Uses For An External Hard Drive

Storage space is your way of protecting those precious files and an external hard drive is one of the most common ways of keeping a second copy of vital documents should your internal hard drive fail you. The better products tend to last much longer than a desktop or laptop and are easily portable. With so many practical functions, anyone who has sensitive information or important files such as photos and videos can store them without burdening their work or personal computer. The following is everything you need to know about external hard drives.

What Uses Does An External Hard Drive Have?

Added Layer of Security To The Cloud

Not everyone trusts online storage and although they have their uses, they are susceptible to hacking. This is not an issue you have to worry about with an external hard drive. Because they are stored in a physical unit, no one can access them online.

Alternatively, an external hard drive can be used alongside the Cloud to keep your files in more than one place so you are less likely to lose them completely.


Storing files in the cloud isn’t cheap, especially if you have a lot of files to consider. Most people start with a reasonably priced deal but soon use up their capacity and end up paying more every month. An external hard drive is reasonably priced, costs a one-off fee, and saves money in the long run.

Easy Data Sharing

This is usually best for work purposes and can mean the fast and easy transfer of files between colleagues but also anyone on your network. There is no need to transfer between laptops when you have an external hard drive to plug in. Even with these useful devices, you can share wirelessly which can protect your external hard drive from viruses that may transfer from someone else’s laptop.

Space Saving

A laptop or desktop will work much slower the closer it gets to reaching full memory capacity. By freeing up some space you can relieve some of the strain on your computer to stop it from slowing you down. A lot of people move old photos or work files onto an external hard drive as they do not intend to access them so frequently.

iPad External Storage

An iPad’s storage can fill pretty fast, especially when the kids have access to Netflix and their favorite games. The last thing you want is for someone to try and free up room by deleting videos and precious memories. This is where iPad external storage comes in handy. There are various products on the market and the best can mean you can transfer files wirelessly if they have built-in WiFi.

Also, because they usually have at least 1TB of memory (and most products offer much more than that), you can all but clear your old files from an iPad. This can make it much faster and stop apps from crashing so often.

Peace of Mind

The older your laptop gets, the more likely it is to break. Although most of the time, an internal failure does not have to mean you lose all the files forever, it is easier to have your files backed up than have to take a broken laptop in for repair or to extract your important files retrospectively.

Keep Your Games To Hand

If you are without your laptop, it can mean you aren’t able to play a game. Because an external hard drive can be connected to pretty much any laptop, you don’t have to wait for a moment to play and can take any boredom away at the click of a few buttons. Most of the time, the gameplay is still sufficient, especially if you have a 3.0 USB.

Backup iTunes

Anyone who has built-up years of their favorite songs and taken time to tailor their playlists will know how frustrating it can be to lose all their valuable iTunes information. An external hard drive gives you the chance to transfer and save your iTunes library so you never lose the tracks.

Password Protection

Although you are susceptible to theft should someone steal your external hard drive from a cafe or your home, there are ways you can protect the data so that even if someone has the physical drive, they cannot access your valuable files. The best products come with password protection to make it near impossible for them to access the data, giving the owner another layer of security.

How to Use An External Hard Drive

Anyone who hasn’t used an external hard drive before should know that it is incredibly simple. Storing your files safely takes less than a minute to set up and when you have done it once, it is easy to remember for next time. Although it is always a good idea to read the manual before you get started, the following is a basic guide.

First of all, Plug the external hard drive into your laptop or desktops USB slot, making sure it is plugged into the external hard drive before doing so. Most of the time, you will find the hard drive icon on the desktop when you have turned it on. If this is the case, you can drag files and drop them in the hard drive icon.

Depending on your use, you might wish to install windows into the external hard drive if you are using a PC. Also, for mac, you may need to ensure that the external hard drive is not formatted then it might not be able to write to certain files.

How Much Does An External Hard Drive Cost?

This varies depending on the spec and memory you need. Some products have additional features such as WiFi connectivity which can increase the price. If you need several TB’s of memory then expect this to hike the price as well. However, many affordable options do the basics and give the user a safe place to store their files. This doesn’t cost more than $25 and works out cheaper than cloud storage pretty fast.

If you want a product with password protection, more TB’s of memory, and a superspeed USB port, then you are looking at $50 – $150 for most products.

How Many Terrabites Do I Need For An External Hard Drive?

This depends on the usage, anyone looking to store large files such as movies and games will need more but the latest external hard drives tend to start at around 350 GB’s up to many TB’s. It is best to buy more than you need and then you can use the external hard drive for many years.