Best external hard drives in 2022: desktop drives for extra storage and backing up

Run out of storage in your laptop computer or desktop pc? Or do you simply want a simple, cost-effective technique to again up your recordsdata? An exterior exhausting drive is the proper answer. They provide probably the most storage capability for the bottom price and are effortlessly straightforward to make use of.

In the event you’re planning on utilizing your exterior storage if you’re ceaselessly on the go, we would suggest a transportable exhausting drive (opens in new tab) or SSD (opens in new tab) as a substitute, as they’re smaller and do not require a separate energy provide. However for at-home desktop use, the drives on this listing are the way in which to go. Right here we price every drive’s affordability, pace, capability and ease of use, to make sure there’s an exterior exhausting drive for you, irrespective of your funds and wishes.

A number of types of exterior exhausting drives can be found, so we have cut up this information into three sections:

1: Exterior desktop drives

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The most affordable and easiest choices, an exterior exhausting drive provide a great deal of cupboard space, and are nice for many customers. Even the bottom capability desktop drives now provide not less than 2TB of house, which is sufficient for over 500,000 JPEG pictures. And with top-end drives packing as much as 16TB of storage, you will battle to fill them even when you shoot excessive bit-rate 4K video.

2: RAID drives

This acronym stands for Redundant Array of Impartial Disks and means an exterior drive that accommodates two or extra particular person exhausting disks. However this is not simply to present you much more cupboard space – it is smarter than that. With two exhausting disks inside and a intelligent controller processor, if you again as much as a RAID drive, it routinely copies your information to each exhausting disks. Ought to one of many disks inside ever fail, you continue to have all of your recordsdata safely saved on the opposite disk.

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3: NAS drives (opens in new tab)

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Community Connected Storage – these exterior exhausting drives could be linked to your web router to allow them to be accessed from wherever you may get an web connection. It is like having your personal private cloud storage at house, however with extra cupboard space and no month-to-month charges. You merely log in to the drive from a pc or cellular machine utilizing your non-public username and password. Then you possibly can view, add or obtain your recordsdata whether or not you are at house or on the go, and family and friends can do the identical when you permit them entry.

Just like the sound of a NAS drive? There’s only one – reasonably huge – factor you must know. NAS drives are normally bought with none precise exhausting disks inside. The concept is you match your personal so you possibly can select the correct quantity of cupboard space to fit your wants and funds. See our separate information to the most effective NAS drives (opens in new tab).

Exterior exhausting drives

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WD is a longtime title within the exhausting drive enterprise, and although the Components Desktop is predicated round a standard exhausting drive reasonably than a speedy SSD, the upside is you pay far much less per gigabyte of capability. You may nonetheless discover switch speeds loads fast sufficient for transferring excessive res pictures and HD video with out an excessive amount of ready, with USB 3.1 connectivity sustaining pace and vast compatibility with most computer systems. The drive does require a separate energy supply, however that is the case for many exterior exhausting drives. Capacities vary from 4TB to a humongous 14TB, however we reckon the 8TB model is the most effective worth. Costs are very aggressive with the competitors whatever the capability you go for.

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(Picture credit score: Seagate)

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Seagate’s no-frills desktop exhausting drive definitely appears the half with its distinctive geometric patterned case design. Capacities vary from 4TB to 16TB, with the 6TB and 8TB choices at the moment being greatest worth and spacious sufficient for round 1.6-million JPEG pictures. The drive’s quick USB 3.0 connection provides you pace in addition to straightforward plug-and-play compatibility with most computer systems. Simply keep in mind the included USB Sort-A cable might have an inexpensive adapter to transform it to a Sort-C plug that’ll match a contemporary MacBook.

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If you wish to switch recordsdata to or from a tough drive extra rapidly, its rotation pace issues. Measured in RPM, similar to a automotive engine, most exterior drives are rated at 5400RPM. Nevertheless there is a rarer breed of sooner 7200RPM drives, and the Lacie d2 is certainly one of these choose high-performance exterior exhausting drives.

With learn speeds of as much as 240MB/s and linked to your pc through a contemporary and quick USB 3.1 Gen 1 Sort-C port, the d2 gives a compelling compromise between spacious, price efficient storage whereas sustaining an honest flip of pace.

At present the 8TB drive will get you the most effective bang per buck, although 4TB to 14TB choices can be found. Each d2 accommodates a professional-grade Seagate BarraCuda Professional exhausting disk inside, rated for twenty-four/7 industrial use, additional justifying this drives extra premium pricing.

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In the event you use a Mac, then that is the most effective desktop storage drive in our opinion, because it gives speedy storage (and lots of it with 4TB of house) because of USB 3.0, eSATA or FireWire connections. In fact, you may as well use it with a PC, however the FireWire help – and classy design – enhances Mac machines completely. The all-aluminium enclosure provides it a strong and durable really feel, and it’s slim sufficient that you would be able to carry it round with you if wants be – although that is nonetheless a drive that’s greatest off used on a desk. It solely has a single drive, so there’s no RAID options, but when pace and construct high quality are your largest considerations, it is a good desktop storage answer.

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Observe that this drive might also be out there beneath the G-Know-how model, which has since been re-branded SanDisk Skilled.

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Best 14TB External Hard Drives ranked by customer satisfaction.


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