There’s something reassuring about having a trusty external hard drive at your side. With no ongoing subscription fees or lack of permanence afforded by cloud storage, an external HD is an ideal digital accomplice for backing up work, storing photos and video, and it can prolong the life of a laptop. But what should you be looking for?
- When it comes to storage size, it can be tempting for the budget conscious to opt for a smaller, less expensive hard drive. But go big. A good rule of thumb is to consider what you think you need and then double it.
- Think portability. If you intend to regularly take the hard drive mobile, a large-capacity USB flash drive might be a more suitable option.
- External drives come as HDDs and SSDs. In short, HDDs are cheaper but slower than SSDs, so this could be an issue if you intend to transfer files back and forth between devices. HDDs feature moving parts and thus are more susceptible to damage.
- Ensure that the hard drive you purchase is compatible with the operating system you use.
- Encryption is a sensible idea if you’re prone to leaving stuff on the bus or train. Some external drives offer password protection to prevent undesired access.
WD Elements Desktop 12TB External Hard Drive
For the home worker, the reliable Elements desktop drive comes with a massive 12TB of storage, USB 3.0 for new devices, and 2.0 for backward compatibility. Formatted for PC, it can be reformatted for Mac.
One Touch Portable HDD
Compatible with PC and Mac straight out of the box, this portable 5TB drive backs up with a single touch or can be scheduled to back up automatically.
LaCie Rugged Portable
The Bear Grylls of hard drives, this 1TB SSD unit is designed to withstand a sudden downpour of rain or a fall from the hand. It features encryption and can be used for both PC and Mac.
For mobile operators who predominantly use laptops for work, a docking station is a vital addition to the home office environment. An interface that provides the flexibility and convenience of a desktop, a docking station means you don’t have to keep plugging in and unplugging peripherals. It connects via Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, or USB-A and powers your complete set-up.
Think of a USB hub as a power block for your computer. With minimal ports on contemporary devices, connecting a USB hub expands the number of ports available to your computer.