USB Hard Drive (External Hard Disk)

If you work in two places such as your home and your office, you might consider getting an external hard disk or a USB Hard Drive. A notebook will do well, but sometimes a desktop offers a more robust solution. I've seen quite a number of busted notebooks because these get moved around a lot, so getting a smaller and lighter yet portable hard disk may prove more useful and cost-efficient.

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A USB Portable Hard Drive is a rectangular device which you can plug into your computer's USB port. That's the rectangular hole you use when you transfer data from your digital camera, for example, into your computer's hard disk. In the Philippines, you can get a usb hard disk for around P7,500.

Here are a few things you might wish to consider:

Transfer Speed. Some external hard disks are marked "USB 2.0" (that's faster than older versions of USB), but if your computer's USB port is not USB 2.0, you will not be able to maximize the transfer speed. You can ask your vendor, however, to help you upgrade your old USB port.

Power/Heat Issues. Does your portable USB hard drive have an on/off switch? If it doesn't, how do you feel about unplugging it every now and then? It is important to switch off your external hard disk because if the heat builds-up, the disk may stop working.

Size Issues. How large an external hard disk do you want? Some come in 40Gb, 80Gb or even 120Gb sizes. If you're working with a lower budget, please ask your vendor if you can easily increase the size later on.

Weight Issues. How heavy is the usb hard disk? Lift it yourself and imagine how it would feel when you lug it around every day. If you plan to move that hard disk daily, please ask your vendor about how much shock it can absorb. Better yet, ask about an available external usb hard drive case. (In the Philippines, such cases cost between P2,000 and P2,600)

For those who don't like the tiny keyboards and screens of computer notebooks, but have to work both in the office and in your home, try getting a USB hard drive today. Go around and compare and befriend the various computer vendors so that you can get the best deal. Goodluck!
[ First posted on 07/01/2004 by Manuel Viloria ]

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