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Home Compare External Hard Drives

Compare the Best External Hard DrivesJuly 2018

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87

Kagoo Score - Our unique external hard drives rating considers: 1,700 US prices • 19,000 expert & user reviews • 970 product comparisons • 430 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Save Up To $110 on External Hard Drives View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
USB Powered
Weight
Hard Drive Capacity
Release Date
#1

90

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 ‑ 1Tb

38 Reviews
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$56.99

Info
185g
Info
1TB
Info
Sep 2011
The best rated external hard drive under $100, with the latest technology and multiple awards
Save $112
#2

89

G‑Technology G‑DRIVE Mobile USB‑C ‑ 1Tb

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$67.80

Info
140g
Info
1TB
Info
May 2018
A very popular and top-value 167g external hard drive, with outstanding user reviews and great features
#3

88

Buffalo DriveStation ‑ 2Tb

81 Reviews
 Add to Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

$94.99

Info
921g
Info
2TB
Info
Dec 2013
An affordable and multi award winning 921g external hard drive, with very good features
#4

87

LaCie Porsche Design ‑ 2Tb

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$79.73

Info
193g
Info
2TB
Info
Jul 2016
An excellent value for money and multi award winning 193g external hard drive, with great features
#5

87

Western Digital My Passport

117 Reviews
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$50.99

Info
170g
Info
1TB
Info
Oct 2016
The highest scoring external hard drive under $50, with very good features
#6

87

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 2TB

59 Reviews
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$69.00

Info
250g
Info
2TB
Info
Jan 2018
A multi award winning and bargain price 230g external hard drive, with very good features
Save $40
#7

87

Seagate Backup Plus Desktop ‑ 4TB

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$109.99

Info
800g
Info
4TB
Info
Jul 2016
The top scoring external hard drive under $500, with great features
Save $70
#8

86

Toshiba Canvio Connect II ‑ 3Tb

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$99.99

Info
230g
Info
3TB
Info
Apr 2015
A top-value and multi award winning 230g external hard drive, with great features
#9

85

LaCie Rugged USB‑C ‑ 2Tb

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$103.99

Info
100g
Info
2TB
Info
Sep 2016
A phenomenally light weight and multi award winning USB powered external hard drive, with a fair price and very good features
#10

85

Seagate Ultra Slim ‑ 1Tb

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$59.99

Info
135g
Info
1TB
Info
Jul 2017
A multi award winning and bargain price USB powered external hard drive, with very good features and one of the lightest weights on the market
#11

85

Buffalo DriveStation Velocity ‑ 2Tb

9 Reviews
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$109.99

Info
950g
Info
2TB
Info
Sep 2011
A classic and phenomenally cheap 950g external hard drive, with great features
#12

84

G‑Technology G‑Drive Mobile ‑ 1Tb

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$55.00

Info
295g
Info
1TB
Info
Nov 2017
A top-value and classic 295g external hard drive, with very good features
#13

84

Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 1TB

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$52.95

Info
159g
Info
1TB
Info
Dec 2014
A low cost and fully featured 159g external hard drive
#14

84

LaCie Porsche Design ‑ 3TB

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$80.00

Info
1.1kg
Info
3TB
Info
Sep 2016
A low cost and highly rated 1.1kg external hard drive, with great features
#15

84

LaCie Porsche Design ‑ 6Tb

248 Reviews
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$149.15

Info
870g
Info
6TB
Info
May 2017
A very cheap and award winning 870g external hard drive, with great features
#16

84

LaCie Rugged RAID ‑ 4TB

20 Reviews
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$269.95

Info
800g
Info
4TB
Info
Jun 2016
A cheap and award winning 560g external hard drive, with very good features
#17

83

Verbatim Titan XS ‑ 1Tb

3 Reviews
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$69.99

Info
198g
Info
1TB
Info
Mar 2011
An affordable and top-rated 198g external hard drive, with great features
#18

83

Intenso Memory Case ‑ 1Tb

5 Reviews
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$76.21

Info
165g
Info
1TB
Info
Sep 2015
An award winning and affordable 165g external hard drive, with very good features
#19

83

Transcend TS1TSJ25H3B

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$72.61

Info
170g
Info
1TB
Info
Nov 2016
An excellent value for money and very popular 280g external hard drive, with very good features
Save $15
#20

83

A‑DATA HD650 ‑ 2Tb

20 Reviews
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$84.30

Info
201g
Info
2TB
Info
May 2014
A multi award winning and top-value 390g external hard drive, with great features

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USB Powered
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159g
USB Powered
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$30 Price Drop
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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 Seagate 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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Seagate External Hard Drives 109 $50 - $309
89%
5,061 reviews
#2
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Silicon Power External Hard Drives 34 $65 - $160
87%
570 reviews
#3
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G-Technology External Hard Drives 42 $55 - $6,000
86%
408 reviews
#4
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Western Digital External Hard Drives 103 $46 - $799
85%
2,401 reviews
#5
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LaCie External Hard Drives 70 $60 - $1,486
84%
737 reviews
#6
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Buffalo External Hard Drives 34 $66 - $500
79%
374 reviews
#7
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A-DATA External Hard Drives 45 $48 - $298
75%
103 reviews
#8
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Freecom External Hard Drives 21 $242 - $381
74%
24 reviews
#9
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Toshiba External Hard Drives 56 $46 - $350
57%
110 reviews
#10
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Intenso External Hard Drives 23 $76 - $176
37%
23 reviews
#11
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iStorage External Hard Drives 27 $250 - $703
#12
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Fantom Drives External Hard Drives 23 $70 - $158
#13
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BUSlink External Hard Drives 21 $120 - $950

Trending External Hard Drive Comparisons

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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1Tb
$49.99
$8 cheaper
More popular
VS
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Maxtor
M3 - 1TB
$57.50
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 2Tb
$55.85
$29 cheaper
More popular
VS
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Maxtor
M3 - 2TB
$84.60
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Passport - 4Tb
$94.99
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
$79.99
$15 cheaper
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Ready - 2TB
$134.36
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$60.20
$74 cheaper
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1Tb
$49.99
$10 cheaper
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 1tb
$59.99
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 500Gb
$56.75
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Expansion Portable 1TB
$50.41
$6 cheaper
Better brand
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
$56.99
$7 cheaper
More popular
VS
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$64.17
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1Tb
$49.99
$8 cheaper
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 1TB
$57.62
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Passport - 4Tb
$94.99
More popular
VS
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Maxtor
M3 - 2TB
$84.60
$10 cheaper
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Ready - 2TB
$134.36
More popular
VS
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Maxtor
M3 - 2TB
$84.60
$50 cheaper
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Connect II - 3Tb
$99.99
Three more
awards
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 2TB
$60.00
$40 cheaper
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1Tb
$49.99
$7 cheaper
Lighter
VS
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Maxtor
Maxtor M3
$57.39
Better brand
Vastly bigger
hard drive
capacity
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A-DATA
HD710 Pro - 1Tb
$87.33
$17 cheaper
More popular
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 2Tb
$104.07
Better brand
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A-DATA
HV620 - 1Tb
$67.64
Better brand
VS
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1Tb
$49.99
$18 cheaper
More popular
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$64.17
$73 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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A-DATA
HD710 Pro - 4Tb
$137.37
More popular
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Toshiba
Canvio Connect II - 1Tb
$79.99
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$60.20
$20 cheaper
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Passport Ultra - 1Tb
$95.00
Better brand
VS
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Toshiba
Canvio Connect II - 2Tb
$76.80
$18 cheaper
More popular
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$99.57
$45 cheaper
39g lighter
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A60 - 4Tb
$144.47
Better brand
2TB bigger hard
drive capacity
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Western Digital
My Passport Ultra - 1Tb
$95.00
$5 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$99.57
More popular
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Transcend
StoreJet 25H3 - 4Tb
$155.95
More popular
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 2Tb
$104.07
$52 cheaper
Better brand

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

External hard drives range in price from $34 to $6,000 and in total we found prices for 390 external hard drives. The average price of a new external hard drive is $243 and the 80% of external hard drives are priced between $66 and $450. The most expensive external hard drive that we found is the G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle XL - 64Tb at $6,000, and the cheapest is the Western Digital Scorpio EIDE - 80GB at only $34.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

G-Technology external hard drives start at $55 and their most expensive external hard drive costs $6,000. The highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is G-Technology external hard drives with an average price of $718.

The second highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is iStorage external hard drives with an average price of $457. iStorage external hard drives start at $250 and their most expensive external hard drive costs $703.

The third highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is Apricorn external hard drives with an average price of $431. Apricorn external hard drives range in price from $130 to $733.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 2,113 expert reviews and 9,438 user reviews for external hard drives written online and used this information to evaluate the average rating for each brand of external hard drive. Seagate is the top rated external hard drive brand with an average rating of 89%. Silicon Power is the second best brand with 87% and G-Technology is the third best brand with 86%.

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

We found 372 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 109 current offers for external hard drives. The third biggest retailer is Overstock with 37 current external hard drive offers.

When Are Most New External Hard Drives Released?

Over the last 3 years we couldn't see any evident trend in the release month for new external hard drives. April was the biggest month last year for new external hard drives, with 29 new external hard drives released that month. 40 new external hard drives were released in October 2016 making it the biggest month that year for new external hard drive releases. In 2015 most new external hard drives were released in September, with 72 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 11% on average. That means a saving of $26 on a typical $242 new external hard drive if you wait 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 drives range from 0g to 300g. The external hard drive with the heaviest weight is the G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle XL - 64Tb, which is an 11.4kg external hard drive and is on sale for $5,999.95. The LaCie Rugged USB-C - 1Tb, which can be purchased for $89.94, 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.

Of the 787 new external hard drives currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are USB powered external hard drives. 617 external hard drives (78%) are USB powered external hard drives.

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 drives range from 1TB to 1.9TB. The external hard drive with the biggest hard drive capacity is the G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle XL - 64Tb, which is a 64TB external hard drive and is priced at $5,999.95. The external hard drive with the smallest hard drive capacity is the LaCie 2big Thunderbolt External Hard Drive - 12TB, which is a 2GB external hard drive and currently retails for $698.95.

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

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for External Hard 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 Amazon US. 319 of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of External Hard Drives 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 Amazon US. 85.8% of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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