An MP3 file takes around 3. One HD movie takes up around 3. The most important thing to consider is the size of your drive. For storing movies and other video content, the amount you need could range into the multiple terabytes, especially if the movies are in 4K. There are two main types of external storage drives, and while they ultimately serve the same purpose, the way they store files is markedly different.
Traditionally, if you wanted a storage drive it meant buying a hard disk drive. There are some advantages and some disadvantages to this. They function by storing files on an electromagnetic disk that spins around and is read by a moving arm. The speed of a hard disk drive is essentially dictated by how fast the electromagnetic disk spins, and they're generally slower than solid-state drives. Solid-state storage essentially uses microchips to store information, and as a result, there are no moving parts. There are a few things that can affect the performance of a hard drive beyond simply what type of hard drive it is.
The transfer speed of a hard drive largely has to do with the type of connector that the hard drive comes with. Newer connection standards have higher transfer speeds. Instead, it tells you how fast a hard drive can theoretically transfer files, based on the connection protocol the hard drive uses. In the past, the connector was the main limiting factor in how fast a drive could transfer files: USB 2. These days, the newer USB 3.
As mentioned, HDDs have a spinning disk inside of them, and the rate at which drives can access data depends on how quickly that disk spins. While the type of hard drive and performance of the hard drive are perhaps the most important factors to consider, there are a few other features to keep in mind. That can be pretty helpful for those who have multiple computers set up and simply want to use an external hard drive to back up files and transfer files between computers.
You can actually give any external hard drive network features by simply plugging it into your router — providing your router has a compatible port on it — but it will require a little more tweaking to get set up properly. Still, special network-connected drives have some advantages. The kind of port or ports that your hard drive uses to connect to a computer is very much linked to transfer speed.
Most hard drives connect to a computer through a form of USB. That could mean the now-outdated USB 2. Other ports, which are increasingly less common, include FireWire and FireWire , though fewer and fewer computers support those ports, so you should be wary of that when purchasing. We recommend looking for a hard drive with USB 3.
It might mean having to buy an adapter to use with your current computer that may not have USB-C, but it means that when you upgrade to a new computer, your external hard drive will stay usable. Check out our guide to the best USB-C adapters available. NTFS is the most common format for new external hard drives and can be used with Windows computers. Most hard drives come in NTFS, though, so you may need to buy one and then reformat it. The physical size of an external hard drive doesn't necessarily translate to the amount of storage space, particularly with the advent of flash storage.
You really only have a say in the physical size of a hard drive when it comes to solid-state drives, as there are standard sizes for hard disk drives. A standard size for a portable hard disk drive, for example, is the Western Digital Elements 2TB hard drive, which comes in at 4. Smaller desktop hard drives come in at around 7 x 5 inches and range up from there.
Solid-state hard drives can be much smaller, making them much more portable. External hard drives can come with features designed to keep files more secure, which might be important if you plan on using yours to store sensitive information. For example, some hard drives offer password-protection by default, meaning you can easily set a password to keep all your files safe. A hard drive buffer is essentially storage that exists between the computer and the actual storage in a hard drive.
Files stored by the hard drive in the buffer can be accessed far quicker than those stored in the main storage of a hard drive, and the bigger the hard drive buffer — sometimes called the cache — the better the overall performance the drive is likely to have. Generally speaking, you really only need to care about the size of the buffer if you plan on running software from your hard drive. If you do feel as though you need a hard drive with a larger buffer, then we recommend getting one with at least a 64MB cache, though those with MB and even MB are pretty common, too.
Depending on the type of hard drive and the amount of storage you opt for, the price can vary drastically. Hard disk drives, as mentioned, are much cheaper than solid-state drives, so if you need a lot of storage at a reasonable price, a HDD might be the way to go.
On the other hand, it's not uncommon to see a solid-state drive that runs into 25 cents per GB. Of course, that still makes for a drive that costs hundreds of dollars. While there's a lot to keep in mind when buying an external hard drive, hopefully, this will help you narrow down your selection. Our overall recommendations? There are a few brands that have built a reputation for quality external hard drives, including Western Digital, SanDisk, and Seagate.
In this guide to the best external hard drives for Macs, we look at the top devices for plugging in and expanding the storage space of your Mac. Choose from: G-Technology,LaCie,Promise,SanDisk.
Share Pin Email. Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart. I am currently syncing my drive to my computer, so the first option you showed. Does this mean I cannot have select folders synced to my computer, and other folders different folder, or same folders plus more, whichever is possible synced to my external hard drive?
The first option My Drive can sync only with one folder Google Drive on your computer or external drive. So you cannot distribute files of My Drive in two places to sync. Instead of that, Google offer the 2nd option My Mac.
So, if you share the folders and files on the 1st account with 2nd account, you can see the shared contents in the "Shared with me" on the 2nd account. As the result, that shared content will be downloaded to 2nd Google Drive folder. TEST 1 in the diagram below. This question is locked and replying has been disabled. Discard post? You will lose what you have written so far. Subscribe to updates.
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These are particularly useful if your current setup has limited connectivity, or the USBs you do have just aren't that handy. The device is easily identifiable by its distinctive orange rubber sleeve. Overall, the Thunderbolt Duo is the best hard drive for Mac, which combines good storage capacity and great technology. The Thunderbolt Duo is based on a bi-directional technology that permits fast multitasking. SSDs are faster than traditional hard drives, and you should consider what cables they use as well.
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