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Think THRICE before Picking Up a Cheap External Hard Drive!

Updated on June 11, 2013

The digital technology has enabled us to store virtually just anything into our computer and big data such as movie and music files choke up the storage file quite fast. And to cope up the storage habit, many people are always on the lookout for cheap external hard drives to provide extra storage space.

Even if you are not a digital media fanatics, you might perhaps need an external hard drive to back up your computer, particularly if you have sensitive and important information stored inside your main drive. Cheap external hard drives could be ranging from junk to reliable data storage devices and for that you need to do your diligence and shop very carefully.

Established retailers such as Staples, OfficeMax, Best Buy, Comp USA, and Circuit City sell external hard drives but I doubt that you would get the best deal from them. Unless there is a sales promotion going on, normally these retailers will sell them at market price as recommended by the manufacturers.

On the other hand, if you are willing to spend some time on the internet and lookout for cheap deals, you will probably find them. There are online stores and individual sellers that could provide you with the best deal. Since they do not have a brick and mortar store, they probably could mark down the price.

Buying Cheap External Hard Drives

Cheap External Hard Drives: How to get one?
Cheap External Hard Drives: How to get one?

When considering for a cheap external storage solution, you might want to consider these before making decisions:

Quality Counts

If you are going to store sensitive and important data on this external hard drives, you might want to consider a trusted brand as quality counts. I'm sure that you wouldn't want to risk losing all your crucial information just for the sake of saving some money and have to spend even more to recover all your lost data. While it is possible to find cheap external hard drives that are fairly reliable and have decent quality, many of these underpriced drives are cheap for a reason, there might be something not right with them. Read some online user reviews to determine whether the product is reliable and it is mention a particular store or brand. If you still want to proceed with the purchase, get it from a retailer that has a reasonable return policy, forget those three or seven days money return guarantee. They only guarantee that you won't be bringing back the drives within those few days and most probably, problem arises after that period.

How Cheap?

Cheap is a relative thing and what you consider cheap might not be to other people. For that, it is important that you have your own budget when looking for an external hard drive. Bear in mind that technology get outdated very fast and cheapest drives are usually either a large, chunky, outdated model or a poorly China made device; you would recognize them when you go shopping around. Low-quality external drives may have flimsy components and may not write data reliably and they frequently fail without warning.

In order to keep your cost down, two things that you must look into: the storage capacity and the included features that the drives have. Bigger storage capacity costs more than lower capacity so if you don't need a huge storage, go for the lower one. Moreover, older models cost lesser than the latest release; they might even have the same storage capacity and the only thing that is different is the design and new added feature.

If you are shopping for a drive with huge capacity, you are advised to compare several brands side by side. Doing this, you will be able to spot the different and find out which feature offer the best savings. For instance, drop the one with FireWire connection if you don't need it, it costs a lot cheaper with the one that doesn't come with one. Besides, a top drive speed of 5400 RPM will cost less than a top speed of 7200 RPM though you'll notice the slower performance. You probably could cope up with this.

The Purpose of Storing

If you are looking for an external hard drive to carry around you all the time, you might want to consider a portable external hard drive that you could easily slide it into your pocket or tuck away into your laptop case. People on the move prefers this type of drive. On the other hand, if you are simply looking for a cheap hard drive disk to back up your data plus provide extra storage at home or office, you might want to consider a physically larger model, commonly known as desktop external hard drive. They usually provide more storage at a lower price compare to the portable ones.

Lastly, when shopping for cheap external hard drives, make sure that you know what you are looking for and always do your own research prior to getting one. You can find reviews on the internet easily, it's better to read other people experience and views so that you won't be gettng the wrong one.


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  • Ultimate Hubber profile image

    Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago

    A much needed hub. It reminded me that I need one, mainly for backup of my data. Thanks!