External Hard Drive Buyer's Checklist
Features To Check Before You Purchase Your New External Hard Drive
External hard drive buyer's checklist - looking for a new external hard drive for your desktop
or laptop computer? Go through this simple but essential External Hard Drive Buyer's Checklist which highlights
some of the important specifications and features you should look out for when shopping for a new external hard
1. Type Of Hard Drive - Will you be using the external drive mostly for home or
office? Do you intend to carry it along with you? Are you sharing the storage with other members of your family or
co-workers? Do you intend to use it for streaming videos, photos and music?
☐ Portable drives - a perfect companion wherever you go, these are available in various
configurations of up to 1 TB.
☐ Desktop drives - featuring higher storage capacity of up to 3 TB, they are great for home and office use.
☐ Personal cloud storage drives - offer a great way to wirelessly access your data wherever you are. The personal
cloud is your very own network, allowing you to save and backup files quickly and securely. Streaming photos,
movies and music to multimedia devices is easy with personal cloud storage.
☐ NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives - meant for a network environment, they are commonly used for file sharing,
data storage and backup in small enterprises and homes with multiple users.
2. Storage Capacity - What do you intend to use it for? How much space will you need? If
you plan to store lots of videos and photos you will want to buffer more space for future use.
☐ 250 GB
☐ 500 GB
☐ 750 GB
☐ 1 TB
☐ 2 TB
☐ 3 TB
3. RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) Or Spindle Speed - An important performance parameter,
the RPM affects how fast the hard drive reads or writes data. The faster the RPM, the better is the hard drive
☐ 3600 RPM
☐ 7200 RPM
☐ 10,000 RPM
4. Cache or Buffer - This is also commonly called RAM (Random Access Memory) on the hard
drive. Acting as a buffer, a bigger cache will yield a much better performance as it is able to store more of your
frequently accessed information.
☐ 8 MB
☐ 16 MB
5. Interface And Connectivity - A key performance factor, the interface affects how
quickly you can transfer data. Ensure that the hard drive connectivity capabilities can be supported on your
☐ USB 2.0 - found in almost all external hard drives it offers just normal data transfer
☐ USB 3.0 - gives you up to 3 times faster transfer rate as compared to USB 2.0.
☐ eSATA and FireWire (IEEE 1394) - both offer lightning-fast data transfer speed. FireWire is available in 2
speeds, 400 and 800. These are great to have for ultra fast editing of videos and audios, renditions of 3D
animations and also special effects.
6. Operating System Compatibility - Does the hard drive support your computer's
☐ Windows XP
☐ Windows Vista
☐ Windows 7
☐ MAC OS
7. Automatic Continuous Backup - A must-have if you often work on important projects.
Set it up once and then each time you save a change, the automatic backup software will kick in to have it backed
8. Password Protection - Essential to protect your sensitive and critical information
from unauthorized access.
9. Warranty - A warranty gives added assurance that you are getting a quality
☐ 6 Months
☐ 1 Year
☐ 2 Years
☐ 3 Years