laptop or PC could mean it is gone forever. Unless, of course, you back-up your data. One of the most convenient ways of doing so is by purchasing an external hard drive. These provide additional, portable storage space for your digital files that serves as a backup should anything happen to your machine.

external hard drive

Space

Think about how much data you want to store. An external hard drive is a must-have item for individuals who store huge amounts of data on a regular basis and want to backup their important files without fussing about lack of space. Drives come with a maximum number of gigabytes of space, some with as much 4 terabytes (which is 4000GB).

Connection

When considering your options, keep in mind the type of connective ports your computer has, and make sure they are compatible with those on the hard drive. Types of port include USB, Firewire and eSATA. Some device may also allow you to transfer your data wirelessly.

Portability

Think about whether you will need to carry your drive around with you very much. External hard drives range from small devices that fit easily into a bag or laptop case, to larger, desktop versions.

Price

Linked to the above considerations is price. Hard drives will vary in price depending on their size and available storage space, with larger devices typically costing more.

Whichever device you choose, make sure you regularly back up your data. That way you can be secure in the knowledge that if anything happens to your computer you haven’t lost your precious files. And if you need to, you can always purchase a second drive to store more data.