Ex­ter­nal hard drives aren’t just about ca­pac­ity. Keep th­ese ad­di­tional fac­tors in mind when shop­ping…

NPhoto - - Test Team -

01 HDD or SSD?

All the prod­ucts here are based around con­ven­tional hard disk drives (HDD). Solid state drives (SSD) are faster, but you’d need to shell out big bucks for a large-ca­pac­ity model.

02 Make con­nec­tions

Al­most all ex­ter­nal hard drives connect us­ing USB 3.0, but are also back­ward-com­pat­i­ble with older com­put­ers us­ing USB 2.0. Drives fea­tur­ing Thun­der­bolt or Fire-Wire ports are also avail­able.

03 For­mat­ting

Some drives are pre-con­fig­ured to work with Mac or Win­dows ma­chines. This can usu­ally be changed to en­able cross-plat­form com­pat­i­bil­ity, though you may need ad­di­tional soft­ware.

04 Style mat­ters

Sleek, metal drive cases don’t just look the part, they also help dis­si­pate the heat from the hard drive within.

05 Feel the speed

Don’t ex­pect an ex­ter­nal hard drive to al­ways per­form at its best. Trans­fer­ring a large batch of im­age files will al­ways take longer than shift­ing a sin­gle video file of the same size, for ex­am­ple.

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