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Home Compare External Hard Drives

Compare the Best External Hard DrivesJune 2020

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique external hard drives rating which considers: 250 US prices • 3,200 expert & user reviews • 1,000 product comparisons • 47 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Layer 1
Small Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of less than 500Gb
Layer 1
Medium Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of 500Gb-2Tb
High Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of greater than 2Tb
#1
Best Selling Hard Drives
The most popular external hard drives on the market
Award Winning Hard Drives
External hard drives that have won industry awards
Latest External Hard Drives
The newest external hard drives on the market
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Save Up To $162 on External Hard Drives View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Weight
Hard Drive Capacity
Available Colours
Release Date
#1

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 2Tb

$62.49

140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2013
#2

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Archive HDD Backup Plus Portable ‑ 2Tb

$72.49

140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Feb 2015
#3

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Buffalo logo

Buffalo DriveStation Velocity ‑ 2Tb

$109.99

1kg
Info
2TB
Info
Info
May 2013
#4

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 1TB

$52.49

140g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Mar 2019
#5

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
LaCie logo

LaCie Rugged Mini ‑ 2TB

$97.49

240g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Mar 2014
#6

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LaCie Rugged Mini ‑ 1TB

$77.49

240g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#7

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LaCie Rugged ‑ 1Tb

$189.99

100g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Jun 2016
#8

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Book ‑ 3Tb

$142.32

1kg
Info
3TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#9

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Book ‑ 4Tb

$182.91

1kg
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#10

82

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate 500GB 2.5" USB 3.0

$59.49

150g
Info
500GB
Info
Info
Jan 2015
#11

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Expansion USB 3.0 ‑ 4TB

$89.00

950g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Dec 2015
#12

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Backup Plus Portable ‑ 5Tb

$114.99

247g
Info
5TB
Info
Info
Jul 2017
#13

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Backup Plus Portable ‑ 4Tb

$99.99

247g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jul 2017
#14

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Expansion ‑ 5TB

$114.99

950g
Info
5TB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#16

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate 1TB Backup Plus Portable

$62.49

224g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
May 2012
#17

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Expansion ‑ 2TB

$62.49

170g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#17

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate STEA500400

$65.42

170g
Info
500GB
Info
Info
Jun 2017
#19

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Buffalo MiniStation Extreme USB 3.0 ‑ 1TB

$137.90

277g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Apr 2015
#20

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Buffalo MiniStation Extreme USB 3.0 ‑ 2TB

$207.45

277g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Apr 2015

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Buffalo DriveStation ‑ 2Tb

$149.99

921g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Dec 2013

No matching products found.

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Today's Best External Hard Drive Sales

$30 Price Drop
4TB
600g
130MB/s
READ SPEED
$20 Price Drop
5TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
247g
$20 Price Drop
2TB
10,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
350g
387MB/s
READ SPEED
$10 Price Drop
1TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
100g
130MB/s
WRITE SPEED
130MB/s
READ SPEED
$5 Price Drop
2TB
5 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
170g
$5 Price Drop
1TB
140 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
7,200 RPM
HARD DRIVE
ROTATIONAL
167g
$5 Price Drop
4TB
5 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
950g

What Are The Best External Hard Drive Brands?

We looked at the reviews for every external hard drive and used this to calculate the average overall rating of each brand. The top rated external hard drive brand is Western Digital with an average rating of 87%. Compare all award winning external hard drives.

Rank Brand Number of External Hard Drives Price Range Average Rating
#1
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Western Digital External Hard Drives 103 $115 - $501
87%
708 reviews
#2
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Seagate External Hard Drives 116 $52 - $253
76%
192 reviews
#3
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Buffalo External Hard Drives 38 $110 - $213
75%
15 reviews
#4
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Silicon Power External Hard Drives 39
73%
52 reviews
#5
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iStorage External Hard Drives 30
71%
29 reviews
#6
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LaCie External Hard Drives 74 $77 - $500
67%
15 reviews
#7
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Freecom External Hard Drives 25
55%
7 reviews
#8
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A-DATA External Hard Drives 55
55%
19 reviews
#9
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Toshiba External Hard Drives 62
#10
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G-Technology External Hard Drives 41 $70 - $780
#11
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Intenso External Hard Drives 26
#12
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BUSlink External Hard Drives 24
#13
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Fantom Drives External Hard Drives 24 $75 - $201

Trending External Hard Drive Comparisons

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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Newer by three
years
24g lighter
VS
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
$68 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Three years
newer
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$57.49
$88 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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LaCie
Porsche Design - 2Tb
$159.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Newer by 10
months
VS
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G-Technology
G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C - 1Tb
$74.95
$85 cheaper
14% lighter
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Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 2Tb
$67.49
$78 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
14 months newer
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LaCie
Rugged Triple - 1Tb
$149.99
54% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Newer by 22
months
loading image
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
$356 cheaper
14 months newer
VS
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Western Digital
My Passport
$500.67
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Book - 4Tb
$182.91
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
$99.99
$83 cheaper
Lighter
Better brand
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G-Technology
G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C - 1Tb
$74.95
Lighter
Seven months
newer
VS
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Book - 4Tb
$182.91
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Newer by 10
months
VS
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Seagate
Expansion USB 3.0 - 4TB
$94.99
$88 cheaper
Lighter
USB powered
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 5Tb
$114.99
$115 cheaper
Vastly lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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LaCie
Porsche Design - 5Tb
$229.99
Better brand
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 2TB
$97.49
75% lighter
VS
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Seagate
Expansion USB 3.0 - 4TB
$94.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by 21
months
Better brand
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
$23 cheaper
A little
lighter
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
$99.99
Better Kagoo
Score
23 months newer
Better brand
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LaCie
Porsche Design - 2Tb
$159.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Newer by 10
months
VS
loading image
G-Technology
G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C - 1Tb
$74.95
$85 cheaper
14% lighter
loading image
LaCie
Porsche Design - 2Tb
$159.99
$341 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Western Digital
My Passport
$500.67
Three more
awards
Lighter
loading image
Western Digital
My Book - 4Tb
$182.91
$187 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
OWC
Mercury Elite Pro - 1TB
$369.75
70% lighter
USB powered
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LaCie
Porsche Design - 2Tb
$159.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
56.47g lighter
VS
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G-Technology
G-Drive Mobile USB - 4Tb
$139.95
$20 cheaper
Newer by seven
months
loading image
Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 1TB
$52.49
$108 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
LaCie
Porsche Design - 2Tb
$159.99
Newer by three
years
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport
$500.67
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
16 months newer
VS
loading image
Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$57.49
$443 cheaper
Better brand
loading image
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 2Tb
$82.49
$418 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
18% lighter
VS
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport
$500.67
Three more
awards
23 months newer
Better brand
loading image
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Newer by three
years
24g lighter
VS
loading image
LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
$68 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
View All External Hard Drive Comparisons
You can create your own side by side comparisons by clicking "compare" in the main table above against the products you would like to compare. Then click the big "Compare" button at the bottom of the screen to compare your selected products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QHow is the capacity of hard drives measures?
AModern external hard drives are measured in gigabytes (Gb), which equates to approximately 1,000 megabytes (Mb). A single mp3 takes up about 3-4Mb, while a single picture takes 1-2Mb. Larger capacity drives are measured in terrbytes (Tb), where 1Tb = 1,000Gb.
QWhat security is available for external hard drives?
AMost hard drives lack any serious security options - however some have password protection to only allow authorised access. This can be a software password, or an actual physical keypad on the drive itself. Heavier degrees of security are available - including biometric fingerprint scanners, which will only unlock the data to someone with authorised fingerprints.
QHow are external hard drives powered?
AMost external hard drives are powered via USB, meaning they can be plugged directly into the computer and used from there. However some very large/powerful drives need too much power for USB alone, and will also require am external power supply to function properly.

External Hard Drive Buying Guide

External hard drives are portable and used to backup files and data from your computer, so they’re safeguarded in case of accident or for retrieval at a later date. While Cloud-based backups are being used more and more for backups, external hard drives still have several important benefits compared to online backups:

  • Peace of mind: many people don’t 100% trust the Cloud yet, and having their data stored in some unknown, invisible server somewhere leaves them worried about the long-term safety of their data. External hard drives offer tangible, physical objects to safely backup your files, without having to rely on 3rd-party companies.
  • Backing up and restoring files is far faster, especially with newer models that use USB 3 for transferring data.
  • Data can be retrieved without needing a net connection, making them useful if travelling or if you find yourself somewhere without a solid net connection.
  • High-level security options - such as fingerprint scanners, palm vein scanners and number pads - offer vastly increased security and peace of mind when storing very important files. Moreover, there is the increased security of being able to physically lock away the hard drives away from prying eyes.
  • Finally, USB hard drives are still one of the best methods for quickly moving very large files between different computers. It is frequently easier (as long as the computers aren’t too far apart) to simply transfer the file to the drive, plug it in to the second computer, and transfer rather than having to deal with slower upload/download speeds from services such as Dropbox.
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Capacity

The main important consideration when choosing an external hard drive is the capacity. This Is a measure of how much data the drive can hold, and is measured in gigabytes (Gb) or terrabytes (Tb) . A gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, and a terabyte is 1000 gigabytes. Our drives range from relatively small portable 120gig drives to enormous 5Tb drives, which can safely hold all the data from multiple machines at once. Generally speaking the higher the capacity the better, but it does depend on what you’re going to be backing up. If you only use your computer to store documents, low-res photos and the like, a 2-500 gig drive should be enough. On the other hand, large capacity drives are useful for storing RAW photos, video editing or Photoshop files.

Size & Portability

Hand in hand with the capacity of the drive is its size. Generally speaking, the larger the capacity of a drive, the bigger it is. Small-capacity drives are extremely portable, being no larger than a mobile phone, so can be transported very easily. On the other end of the scale, the very large capacity drives are not meant to be portable, and usually sit in or under your desk as a safe deposit for all your data. Portability and weight will only become a real issue when choosing the very high-capacity drives, but it is worth paying attention to if you plan on transporting the drive frequently.

Read/Write Speeds

Read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the external hard drive. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be transferred onto or from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.

Power

On the subject of USBs, external hard drives are powered by 2 main methods: via USB or externally power lead. Smaller drives will be powered via USB - this means that the same lead that transfers the data also powers the device. This means no battery, no extra leads, and they are far more portable. Larger drives may be so big and powerful that USB alone can’t provide enough power - in which case they may need an external power connection to properly function. This means that extra consideration has to be made for a spare power socket and the required leads - making them less use when on the go.

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Extras

Finally, there are a wealth of extras that can be found in more advanced models of external hard drives. Some of these may only be useful in specific situations, and you will usually pay more for them, but the utility may well be worth the extra cost. Some examples of extra features include:

  • Integrated card reader: a built in card reader in the drive allows the device to also read/write to SD cards.
  • Fingerprint scanner: an optical fingerprint scanner drastically increases the security of your device, by meaning only specific fingerprints can unlock the device and access the files. For even greater security, a ‘palm vein’ scanner detects the blood pumping through the unique arrangement of veins in your hand, meaning that the scanner cannot be fooled by severed fingers - the owner has to be there in person and alive.
  • Ruggedized outer layer: for those who frequently take drives outdoors or in harsh conditions, a hefty rubber or metal basing protects the device from damage, keeping your files intact through even the worst conditions.

External Hard Drive Retailers, Prices and Features

External Hard Drive Prices

The price range of external harddisk is from $52 to $780 and in total we found prices for 98 external harddisk. A new external hard drive costs on average $199 and 80% of external harddisks are priced between $77 and $394. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim - 1TB is the cheapest external hard drive at only $52, and G-Technology G-Raid - 12Tb is the most expensive at $780.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

IoSafe external hard disk drive start at $413 and their most expensive external hard drive costs $702. The average price of ioSafe external hard disk drive is $519 which is the highest average price of all external hard drive brands.

The second highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is DataLocker external hard disk drives with an average price of $478. DataLocker external hard disk drives start at $394 and their most expensive external hard drive costs $562.

The average price of OWC external hard drive is $395 which is the third highest average price of all external hard drive brands. OWC external hard drive start at $370 and their most expensive external hard drive costs $420.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 259 expert reviews and 1,585 user reviews for external hard drives and used this data to calculate the average rating for each brand of external hard drive. The top rated external hard drive brand is Western Digital with an average rating of 87%. The second best brand is Seagate with 76% and the third best brand is Buffalo with 75%.

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

The biggest external hard drive retailer by number of products currently for sale is Adorama. We found 59 current external hard drive offers from Adorama. The second biggest retailer is Overstock with 41 offers. That means Adorama is significantly bigger than Overstock when it comes to external harddisks.

When Are Most New External Hard Disk Drives Released?

Over the last 3 years we couldn't see any evident trend in the release month for new external hard disk drives. February was the biggest month in 2019 for new external harddisk, with eight new external harddisk released that month. In June 2018, 59 new external hard disk were released making it the biggest month that year for new external hard drive releases. 35 new external harddisks were released in July 2017 making it the biggest month that year for new external hard drive releases.

How Fast Do External Hard Drive Prices Drop After Release?

On average, in the first 6 months after release, external hard drives drop in price by 1%.

That means that on a typical external hard drive costing $196 you could save on average $2 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Weights

'Weight' denotes the weight of the external hard drive, measured in grams (g).

Comparing all external hard drives, the weights range from 41g to 11.4kg. The weights of most external hard disk drive range from 0g to 300g. The ioSafe Solo G3 - 4Tb, which is available at $441.99, has the heaviest weight and is a 6.8kg external hard drive. The LaCie Rugged Triple - 1Tb, which currently retails for $149.99, has the lightest weight and is a 100g external hard drive.

A heavier hard drive will be bulkier, and more annoying to carry around.

USB Powered

Whether the hard drive is powered by USB or not.

The vast majority of the 856 new external hard disk drive currently listed on Kagoo are USB powered external harddisk. 686 external hard disk drive (80%) are USB powered external harddisk.

Hard Drive Capacities

'Hard Drive Capacity' denotes how much data the hard drive can hold, measured in gigabytes (GB).

Across the range of external harddisk, the hard drive capacities range from 1GB to 64TB. The hard drive capacities of most external hard drives range from 0GB to 1.5TB. The G-Technology G-Raid - 12Tb, which is priced at $779.95, has the biggest hard drive capacity and is a 12TB external hard drive. The external hard drive with the smallest hard drive capacity is the G-Technology G-DRIVE ev RaW - 500GB, which is a 500GB external hard drive and sells for $179.95.

A bigger hard drive capacity means that it can hold more files and data at once.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for External Hard Disk Drives?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying external hard disk. For each retailer it shows the total number of external hard disk where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying external harddisks. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was Overstock. 38 of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of External Harddisks for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for external harddisk by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of external hard drive prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's external hard drive prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was Overstock. 92.7% of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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