Prime Day is finally here today, and when we look at the landscape of Prime Day deals, it's a good time to put out a reminder: the "cloud" isn't the only storage solution. The cloud (which is really just someone else's server) can be complicated and only helps if you can access it online, which isn't always the case. Some of us prefer external hard drives for ease of transfer, portability, security, and security. There are some great external hard drive deals on Prime Day right now. Whether you want a backup for your backup, faster physical storage, or just an alternative to the cloud, this is your big money-saving opportunity.
The best external hard drive deals on Prime Day today
How to choose an external hard drive
When browsing through Prime Day external hard drive listings, there are a variety of external hard drive brands, makes, and sizes to choose from. So many that the choice can be overwhelming. To help you find the right external hard drive for you, let's take a look at its main features – storage capacity, SSD vs. HDD, transfer speed, portability and durability, security, compatibility, and additional features – to make sure you're getting the right one.
The first thing we should look at is storage capacity. Wondering how big is a hard drive you need? Take a look at what you have stored on your computer and in the cloud and measure accordingly. When doing this, keep in mind your future needs and the number of devices you will want to back up on this external hard drive, which can range from 64GB to several TB, which is quite a difference. Then consider SSD versus a hard drive. We'll cover the difference here, but basically SSDs have no moving parts (HDDs), making SSD drives much faster, less easily damaged, and more expensive. We usually recommend SSDs, keeping the budget in mind, of course. Older drives come with USB 2.0 as standard and are quite slow at only 480 Mbps. Newer drives come standard with USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen1, or USB 3.2 Gen1 (they are similar) with speeds of up to 5 Gbps. Then there is USB 3.1 Gen2 and USB 3.2 Gen2 (again similar), which enable 10 Gbit / s transfers. At the top of the USB 3 stack is USB 3.2 or 3.2 2 × 2 at 20 Gbps. From there there is the Thunderbolt 3 protocol with a transmission speed of up to 40 Gbit / s.
One of the main reasons for choosing an external hard drive over or in addition to the cloud is its portability. Many great drives are meant to be left in your home or office. However, if you are looking for one that you can take with you wherever you go, there are a few things to consider. External hard drives can vary greatly in size and weight. The smaller ones with the largest capacity tend to be the most expensive. Part of this consideration is durability; No drive lasts forever, and many modern drives are built with rugged cases to protect them from damage. SSD without these moving parts can withstand shocks better than hard drives.
Another consideration is security. How sensitive is the data that you are backing up and transferring? If the answer to this question is anything but "not very", then you should consider encryption through either the software or the hardware of the device. You can get software that is compatible with most drives. However, if you want to be more secure, purchase a hardware-encrypted drive. If security is a primary concern, you can even look at drives with physical security systems.
Finally, but not least important, are compatibility and functions. Hard drives are often formatted for a specific operating system. So before you buy, ask yourself: "Do I have Windows or MacOS and will this change soon?" You can reformat or partition an external hard drive at any time, but you probably want to avoid this challenge by making sure your external drive is compatible with the target operating system. Also, take a look at the features: think about the type of guarantee they offer. Take a look at your machine and determine if you need to purchase additional cables. Some come with Wi-Fi – is that important to you?
Make sure you find the external hard drive that's right for you when you check out external hard drive deals on Prime Day.
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