If you want to purchase a portable external hard drive to go with your laptop or desktop computer, you want to make sure you find the best deal possible. There are plenty of portable USB hard drives on the market to choose from, and honestly there most of them can do what you need them to do just fine. There are, however, a few things you should consider when buying a portable external hard drive. In this guide, I review (what I believe) are the main factors to consider when making your decision on which drive to purchase.
The transfer speed of your drive is obviously the main factor in how the drive performs, or in other words, how fast you can copy files to and from it. Since most people use external drives to backup large files such as personal photos, movies, and music, it is important that the drive you purchase can transfer large files quickly. Transfer speeds are usually measured in megabits per second (mb/s) or gigabits per second (gb/s). The deciding factor to consider here is whether you want to go with a drive that utilizes USB “SuperSpeed” 3.0 or the older legacy USB 2.0. Transfer rates for USB 3.0 enabled drives are typically around 3 times as a USB 2.0 drive in real world tests. Since drives that use USB 3.0 are backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports, we recommend choosing a USB 3.0 enabled device so that you can take advantage of the faster speeds. Note that you will need to have a USB 3.0 port on your machine to take advantage of the faster transfer speeds, but USB 3.0 ports are becoming more standard on modern computers. (Transfer speeds for drives of similar USB speed will vary slightly from drive to drive, but the difference is negligible.) There are other connection types as well such as FireWire and eSATA as well as the new Thunderbolt interface, which are on the newer macs, but for the vast majority of users we recommend the USB since it is the most prevalent.
Storage capacity is the other factor to consider in regards to performance. Portable hard drives are available in sizes as large as 3TB’s, although the most popular size is 1TB, which should be adequate for the average user. A 500GB drive is also a good size to go with as it still provides plenty of storage but at usually about 30-40% less compared to a similar 1TB drive.
Probably the most important feature to consider in a portable drive relates to security. Specifically, you will want to consider the level of encryption and password protection that comes with a drive. Since by their nature portable hard drives are more likely to be lost or stolen than a desktop drive, it is important that you can keep your data safe. For these reasons, we recommend going with a drive that offers encryption and password protection. In addition, many drives come with additional software to handle things like periodic, automated backups. So if you plan to use the drive for backing up your data, we recommend you go with a drive that comes with backup software. Finally, consider the warranty coverage of your drive. Most will come with a typical 2 year warranty, and this is important because all hard drives, regardless of type or brand, have the potential to fail.
To me, one of the biggest factors in deciding on which drive is best for you is the physical design of the drive. This is because after you decide on what speed and size you want, you’ll find that prices don’t vary too much from drive to drive and so you might as well go with the one that you think looks the best. Some designs will be smaller or lighter than others, some designs will have different colors or textures for the case enclosure, and some designs will include some kind of shock or drop protection. (The best of which will be the so-called ‘military spec or grade’ drives, which can typically withstand drops of several feet with no damage or loss of data.) In the end, you should decide on a form factor which is most attractive to you since most portable drives will already be compact and lightweight.
Best External Hard drives in India 2017
This is Western Digital’s budget portable external hard drive. It comes available in 3 different storage capacities 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. The drive boasts easy plug-and-play operation right out of the box. Although it lacks most of the features common to top-notch external hard drives, it delivers the performance and excellent reliability Western Digital is known for. This version differs from their My Passport and My Passport Essential drives in two ways, 1) the later offering different colors and a different case design than the WD Elements and 2) that it does not include bundled software. So if you are looking for extra software features it would be best to go with one of their other offerings. However, most people just want to use this as a simple plug and play drive, and for that it works great.
The drive is available in a USB 3.0 version as well as a USB 2.0 version only. The USB 3.0 version is backwards compatible and will work with USB 2.0 ports. Transfer rates for the USB 3.0 version (assuming you have a USB 3.0 port) are much faster than USB 2.0, in fact, usually around 8x the speed. (Transfer rates are as high as 5 Gb/s vs 480 mb/s on USB 2.0). Although in the real world your relative speeds will probably be much lower.
The drive is small and lightweight, measuring in at 5 x 3.1 x 0.6 inches and weighing in at 7.4 ounces. The durable enclosure provides durability and some shock tolerance, but is not near as robust as ‘military grade’ drives, built to withstand more punishment.
Note that the USB 3.0 enabled drives use (and is included) a micro USB cable, this is different than the USB 2.0 only drives that use a mini USB connection, which had some users reporting issues with not having a tight/secure connection. The older mini USB cabled drive is still available from amazon if you prefer, but it is only in the USB 2.0 variety.
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is one of the thinnest portable hard drive available in India. The drive is available in 1TB and 2TB capacity and weighs just about 150 grams measuring 0.48 inch thick. The 2TB model is less expensive per terabyte than other capacities, making it the best value. Seagate also includes handy backup software and 200 GB of free OneDrive storage for two years. One of the benefits of this drive is, it is very portable drive which will happily travel around with you in a bag or even your pocket. Like most portable drives, the Backup Plus Fast Slim is fully USB powered, giving users the ability to bring all of their digital content without having to carry an additional external power supply while on the go.
The drive is formatted in the NTFS file system and works right away with a Microsoft Windows. However, you can download and install an NTFS driver for Mac to make it work with Macs without reformatting. The included setup program also installs Seagate Dashboard, a utility that helps you back up your data, and share your pictures and videos on social media, as well as save pictures and video from your social media accounts. Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive is compatible with Lyve, that lets you turn the Backup Plus into a personal cloud drive, so you can access your documents on the drive from your laptop, phone, or tablet via the Lyve app.
The Western Digital My Book is a solid desktop USB 3.0 for Mac with external hard drive which is available in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4 TB capacities. The unit is ready for Mac, which means it is already built for Mac and compatible with Apple Time Machine. In fact, the drive is designed to plug-n-play, so that no additional software is required to operate, just plug in and you’re ready to operate.
And you do not need an external power source to operate the drives since they are feed through the USB port of your PC. Western Digital My Book comes with added software called WD Smart Ware that allows end user to carry out the operations such as retrieve, backup and secure from a single screen. As far as the security is concerned, the data of My Book external hard drive for Mac is designed with a password and a 256-bit hardware encryption.
The package include a hard drive, a USB 3.0 super speed cable, a 12V power supply, and a diagram for how to plug it in. The drive itself, which is glossy black, is wrapped in a protective cover. The My Book external drive uses passive cooling, so there is no fan to make noise. It is vented on the top and bottom, to let air into the enclosure. The drive’s 4TB capacity is relatively unaffected by the included software. WD SmartWare, manuals and other utilities occupies around 450MB of the available 4TB. WD SmartWare lets you setup smart backup and recovery of your important files. You can set the software to continuously backup your new and changed files. The drive comes formatted for NTFS (Windows), but you can reformat it HFS+ for use on a Mac.
This drive is also great option for Xbox One system. You don’t have to install any additional software, just plugged the My Book into and available USB 3.0 slot on the back of the Xbox and the Xbox will instantly recognized it as an external device. You will need to format the drive before you can use it with Xbox.