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Best External Hard Drives 2017

Out of storage space on your desktop computer? Maybe you want to back up all that college work on your laptop? Maybe you would like a handy way to keep your movie collection coordinated? Whatever your needs Best Buy is here to help find the best external hard disk for you.

Best portable and top rated hard drives are great and good choice for most reliable wireless hard drives for backup.

What is an external hard drive?
It is a data storage device. Similar to the one inside your notebook or desktop computer, except that an external hard disk lives outside your computer in its own enclosure.

What are the difference types?
There are 2 kinds of external hard drives: 3.5" and 2.5". The 3.5-inch or desktop external hard disk requires another power connection to work. So it is intended to remain in 1 place like workspace in your home or your office. The 2.5-inch or mobile external hard drive draws its power from the USB connection and does not need a separate power connection to get the job done. This helps gives the 2.5-inch drive its small form factor making it light and mobile.

Lots of reasons. External hard drives are useful for adding more storage space to a desktop computer or laptop without needing to know how to set up an internal hard disk. They are also great for backing up important files, maintaining collections (music, movies, or photos) organized, document sharing, enhancing your workflow, etc.

What should I consider when purchasing an external hard drive?
More than you might think. Beyond simply knowing how much storage space you need (or want), contemplate connectivity: USB 2.0? USB 3.0? Thunderbolt? Firewire? Wireless? Does the drive need another power connection? Also consider spindle speed and cache memory size: More RPMs and RAM offer you better functionality.

Most external drives will work cross platform. However, make certain that the drive that you need to purchase will work with all of your systems whether it's Windows, Mac, or even both. Additionally, know what format the drive you are buying applications, NTFS or FAT32. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but some formats get together with specific operating systems than others.

Which type of external hard disk do I need?
While the two are awesome, each provides something different for everyone.

Desktop drives have the largest capacities available. This means they are great for active users that transfer and store lots of information. Some desktop drives feature built-in cooling fans that can help extend the drive's life.

Portable drives are just that - extremely mobile. Some even have rugged enclosures which are water-, shock-, and crush-proof, making them ideal for people who need to store or transfer documents in temperate conditions.