If you are feeling the need to buy an external hard drive to keep a backup of all the important data or to store data that cannot fit in your internal drive, then understand the following do’s and don’ts before selecting one.
• Always buy a branded external hard drive rather than go in for a local one. Local hard drives are cheaper but they could be made with inferior parts and may come without a warranty. When you buy a branded drive, you are assured of its quality and durability.
• Buy an external hard drive that can be connected to a USB port as most computers are fitted with USB ports. However, if speed is a very important factor for you, then go in for an eSATA or FireWire connector.
• Whenever there is lightening storms, always unplug the external hard drive else it could result in overheating and cause damage to the drive.
• Always keep the cords and cables straight that run from the computer to the main electrical point. If they are twisted, the external hard drive could unplug with a little push here and there and fall down and get damaged.
• Do not underestimate your storage requirements. This is generally common. Few years back, people thought having 10 GB of storage was more than enough for a personal desktop. However, now, with people saving songs, movies and loads of photographs on their personal machines, they need larger storage capacity. Go for a 50GB external hard drive for a personal computer and in case you are buying for business purposes, then you can go in for 500GB or more, depending on the scale of your business.
• Do not buy an external hard drive that runs at a speed slower than 5400rpm as they transfer data at a slow speed. The least that one should go in for is 5400rpm and if you need a real faster one, then hard drives operating at 7200rpm are also available.
• Do not plug in the external drive with a wrong power cord. If you do so, it could result in overheating and damage the hard drive.
• Do not keep the external hard drive close to the edges of the computer table else it could accidently fall down and result in damage. These hard drives are very delicate and can easily be damaged. Hence one needs to take proper care while using them.