What Is A External Hardrive?
Every personal computer owner will know that they have an internal hard drive inside their computer where all their data is stored. An external hardrive is just another hard disk drive or ssd that you purchase, which is a single stand-alone unit and which is located outside of, or externally to, your computer. Hence one of these devices is called an external hard drive.
Just Another Hard Drive
Inside the box, which houses the external drive, is a hard disk drive that is identical to those that are also used as internal disk drives. But because these are used as additional storage and are add-ons to your computer they exist in their own enclosure. All extenal disk drives must be connected in some way to your computer, so that data transfer between the external drive and your computer (in both directions) can take place.
USB 2.0 Cable
Normally this is done via a USB connecting cable that plugs into a USB port on your computer at one end and plus into another USB port in your external hard drive at the other end. The common standard today is for USB 2.0, which is quicker and has a larger capacity for data transfer than the previous USB 1.0 and USB 1.1 standards.
Network Hard Drive
However there are now more and more external hardrive units available which allow you to connect them to one or even more of your computers at home or in the office using a network, such as your home wifi network. These are great if more than one of your family has a computer at home as you can have one central storage disk that you can all use for backups etc. They are normally easy to set up and run, and so long as you have the ability in the first place to setup your net work then you should be good to go with a networked external hardrive or two…
Other faster connection methods use a firewire direct cable connection for the best transfer speeds. These are also now becoming very popular as more and more of us have larger collections of multi-media files such as photos, images, audio tracks, music and of course video, to store, edit, backup, transer and view. As capacity increase so does the need for speed and firewire can hep with this. So look out for firewire as an option on external hard drives if you want some real speed for your data transfers!
Portable Hard Drives
As with all electronic devices miniaturization can be the key to a successful product and an external hardrive is no different here. There is also a big demand for smaller external drive models that still have a large capcaity for storage, but which can be easily carried together with a laptop or notebokk in a laptop bag. This provides for a bcakup medi and extra storage carrying capcity if the size of the internal disk drive on your laptop or notebook is getting filled up!