While cloud storage becomes more widely available and used, external hard drives remain a popular, secure and mobile option for backing up data. Top Ten Reviews recently released a comparison of external hard drives, detailing the key features consumers should be aware of when looking to purchase an external hard drive.

 Electronic devices are getting smaller, but our need for data storage continues to grow,  said Lecia Monsen, Managing Editor at Top Ten Reviews.  We need more space for our documents, photos and videos. We want to be bring them with us and share them with friends and family, all while keeping them safe and secure, and portable external hard drives are an excellent storage option. 

The Top 3:


1. My Passport Essential: With its extensive storage space options, reliable backup and quick transfer speeds at a reasonable cost, My Passport Essential is an excellent choice for an external hard drive. The compact, lightweight design makes this hard drive very portable. After you set up the software and connect the drive the first time, the device will perform an automatic backup every time it is connected again.

2. Transcend StoreJet 25M3: The Transcend StoreJet 25M3 may weigh a little more than comparable hard drives, but its durability is unrivaled. There are several storage options to choose from, and each offers a fast data transfer speed. The included software offers customizable backup options, but the drive can also be plugged in and used without installing the software.

3. Clickfree C2N: While transfer speeds may be somewhat slower on the Clickfree C2N, the ability to wirelessly back up networked computers makes this hard drive an excellent choice for an external hard drive. Because it is intended as a network backup it comes in 750GB or 1TB. It also includes password protection, which is vital in this information sharing age.

[Complete External Hard Drive Review]

What Makes a Top-Notch External Hard Drive?

There are key features that consumers should look for when purchasing an external hard drive. The performance should, of course, be a top priority, as well as design and security.

Top-rated external hard drives will excel in the following categories:

Performance: Storage capacity is an important feature for an external hard drive to have. Consumers often have a wide range of options for their storage needs, and usually space between 500GB and 1TB is sufficient for the average user. Fast transfer speed is also an important aspect to consider when purchasing a hard drive.

Design: Along with having plenty of storage space, a hard drive should be small, lightweight and portable. But because they should be portable, they will also need to be durable. The design should incorporate an outer shell that can withstand small bumps during transport. Because devices are mobile, computer connection should only require a USB cord, without requiring a power cord.

Features: Portable external hard drives have a higher chance of being lost or stolen, so it s important to have password protection and data encryption to maintain the security of the device.

Help & Support: Online support and resources are important features for external hard drive users. Consumers will also want to purchase a device with a good warranty, lasting two or more years at least.

As devices get smaller, the need to store data grows. External hard drives should incorporate large storage capacity, portability and durability, and security, to provide value to customers. As technology advances, greater options are available to consumers that allow them to easily store, protect and share data and media.

More product reviews can be found at TopTenREVIEWS.

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