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Compare the Best External Hard DrivesJuly 2020

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique external hard drives rating which considers: 260 US prices • 3,900 expert & user reviews • 1,000 product comparisons • 40 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 $195 on External Hard Drives View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
USB Powered
Weight
Hard Drive Capacity
Available Colours
Release Date
#1

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Book ‑ 4Tb

$129.00

Info
1kg
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#2

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus ‑ 2Tb

$77.99

Info
860g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2013
#3

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 2Tb

$62.49

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2013
#4

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus Portable ‑ 4Tb

$99.99

Info
247g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jul 2017
#5

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Archive HDD Backup Plus Portable ‑ 2Tb

$92.29

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Feb 2015
#7

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Backup Plus Portable ‑ 5Tb

$121.99

Info
247g
Info
5TB
Info
Info
Jul 2017
#8

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Backup Plus ‑ 1Tb

$62.49

Info
135g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Dec 2018
#9

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 1TB

$54.99

Info
159g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Feb 2019
#10

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport X

384 Reviews
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$145.96

Info
230g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Apr 2015
#11

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport Ultra Metal ‑ 1Tb

$100.56

Info
162g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Sep 2014
#12

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LaCie Rugged Mini ‑ 2TB

$87.49

Info
240g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Mar 2014
#13

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport Mac ‑ 3TB

$141.69

Info
230g
Info
3TB
Info
Info
Jun 2015
#14

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Book (New) ‑ 3TB

$142.32

Info
960g
Info
3TB
Info
Info
Mar 2017
#15

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LaCie Rugged Mini ‑ 1TB

$77.49

Info
240g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#16

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport Ultra Metal ‑ 2Tb

$151.30

Info
240g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Sep 2014
#17

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital WD My Passport Wireless ‑ 1TB

$164.27

Info
270g
Info
1GB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#18

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport ‑ 2TB

$94.99

Info
250g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jan 2018
#19

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital P10 Game Drive ‑ 2Tb

$89.99

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Dec 2018
#20

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro ‑ 2TB

$179.00

Info
450g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Mar 2017

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 1Tb

$90.41

Info
160g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
May 2017

No matching products found.

 More Results

Today's Best External Hard Drive Sales

$13 Price Drop
5TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
247g
$10 Price Drop
1TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
100g
130MB/s
WRITE SPEED
130MB/s
READ SPEED
$10 Price Drop
2TB
5 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
240g
$10 Price Drop
4TB
960 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
247g
$7 Price Drop
1TB
5 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
170g
$7 Price Drop
1TB
120 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
159g
$7 Price Drop
4TB
5 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
950g
$5 Price Drop
2TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
140g
$5 Price Drop
1TB
140 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
7,200 RPM
HARD DRIVE
ROTATIONAL
167g

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 89%. 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 108 $76 - $300
89%
1,415 reviews
#2
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Seagate External Hard Drives 124 $25 - $253
76%
192 reviews
#3
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Buffalo External Hard Drives 38 $121 - $213
75%
24 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 $72 - $500
66%
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
54%
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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Western Digital
My Book - 6Tb
$249.55
Newer by 21
months
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus - 8TB
$252.82
19% lighter
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Three years
newer
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$25.00
$120 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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Western Digital
My Passport Ultra - 1Tb
$90.41
$55 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
11 months newer
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Newer by two
years
Better brand
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$25.00
$70 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
32% lighter
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
$27 cheaper
Newer by six
months
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 5Tb
$121.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Slightly
lighter
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Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 2Tb
$62.49
$83 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Four years
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 21
months
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport - 1Tb
$75.99
$69 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
14 months newer
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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
Better brand
loading image
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Three years
newer
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 1tb
$71.00
$74 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
loading image
Western Digital
My Book - 4Tb
$129.00
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
$99.99
$29 cheaper
Lighter
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Two years newer
Better brand
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$25.00
$70 cheaper
A lot lighter
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 2TB
$87.49
$11 cheaper
75% lighter
VS
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Seagate
Expansion USB 3.0 - 4TB
$97.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by 22
months
Better brand
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 5Tb
$121.99
$108 cheaper
Vastly lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
LaCie
Porsche Design - 5Tb
$229.99
Better brand
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
14 months newer
VS
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G-Technology
G-DRIVE mobile USB - 2Tb
$89.95
$5 cheaper
1% lighter
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Three years
newer
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 2Tb
$92.29
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
44% lighter
loading image
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
More popular
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LaCie
Porsche Design - 2Tb
$159.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Newer by nine
months
VS
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G-Technology
G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C - 1Tb
$74.95
$85 cheaper
14% lighter
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

In total we found 121 external harddisk ranging from $25 to $780. A new external hard drive costs on average $192 and 80% of external harddisks are priced between $76 and $399. The Seagate Expansion - 2TB is the cheapest external hard drive at only $25, and G-Technology G-Raid - 12Tb is the most expensive at $780.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

The highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is ioSafe external hard drives with an average price of $519. ioSafe external hard drives range in price from $413 to $702.

The average price of DataLocker external hard drives is $469 which is the second highest average price of all external hard drive brands. DataLocker external hard drives start at $394 and their most expensive external hard drive costs $562.

The third highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is OWC external hard drives with an average price of $311. OWC external hard drives range in price from $155 to $500.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 258 expert reviews and 1,510 user reviews for external harddisk and used this information to evaluate 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 89%. 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 57 current external hard drive offers from Adorama. The second biggest retailer is Overstock with 45 offers. That means Adorama is significantly bigger than Overstock when it comes to external hard drive.

When Are Most New External Harddisks Released?

We looked at the release dates for new external hard disks over the last 3 years, but couldn't see any clear trend. In 2019 most new external harddisks were released in February, with 11 new external harddisks released that month. June was the biggest month in 2018 for new external harddisks, with 59 new external harddisks released that month. In July 2017, 36 new external hard disk drives were released 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 0%.

A typical new external hard drive costs on average $191. By waiting 6 months before buying you could save on average $0.

Weights

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

Comparing all external hard disk drives, the weights range from 41g to 11.4kg. The weights of the majority of external hard drives range from 0g to 300g. The ioSafe SoloPRO - 3Tb, which currently retails for $701.99, has the heaviest weight and is a 6.8kg external hard drive. The external hard drive with the lightest weight is the LaCie Rugged USB-C - 2Tb, which is a 100g external hard drive and currently retails for $102.49.

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 863 new external harddisks currently listed on Kagoo are USB powered external harddisk. 82% of external harddisks are USB powered external harddisk.

Hard Drive Capacities

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

The hard drive capacities of external hard drives range from 1GB to 64TB. The hard drive capacities of most external hard drive range from 0GB to 1.5TB. The external hard drive with the biggest hard drive capacity is the G-Technology G-Raid - 12Tb, which is a 12TB external hard drive and is priced at $779.95. The external hard drive with the smallest hard drive capacity is the Western Digital WD My Passport Wireless - 1TB, which is a 1GB external hard drive and is available at $164.27.

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 drives. For each retailer it shows the total number of external hard drives where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying external hard drives. 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. 42 of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of External Hard Drive for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for external hard drives 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. 93.3% of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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