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Cost Of An External Hard Drive

Benefits of the external hard disk are that it offers particular cost benefits in terms of storage capacity, widespread affordability and therefore data redundancy. While serving the main purposes of file transfer among pc's and for storage/data backup as well as for transporting data to other physical locations.

In the big picture, due to key factors like rewritability, the external magnetic disk will likely continue to remain at the forefront of disk options even as other drives further technology such as with the hybrid drive that utilizes their capabilities.

Types of External Drives; Pricing Aspects

Brand, connectivity and drive type all play parts in the pricing mix.
  • Portable Hard Drives - while most portables are USB 3.0 compatible, common nowadays is the 2.5" form factor drive. A standard 1 TB begins at around $60 such as by Samsung or Seagate, with most Western Digital, My Passports at least $20 more, for starters. Although with many competitors looming many can be found on special. Too, the majority of 500 GB brand model portables show little price incentive over their 1 TB versions.

    The rather unpopular and oft-overlooked 1.5 TB category of portable has the sense of disproportionate pricing, easily doubling over in certain cases, with a few exceptions such as by Toshiba that come in at far less retail.

    Most standard model 2 TB portable devices fall into the $120 to $160 range. Where many decent quality drives can be found at the bottom rung.

  • Mini-Portables/Slim - as reduced weight and size continues to rule, you will generally pay for it. Roughly at 3.2" by 5" & just under an inch, the G-Technology mini G-Drive 1 TB is close to $150 to $180 and about a hundred dollars more for the 2 TB version. The 500 GB about twenty dollars less than twice its capacity. Another company LaCie offers mini's in 500 GB near $90 and going from there.

    Thin portable designs, like the WD MyPassort Slim, closely mocks the size of an iphone, carrying a price that nears $120 (1 TB) while Seagate Slim frequents 60% to 70% this amount.

  • Shock Resistant Portables - given the increased likelihood of damage to a portable hard drive, some products now come specced as shock and/or crush resistant. For example, LaCie offers rugged designs starting at about $120 for a 500 GB on up. In addition to its mini model offering.

  • Detachable Drives - these enclosure drives normally bring the eSata interface, allowing for faster transfer times. Basic, free-standing cased drives (strictly speaking, non-portable) offer some of the best cost per gigabyte amounts especially where more storage capacity is needed. These most often employ USB for connectivity. Many now starting at 2 TB, having practically displaced lower models, start at just under a hundred dollars. The 3 TB's approximately fall in to $120 to $150 amounts, with the 4TB's as a whole heading toward the two hundred dollar mark.

    For those wanting eSata, expect to pay more. But as an option, blank external cases, such as the Antec MX-1 with eSata accommodates a stock drive to go external for $70 and offers fan cooling.

    For those wanting enhanced accessibility, an external docking station may be the answer. Simply drop it in and remove. Starting around $30 for a single drive.

    Five (5) bay rack mounts, fan equipped, begin around $45 and rise drastically, particularly for enabling RAID arrays.

Added Expenditures

PC's without USB 3.0 or eSata might need updating. Else a bare bones Sata/IDE to USB 2.0 adapter that cost $8 to $19. A more universal adapter, such as by Apricorn is at $35 or thereabouts.

Also, particularly for when connecting portable hard drives, eSatap (powered) may eliminate the need for an externally connected power source.

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