Desktop External Hard Drives - Showing 1 - 24 of 444 Products

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WD Elements 8TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive Black WDBWLG0080HBK-NESN
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Seagate Expansion Desktop Hard Drive 8TB HDD External - PC Windows PS4 & Xbox - USB 2.0 & ...
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Seagate One Touch Hub 20TB External Desktop Hard Drive STLC20000400
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Seagate One Touch 16TB 3.5" External SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Black STLC16000400
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transcend 1tb storejet external hard drive 2.5" (ts1tsj25c3s)
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WD 16TB My Book Duo Desktop RAID External Hard Drive AES Encryption - USB 3.1 ...
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WD Elements 12TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive Black WDBWLG0120HBK-NESN
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WD Elements 20TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive WDBWLG0200HBK-NESN Black
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WD Black 12TB D10 Game Drive Desktop External Hard Drive for Xbox USB 3.2 ...
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WD My Book 6TB Desktop External Hard Drive for Windows/Mac/Laptop, USB 3.0 Black ...
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Seagate Expansion 18TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0, with Rescue Data Recovery ...
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WD Elements 16TB USB 3.0, Micro-B 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive ...
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Seagate Expansion 12TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive STKP12000400 Black
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Seagate Expansion 8TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0, with Rescue Data Recovery ...
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Seagate Expansion 14TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive STKP14000400 Black
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WD My Book 16TB USB 3.0, Micro-B External Desktop Hard Drive WDBBGB0160HBK-NESN ...
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WD Elements 10TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive Black WDBWLG0100HBK-NESN
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WD My Book 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive for Windows/Mac/Laptop, USB 3.0 Black ...
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WD Elements 14TB USB 3.0, Micro-B Desktop Hard Drive WDBWLG0140HBK-NESN Black
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Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hub External Hard Drive HDD 8TB - USB 3.2, Customizable RGB LED ...
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WD My Book 18TB USB 3.0, Micro-B External Desktop Hard Drive WDBBGB0180HBK-NESN ...
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WD 16TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS - Network Attached Storage - Dual-Core Processor ...
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Buffalo 3TB DriveStation Axis Velocity - High Speed External Hard Drive
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Common Questions about External Hard Drives

Introduction

An external hard drive is an excellent solution if you need to share a large amount of data, expand your computer’s storage capacity, or back up your hard drive’s contents to prevent data loss. Compared to more elaborate external data storage solutions such as tape drives or NAS devices, an external hard drive is relatively easy-to-use and requires minimal setup. Below, NeweggBusiness answers commonly asked questions about external hard drives.

How portable are external hard drives?

Portability for external hard drives can vary greatly, with some being small and handheld while others being rather large and unwieldy. Often, portable hard drives will have smaller capacities but are more compact and light weight.

The terms desktop and expansion are sometimes used to describe larger external hard drives that are primarily used to expand storage capacity or serve as backup drives. Compared to portable hard drives, desktop and expansion hard drives are available in larger capacities.

Should I get an external hard drive or network attached storage (NAS) drive?

They are both excellent options for expanding storage capacity, but utilize different methods for file sharing. To share files with an NAS drive, the recipient needs to be connected to the network or have VPN access. The advantage of a portable hard drive is that you can share files with people that are not on the same network or do not have internet access.

How durable are external hard drives?

They can vary greatly in terms of durability, but some are designed specifically to be very rugged. External hard drives marketed as MIL-STD complaint must meet stringent durability requirements set forth by the United States military. If you require a very durable external hard drive, look for a MIL-STD compliant drive.

Are there external solid state drives?

Yes, some external drives utilize solid state memory instead of hard disk drives as the storage medium. They offer great read/write performance and are not as susceptible to damage caused by sudden movements or drops.

Other than USB, what other connection options are there?

USB is one of the most common connection types for external hard drives, though other options include eSATA™, FireWire®, and Thunderbolt™. Below is a list of the maximum data transfer rates in megabits per second (Mbps) for various connection types.

Connection
Speed

USB 2.0

480 Mbps

FireWire 800

800 Mbps

eSATA

3,000 Mbps

USB 3.0

5,000 Mbps

Thunderbolt

10,000 Mbps

If I have a Mac®, do I need a special type of external hard drive?

Mac OS X® utilizes a file system called HFS+ while Windows® computers and external hard drives built for Windows-based systems use NTFS. When attempting to use a NTFS external hard drive with OS X, you will have the ability to read but not write files to the external drive.

To fix this issue, you will need to reformat the hard drive with a HFS+ file system or install an NTFS driver. These drivers may sometimes be provided by the external hard drive manufacturer. Alternatively, you can use third-party NTFS drivers.

Another common—though older—file system is FAT32. A FAT32 drive is fully compatible with both Windows and OS X operating systems, but unfortunately has a file size limit of 4 GB. If you are planning to utilize the external drive with only Mac computers, you can purchase one that comes pre-formatted with an HFS+ file system.