8 Things to Consider When Buying Your First External Hard Drive

External hard drives are one of the most popular storage devices on the market today. Because of its higher storage and file capacity, it has gained a worldwide increase in demand.

External Hard Drives

External hard drives are handy especially for those who have a lot of files to keep and large amounts of data to back-up. It has also been found that almost every household has at least one external hard drive.

If you’re looking to buy one, here are the things for you to consider when purchasing your first external hard drive.

1] Hard drive storage capacity

You buy an external hard drive because, of course, you’re in need of extra storage space. Hence, one of the top considerations that you should take note of when buying your very first external hard drive is the storage capacity.

Computer tech specialists recommend that you buy what you need, as the price can get quite expensive with more storage space. The best external hard drives now have a storage capacity ranging from 250 gigabytes to 2 terabytes.

2] Transfer speed

If you’re looking to buy an external hard drive for media purposes, then you should also remember to put a premium on the transfer speed. Transfer speed refers to the rate and speed when you move files from your computer to the external hard drive, and vice versa.

If you’re not an expert on gadgets and devices, you can seek the help and advice of the salesperson or a computer expert when deciding on the transfer speed. Transfer speed is a very important consideration, especially if you’re going to use the external hard drive for professional purposes, like the following.

  • Quick transfer of heavy office files and documents for meetings and reports.
  • Transfer of media, like photos and videos, if you’re in the photography and videography industry.

3] Lifespan and failure rate

Gadgets and devices all have their respective lifespans. No gadget never dies down. When you’re selecting an external hard drive, do remember to ask about its lifespan and failure rate.

External hard drives often have a life-span ranging from one to six years. When you know about the expected lifespan of your external drive, you’re aware of the timeframe of when your data is still safe in the device.

4] Price of the hard drive and other necessary accessories

Any of the following determines the price of a hard drive:

  • Brand
  • Storage capacity
  • Design
  • Features

Study your options first before finally deciding so you can get your money’s worth. Generally, external hard drives are more expensive than USBs, so you have to make a wise decision.

Here’s a cheat sheet on how to make sure you get value for your money: divide the total price of the external hard drive by the number of gigabytes or terabytes. The answer will give you the cost per byte, and this can be your starting point when comparing the value between several options.

5] Hard drive manufacturer

Some buyers put a lot of thought into which manufacturer they’re buying their external hard drive. It’s worth remembering that every gadget manufacturer has their respective reputation and field of expertise.

Before making a final decision, take the time first to read the consumer feedback and reviews from each brand. This is a very prudent thing to do, especially if you’re not well versed with gadgets.

6] Hard drive seller

Together with the manufacturer, be sure to purchase your hard drive from a reputable seller as well. Do refrain from buying external hard drives from online websites or sources that you’re not familiar with or that you haven’t heard of before, especially if they offer deals and discounts that are too good to be true.

There are many counterfeits products circulating today, and you want to give yourself some sense of confidence that your external hard drive is indeed an authentic and reliable one. Buying from a reputable seller can give you this peace of mind.

7] Warranty

When you’re about to make the final purchase, remember to ask about the product warranty. Most gadgets and devices have a warranty attached to it, so be sure to be clear about this. Ask about the following:

  • How long is the validity of the warranty?
  • How can the warranty be claimed?
  • What are the dos and don’ts to keep the validity of the warranty?

Many establishments will ask you to keep your original receipt so that you can validly claim your warranty in the future when needed. However, validity periods are usually varied.

8] Format of the external hard drive

External hard drives have to be formatted according to the device that you’ll plug it into, such as a Windows computer or a Mac iOS. Do inform the seller about your specific device format needs, so they can properly set it up for you beforehand.


All these factors are essential for you to consider when you’re buying your first external hard drive. Your external hard drive will house many of your valuable and precious data and files.

Hence, it’s crucial that you trust and know that your hard drive will not just shut off the next day. These considerations will help you make the best possible choice for your specific needs and preferences.

You might like

About the Author: Harrison

Harrison is a Professional Blogger and Computer Geeks. Apart from Blogging, he is a fun loving person. His areas of Interest are Computers, Web Designing, Photography and WordPress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *