Everyone pays attention to the latest laptops and tablet computers. But external hard drives are often the most practical tool in a computer-owner’s arsenal. These devices can hold tons of files (1TB is more or less standard capacity for new external hard drives) and they can be plugged into almost any computer. So if you know that you are going to have access to a computer, you actually don’t even need to lug around your laptop; you can simply take your portable hard drive. Since many drives are the size of a paperback book, they are much easier to carry than a laptop and they can store more data than even a desktop computer, so you can take everything with you need without having to worry about cloud storage or internet access.
What are the best of these super-useful devices?
SeaGate Backup Plus
This stylish device can hold up to 1TB of data. It is the latest in a long line of flexible backup hard-drives from specialty company SeaGate. Weighing in at less than half-a-pound, this portable drive is a good choice for people looking for a thin device that they can carry with them wherever they go. This drive is flexible enough to work on pretty much any type of computer with a USB port, and it can also be used to back-up online files (such as a blog or Facebook profile) in addition to the usual assortment of up-loadable data and files. At about $90, the Backup Plus is certainly more expensive than a thumb drive, but for a drive that can carry up to 1TB of data, it is a good value. Its small size makes it ideal for people need a good drive to rely on while traveling.
LaCie Rugged 500GB hard drive
This device does not carry as much as other comparable devices, but it is made especially for people on-the-go who need to make sure that the data that their drive is carrying is protected from damage. This drive comes with both USB and Firewire connections. That makes it a great choice for people who want to back-up laptops or other devices that have a limited number of USB ports. How does the LaCie protect your data? It comes with a hard aluminum shell (which is supposed to be scratch proof as well as drop proof). A further rubber outer sleeve gives the LaCie a more rugged appearance and also provides a further cushion to protect against accidental drops. This is a great choice for flyers who are worried about their drive being damaged by baggage handlers who are less than gentle with suitcases. Both Firewire and USB cables are included in the box, so you wont be required to purchase an additional USB cable or Firewire cable after you buy the Rugged 500GB.
The 1TB Canvio is the perfect tool for people who don’t want any bells and whistle, but just want a solid performer that can safely and quickly back-up their most important files and data. At just over $90, street price, this device is a good value and comparable with some of the lowest-priced high-quality 1TB drives on the market. The USB 3.0 cable makes it easy to load files at very fast speeds, while those who still rely on 2.0 USB connections can also use the Canvio to safely and securely upload and save files. This sleek-looking drive is about 3×5 inches, and sits just two-thirds of an inch high, so it is truly a pocket-sized hard drive and a great choice for people looking for portability in addition to reliability.