Compare External Hard Drives

Compare the 10 Best External Hard DrivesDecember 2017(Last Updated 12 December 2017)

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The best external hard drives on the market, good for archiving important data
Compare top brands including LaCie, Seagate and G-Technology
Every week we rank the best external hard drives based on features, reviews and price
We compare: 894 External Hard Drive Models 13,800 External Hard Drive Reviews 1,690 External Hard Drive Prices
We compare:
894 External Hard Drive Models
13,800 External Hard Drive Reviews
1,690 External Hard Drive Prices
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15% Off
{Western Digital My Book 4TB
$119.99
Was $142 (56 days ago)
Target
Rank
Overall Score
Reviews
Price
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
Weight
Release Date
#1

86

Canvio Connect II 3TB

Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB

26 Reviews + 4 Awards
pckoloji.com.tr - Best product of the Year 2015gadgetsmagazine.com.ph - Editor's Pickmyce.com - Editor's ChoiceExpert Reviews - Best Buy
 Compare  Compare

$169.99

Save $75
Target
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Edit
3TB
Edit
Black
Edit
230g
Edit
Apr 2015
The highest rated external hard drive under $500, with very good features
#2

85

Backup Plus Desktop 4TB

Seagate Backup Plus Desktop 4TB

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$119.99

Target
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Edit
4TB
Edit
Black
Edit
800g
Edit
Jul 2016
A multi award winning and top-value 4TB external hard drive, with great features
#3

81

Mercury Elite Pro Mini 500GB

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini 500GB

1 Review
 Compare  Compare

$84.75

Adorama
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Edit
500GB
Edit
Silver
Edit
331g
Edit
Oct 2016
An affordable and critically acclaimed 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#4

80

Porsche Design (8TB)

LaCie Porsche Design (8TB)

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$199.94

Save $30
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8TB
Edit
Aluminium
Edit
1kg
Edit
Nov 2015
A gigantic hard drive capacity and multi award winning USB powered external hard drive, with a reasonable price and good features
#5

80

P700

Emtec P700

2 Reviews
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$131.44

Amazon US
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
270g
Edit
Jan 2016
A very cheap and highly rated 1TB external hard drive, with good features
#6

79

RX304-APU3-35B

Rosewill RX304‑APU3‑35B

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$34.47

Amazon US
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Edit
6TB
Edit
Black
Edit
2.6kg
Edit
Jul 2015
A good spec and great value for money 2.6kg external hard drive
#7

79

Canvio Basics 1TB

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB

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$46.99

Save $8.00
Target
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
230g
Edit
Jan 2016
A good spec and top-value 1TB external hard drive
#8

79

Expansion 2TB

Seagate Expansion 2TB

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$69.99

Save $69
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2TB
Edit
Tan
Edit
170g
Edit
Sep 2015
A breathtakingly cheap and good spec 2TB external hard drive
#9

79

Rugged Mini 2TB

LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB

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$99.99

Save $100
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2TB
Edit
Tan
Edit
240g
Edit
Sep 2015
A bargain price and good spec 2TB external hard drive
#10

79

Canvio Connect II 1TB

Toshiba Canvio Connect II 1TB

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$52.99

Save $4.00
Target
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
165g
Edit
Feb 2016
An impressive value for money and good spec 1TB external hard drive
#11

79

My Passport Ultra (1Tb)

Western Digital My Passport Ultra (1Tb)

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$179.99

Save $107
Amazon US
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
140g
Edit
May 2017
A good spec and affordable 1TB external hard drive
#12

79

Porsche Design (6Tb)

LaCie Porsche Design (6Tb)

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$54.99

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6TB
Edit
Silver
Edit
1kg
Edit
May 2017
A good spec and top-value 6TB external hard drive
#13

79

Expansion Portable 1TB

Seagate Expansion Portable 1TB

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$65.51

Overstock
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
170g
Edit
Feb 2015
A remarkably cheap and good spec 1TB external hard drive
#14

79

Backup Plus Portable 1tb

Seagate Backup Plus Portable 1tb

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$56.28

Save $7.00
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1TB
Edit
Red
Edit
140g
Edit
Sep 2015
A bargain price and breathtakingly light weight 1TB external hard drive, with good features
#15

79

Backup Plus Portable 4Tb

Seagate Backup Plus Portable 4Tb

 Compare  Compare

$109.00

Save $774
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4TB
Edit
Silver
Edit
247g
Edit
Jul 2017
A top-value and good spec 4TB external hard drive, with a recent release date
#16

78

Backup Plus Portable 2tb

Seagate Backup Plus Portable 2tb

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$71.97

Save $20
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Red
Edit
140g
Edit
Sep 2015
A top-value and good spec 2TB external hard drive
#17

78

G-Force3 2TB

Fantom Drives G‑Force3 2TB

 Compare  Compare

$106.73

Save $390
Overstock
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Black
Edit
1.1kg
Edit
Feb 2015
A top-value and good spec 2TB external hard drive
#18

78

Porsche Design (1TB)

LaCie Porsche Design (1TB)

 Compare  Compare

$64.94

Save $45
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Aluminium
Edit
240g
Edit
Jul 2016
A good spec and affordable 1TB external hard drive
#19

78

Canvio Connect II 500GB

Toshiba Canvio Connect II 500GB

 Compare  Compare

$70.31

Save $83
Amazon US
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Edit
500GB
Edit
Gold
Edit
165g
Edit
Feb 2016
A low cost and good spec 500GB external hard drive
#20

78

Desktop 3Tb

Seagate Desktop 3Tb

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$71.98

Save $18.00
Amazon US
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Edit
3TB
Edit
Black
Edit
800g
Edit
Jul 2017
A top-value and good spec 3TB external hard drive, with a recent release date

78

My Passport 2TB

Western Digital My Passport 2TB

 Compare  Compare

$69.99

Save $10.00
Amazon US
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Orange
Edit
250g
Edit
Oct 2016
A good spec and staggeringly cheap 2TB external hard drive

78

Rugged Mini 1TB

LaCie Rugged Mini 1TB

 Compare  Compare

$74.94

Save $18.00
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1TB
Edit
Orange
Edit
240g
Edit
Sep 2015
A good spec and low cost 1TB external hard drive

78

G-DRIVE mobile USB-C

G‑Technology G‑DRIVE mobile USB‑C

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$84.95

Save $214
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Gold
Edit
167g
Edit
Apr 2017
A good spec and amazingly cheap 1TB external hard drive

78

Expansion Portable 500GB

Seagate Expansion Portable 500GB

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$53.50

Save $8.00
Amazon US
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Edit
500GB
Edit
Black
Edit
170g
Edit
Feb 2015
A good spec and very good value for money 500GB external hard drive

77

Rugged Triple 2TB

LaCie Rugged Triple 2TB

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$129.99

Save $100
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2TB
Edit
Tan
Edit
260g
Edit
Sep 2015
A phenomenally cheap and good spec 2TB external hard drive

77

WD Elements Portable 1Tb

Western Digital WD Elements Portable 1Tb

 Compare  Compare

$64.74

Save $18.00
Amazon US
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
130g
Edit
Feb 2017
A good spec and affordable 1TB external hard drive

77

Canvio Basics 2TB

Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB

 Compare  Compare

$81.99

Save $13.00
Target
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2TB
Edit
Black
Edit
230g
Edit
Oct 2015
A good spec and amazingly cheap 2TB external hard drive

77

WD Elements Portable 2Tb

Western Digital WD Elements Portable 2Tb

 Compare  Compare

$77.99

Save $29
Amazon US
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Black
Edit
230g
Edit
Feb 2017
A good spec and bargain price 2TB external hard drive

77

Rugged Triple 1TB

LaCie Rugged Triple 1TB

 Compare  Compare

$89.99

Save $20.00
Amazon US
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Orange
Edit
100g
Edit
Jun 2016
An amazingly light weight and affordable 1TB external hard drive, with good features

77

d2 (3Tb)

LaCie d2 (3Tb)

 Compare  Compare

$129.00

Save $231
Amazon US
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Edit
3TB
Edit
Blue
Edit
1.2kg
Edit
Nov 2016
A good spec and stunningly cheap 3TB external hard drive

77

DJI Fly Drive

Seagate DJI Fly Drive

 Compare  Compare

$111.46

Save $908
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Grey
Edit
217g
Edit
Jun 2017
A top-value and good spec 2TB external hard drive, with a recent release date and lots of positive recommendations

76

G-Force3 500GB

Fantom Drives G‑Force3 500GB

 Compare  Compare

$75.36

Save $15.00
Overstock
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Edit
500GB
Edit
Black
Edit
1.1kg
Edit
Feb 2015
A bargain price and good spec 500GB external hard drive

76

Expansion 3TB

Seagate Expansion 3TB

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$99.99

Save $30
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Edit
3TB
Edit
Black
Edit
1kg
Edit
Sep 2011
A top-value and good spec 3TB external hard drive

76

StoreJet 25M3

Transcend StoreJet 25M3

820 Reviews + 16 Awards
whatnext.pl - Highest Qualitybenchmark.pl - Very Profitabletechadvisor.co.uk - Best BuyPC Advisor.co.uk - Best Buy
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$78.99

Save $22
Overstock
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Blue
Edit
230g
Edit
Feb 2015
A good spec and affordable 2TB external hard drive

76

1TB Backup Plus Slim

Seagate 1TB Backup Plus Slim

 Compare  Compare

$66.99

Overstock
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
159g
Edit
Dec 2014
An astonishingly light weight and very cheap 1TB external hard drive, with good features

76

G-DRIVE ev RaW 1TB

G‑Technology G‑DRIVE ev RaW 1TB

 Compare  Compare

$99.95

Pictureline
Get Deal
Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
240g
Edit
Dec 2015
An affordable and good spec 1TB external hard drive

76

D2 Quadra (3TB)

LaCie D2 Quadra (3TB)

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$199.00

Amazon US
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Edit
3TB
Edit
Tan
Edit
1.7kg
Edit
Nov 2015
A good value for money and award winning 3TB external hard drive, with good features

75

MiniStation HDD 1TB

Buffalo MiniStation HDD 1TB

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$103.00

Save $113
Amazon US
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
165g
Edit
Oct 2016
A good spec and very cheap 1TB external hard drive

75

Canvio Connect II 2TB

Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB

 Compare  Compare

$109.99

Save $45
Amazon US
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Red
Edit
230g
Edit
Feb 2016
A good spec and very cheap 2TB external hard drive

75

G-DRIVE mobile USB 2TB

G‑Technology G‑DRIVE mobile USB 2TB

 Compare  Compare

$79.95

Save $15.00
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Black
Edit
249g
Edit
Oct 2016
A very cheap and good spec 2TB external hard drive

75

2TB DriveStation

Buffalo 2TB DriveStation

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$109.99

Save $26
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Red
Edit
950g
Edit
Sep 2015
An impressive value for money and good spec 2TB external hard drive

75

My Book 4TB

Western Digital My Book 4TB

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$119.99

Save $51
Target
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Edit
4TB
Edit
Black
Edit
1kg
Edit
Oct 2016
A good spec and very cheap 4TB external hard drive

74

Slim 1Tb

Seagate Slim 1Tb

 Compare  Compare

$99.00

Save $70
Amazon US
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Blue
Edit
159g
Edit
Jul 2017
A remarkably light weight and top-value 1TB external hard drive, with good features and a recent release date

74

Porsche Design (2Tb)

LaCie Porsche Design (2Tb)

 Compare  Compare

$89.94

Save $70
Amazon US
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Gold
Edit
193g
Edit
Jul 2016
A good spec and bargain price 2TB external hard drive

73

Rugged USB-C 1TB

LaCie Rugged USB‑C 1TB

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$171.14

Save $510
Amazon US
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Orange
Edit
100g
Edit
Nov 2016
A good spec and top-value 1TB external hard drive

73

Backup Plus Slim Portable 2Tb

Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable 2Tb

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$72.78

Save $25
Amazon US
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Edit
2TB
Edit
White
Edit
159g
Edit
Jan 2017
A very cheap and good spec 2TB external hard drive

73

LAC9000459

LaCie LAC9000459

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$77.99

Newegg UK
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Grey
Edit
260g
Edit
Jan 2017
An affordable and good spec 2TB external hard drive

72

Titan XS 1TB

Verbatim Titan XS 1TB

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$95.99

Save $28
Overstock
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Blue
Edit
198g
Edit
Feb 2016
An affordable and good spec 1TB external hard drive

72

Store Go 1TB

Verbatim Store Go 1TB

 Compare  Compare

$79.55

Overstock
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Blue
Edit
198g
Edit
Jun 2015
A low cost and good spec 1TB external hard drive

71

d2 (4Tb)

LaCie d2 (4Tb)

 Compare  Compare

$159.99

Save $120
Adorama
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Edit
4TB
Edit
Silver
Edit
1.3kg
Edit
Nov 2016
A good value for money and good spec 4TB external hard drive

71

G-Force3 1TB

Fantom Drives G‑Force3 1TB

 Compare  Compare

$97.01

Save $27
Overstock
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Black
Edit
1.1kg
Edit
Feb 2015
A cheap and good spec 1TB external hard drive

71

RDX QuikStor 500GB

Tandberg Data RDX QuikStor 500GB

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$114.49

Adorama
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Edit
500GB
Edit
Black
Edit
615g
Edit
Dec 2016
A good spec and good value for money 500GB external hard drive

70

Armor A60 (4Tb)

Silicon Power Armor A60 (4Tb)

53 Reviews + 9 Awards
almodi.org - Recommended BuyBjorn3d.com - Seal of Approvalua.gecid.com - Easy to Usehitechlegion.com - Gold Award
 Compare  Compare

$117.52

Save $53
Overstock
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Edit
4TB
Edit
Black
Edit
255g
Edit
Dec 2016
A good value for money and good spec 4TB external hard drive

70

MyPassport Ultra

Western Digital MyPassport Ultra

 Compare  Compare

$92.95

Save $60
Amazon US
Get Deal
Edit
4TB
Edit
Bordeaux
Edit
153g
Edit
Jun 2016
A good spec and bargain price 4TB external hard drive

69

Rugged Mini 4TB

LaCie Rugged Mini 4TB

 Compare  Compare

$159.99

Adorama
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Edit
4TB
Edit
Orange
Edit
342g
Edit
Nov 2015
A good spec and good value for money 4TB external hard drive

69

Portable 2TB

Seagate Portable 2TB

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$96.22

Overstock
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Black
Edit
170g
Edit
Feb 2015
A good spec and cheap 2TB external hard drive

69

Rugged 1Tb

LaCie Rugged 1Tb

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$129.99

Adorama
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Edit
1TB
Edit
Orange
Edit
100g
Edit
Jun 2016
A breathtakingly light weight and cheap 1TB external hard drive, with good features

68

Expansion Desktop 4TB

Seagate Expansion Desktop 4TB

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$103.00

Save $6.00
Adorama
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Edit
4TB
Edit
Black
Edit
950g
Edit
Mar 2015
A good spec and affordable 4TB external hard drive

68

Store Save 2TB

Verbatim Store Save 2TB

1 Review
 Compare  Compare

$99.44

Overstock
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Black
Edit
1kg
Edit
Oct 2016
A good spec and affordable 2TB external hard drive

67

2TB Backup Plus Slim

Seagate 2TB Backup Plus Slim

greentechreviews.ru - Editor's Choice
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$99.71

Overstock
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Edit
2TB
Edit
Black
Edit
159g
Edit
Dec 2014
A bargain price and good spec 2TB external hard drive, with many positive recommendations

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External Hard Drive Brands

Find out how external hard drive brands compare. The average rating for each brand is based on the rating of all of their external hard drives. Click on a link to compare all external hard drives made by your favourite brand.

Logo Brand Number of External Hard Drives Price Range Average Rating
LaCie logo LaCie External Hard Drives 33 $55 - $653 82%
Seagate logo Seagate External Hard Drives 27 $54 - $614 82%
G-Technology logo G-Technology External Hard Drives 20 $80 - $700 64%
Other brands Other External Hard Drive Brands 86 $28 - $932

Today's Best External Hard Drive Deals

15% Price Drop
{Western Digital My Book 4TB
$119.99
Price drop. Was $142 (56 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
4TB
USB Powered
No
Colour
Black
6% Price Drop
{Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB
$46.99
Price drop. Was $50 (27 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
1TB
USB Powered
Yes
Colour
Black
11% Price Drop
{G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile USB 2TB
$79.95
Price drop. Was $90 (20 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
2TB
USB Powered
Yes
Colour
Black
11% Price Drop
{G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile USB-C
$84.95
Price drop. Was $95 (20 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
1TB
USB Powered
Yes
Colour
Gold
10% Price Drop
{Seagate Backup Plus 8TB
$179.00
Price drop. Was $200 (25 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
8TB
USB Powered
No
Colour
Black
View More Amazing External Hard Drive Deals

Trending External Hard Drive Comparisons

Transcend StoreJet 25M3
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3
$78.99
Bigger hard
drive capacity
Lighter
VS
LaCie Rugged Mini 1TB
LaCie
Rugged Mini 1TB
$74.94
$4 cheaper
Better brand
Seagate Expansion Portable 500GB
Seagate
Expansion Portable 500GB
$53.50
36% lighter
VS
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Basics 1TB
$46.99
$7 cheaper
More popular
Better brand
Transcend StoreJet 25M3
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3
$78.99
$39 cheaper
11% lighter
VS
Silicon Power Armor A60 (4Tb)
Silicon Power
Armor A60 (4Tb)
$117.52
Better brand
Bigger hard
drive capacity
Transcend StoreJet 25M3
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3
$78.99
50% bigger hard
drive capacity
VS
Seagate 1TB Backup Plus Slim
Seagate
1TB Backup Plus Slim
$66.99
$12 cheaper
Better brand
Lighter
Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB
Toshiba
Canvio Basics 2TB
$81.99
More popular
A lot bigger
hard drive
capacity
VS
Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Premium 1TB
$65.97
$16 cheaper
65g lighter
Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Premium 1TB
$65.97
$44 cheaper
More popular
VS
Western Digital My Passport Ultra (4TB)
Western Digital
My Passport Ultra (4TB)
$109.99
Better brand
Bigger hard
drive capacity
Lighter
Seagate Backup Plus Portable 1tb
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable 1tb
$56.28
Vastly lighter
VS
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Basics 1TB
$46.99
$9 cheaper
Better brand
More popular
LaCie d2 (6TB)
LaCie
d2 (6TB)
$499.99
Better brand
VS
G-Technology G-DRIVE Thunderbolt 3 6Tb
G-Technology
G-DRIVE Thunderbolt 3 6Tb
$399.95
$100 cheaper
462g lighter
USB powered
Transcend StoreJet 25M3
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3
$78.99
20g lighter
VS
Western Digital My Passport 2TB
Western Digital
My Passport 2TB
$69.99
$9 cheaper
Better brand
Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Premium 1TB
$65.97
$44 cheaper
A lot lighter
VS
Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB
Toshiba
Canvio Connect II 2TB
$109.99
1TB bigger hard
drive capacity
Seagate Expansion Portable 1TB
Seagate
Expansion Portable 1TB
$65.51
Lighter
VS
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Basics 1TB
$46.99
$19 cheaper
Better brand
Seagate Backup Plus Portable 2tb
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable 2tb
$71.97
$46 cheaper
Vastly lighter
Better brand
VS
Silicon Power Armor A60 (4Tb)
Silicon Power
Armor A60 (4Tb)
$117.52
Bigger hard
drive capacity
Western Digital My Book Duo 6TB
Western Digital
My Book Duo 6TB
$599.00
Better brand
2TB bigger hard
drive capacity
VS
LaCie D2 Thunderbolt 2 (4Tb)
LaCie
D2 Thunderbolt 2 (4Tb)
$229.94
$369 cheaper
More popular
Lighter
Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable 5TB
$139.00
$12 cheaper
Lighter
Considerably
better user
reviews
VS
LaCie Porsche Design (6Tb)
LaCie
Porsche Design (6Tb)
$151.00
Six more awards
Better brand
Bigger hard
drive capacity
Western Digital WD Elements Portable 1Tb
Western Digital
WD Elements Portable 1Tb
$64.74
Lighter
VS
Toshiba Canvio Connect II 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Connect II 1TB
$52.99
$12 cheaper
Better brand
Seagate 1TB Backup Plus Slim
Seagate
1TB Backup Plus Slim
$66.99
6g lighter
VS
Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Premium 1TB
$65.97
Better brand
LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB
LaCie
Rugged Mini 2TB
$99.99
$11 cheaper
Better brand
VS
Seagate DJI Fly Drive
Seagate
DJI Fly Drive
$111.46
11% lighter
Seagate Backup Plus Portable 2tb
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable 2tb
$71.97
Lighter
VS
Seagate Expansion 2TB
Seagate
Expansion 2TB
$69.99
More popular
A-DATA HC660 2TB
A-DATA
HC660 2TB
$162.85
Bigger hard
drive capacity
Lighter
VS
Seagate Slim 1Tb
Seagate
Slim 1Tb
$99.00
$64 cheaper
Better brand
Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB
Western Digital
My Passport Ultra 1TB
$189.00
Lighter
Bigger hard
drive capacity
VS
Toshiba Canvio Premium 1TB
Toshiba
Canvio Premium 1TB
$65.97
$123 cheaper
Better brand
More popular

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

We currently list 159 external hard drives ranging from $27 to $932. A new external hard drive costs on average $208 and 80% of external hard drives are priced between $72 and $450. The Rosewill RX304-APU3-35B is the cheapest external hard drive at only $28, and BUSlink CipherShield 10TB is the most expensive at $932.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

IoSafe external hard drives start at $413 and the most expensive ioSafe external hard drive costs $825. The highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is ioSafe external hard drives with an average price of $619.

BUSlink external hard drives range in price from $168 to $932, and the second highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is BUSlink external hard drives with an average price of $558.

DataLocker external hard drives range in price from $427 to $562, and the third highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is DataLocker external hard drives with an average price of $494.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 1,011 expert reviews and 8,575 user reviews for external hard drives and used this data to evaluate the average rating for each brand of external hard drive. Samsung is the top rated external hard drive brand with an average rating of 88%. Western Digital is the second best brand with 86% and Silicon Power is the third best brand with 86%.

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

We found 343 current offers for external hard drives from Amazon US making it the biggest external hard drive retailer. That is over 3 times bigger than the second biggest retailer, Adorama for whom we found 88 current offers for external hard drives. The third biggest retailer is Overstock with 42 current external hard drive offers.

When Are Most New External Hard Drives Released?

We looked at the release dates for new external hard drives over the last 3 years, but couldn't see any evident pattern. 37 new external hard drives were released in June 2016 making it the biggest month that year for new external hard drive releases. September was the biggest month in 2015 for new external hard drives, with 82 new external hard drives released that month. In 2014 most new external hard drives were released in February, with 93 new external hard drives released that month.

How Fast Do External Hard Drive Prices Drop After Release?

In the first 6 months after release, external hard drives drop in price by 2% on average. If you are prepared to wait then you could save an average of $4 on a typical $208 new external hard drive by waiting 6 months before buying.

Hard Drive Capacities

This denotes how much data the hard drive can hold, measured in gigabytes (GB).

Across the range of external hard drives, the hard drive capacities range from 1GB to 16TB. The hard drive capacities of the majority of external hard drives range from 890GB to 1.8TB. The Western DigitalMy Book Pro (16Tb), which sells for $129.96, has the biggest hard drive capacity and is a 16TB external hard drive. The Western DigitalMy Book Pro (16Tb), which currently retails for $145.00, has the smallest hard drive capacity and is a 500GB external hard drive.

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

USB Powered

This indicates whether the hard drive is powered by USB or not.

The vast majority of the 658 new external hard drives currently listed on Kagoo are USB powered external hard drives. 500 out of 658 are USB powered external hard drives.

Colours

We found 412 external hard drives that are external hard drives that have a Black coloured, which makes this the most frequently found colour amongst new external hard drives. Silver is the second most popular colour amongst new external hard drives. We found 137 external hard drives that are external hard drives that have a Silver coloured.

Weights

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

Comparing all external hard drives, the weights range from 41g to 6.8kg. The weights of most external hard drives range from 41g to 340g. The ioSafeSoloPRO, which is on sale for $825.08, has the heaviest weight and is a 6.8kg external hard drive. The external hard drive with the lightest weight is the ioSafeSoloPRO, which is a 100g external hard drive and sells for $89.99.

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

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

We found 343 current offers for external hard drives from Amazon US making it the biggest external hard drive retailer. That is over 3 times bigger than the second biggest retailer, Adorama for whom we found 88 current offers for external hard drives. The third biggest retailer is Overstock with 42 current external hard drive offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for External Hard Drives?

The retailer that most frequently offered the cheapest price on external hard drives is Adorama and offers the cheapest price on 64 external hard drives.

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

Adorama most frequently has the cheapest external hard drive prices (found to be cheapest for 72.7% of its external hard drives).