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Home Compare External Hard Drives

Compare the Best External Hard DrivesNovember 2019

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87

What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique external hard drives rating which considers: 1,100 US prices • 3,200 expert & user reviews • 1,000 product comparisons • 36 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 $161 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

90

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 1Tb

$34.00

Info
190g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Jun 2012
#2

89

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 1Tb

$59.99

Info
160g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
May 2017
#3

89

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate STEA500400

$57.09

Info
170g
Info
500GB
Info
Info
Jun 2017
#4

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Archive HDD Backup Plus Portable ‑ 2Tb

$74.99

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Feb 2015
#5

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 2Tb

$59.99

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jan 2017
#6

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LaCie Rugged Mini ‑ 1TB

$74.94

Info
240g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#7

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport ‑ 2TB

$59.99

Info
250g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jan 2018
#8

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Book ‑ 3Tb

$99.99

Info
1kg
Info
3TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#9

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LaCie Rugged USB‑C ‑ 1Tb

$84.94

Info
100g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Nov 2016
#10

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital WD Elements USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive ‑ 1TB

$54.99

Info
134g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Nov 2015
#11

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Expansion ‑ 2TB

$67.98

Info
170g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#12

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital WD Elements Portable ‑ 1Tb

$49.99

Info
130g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Feb 2017
#13

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital WD Elements Portable ‑ 2Tb

$59.99

Info
230g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2017
#14

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Passport ‑ 4Tb

$94.00

Info
170g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Mar 2017
#15

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Backup Plus Portable ‑ 4Tb

$94.50

Info
247g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jul 2017
#16

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Western Digital My Book ‑ 4Tb

$99.99

Info
1kg
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#17

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LaCie Porsche Design Mobile ‑ 2Tb

$69.95

Info
193g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jun 2018
#19

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Expansion USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive ‑ 1TB

$54.97

Info
170g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#20

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate 500GB 2.5" USB 3.0

$64.49

Info
150g
Info
500GB
Info
Info
Jan 2015

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LaCie Rugged Mini ‑ 2TB

$99.94

Info
240g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Mar 2014

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4TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
170g
$11 Price Drop
1TB
5,000 Mbit/s
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$12 Price Drop
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390g
$100 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 Western Digital with an average rating of 88%. 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 101 $26 - $501
88%
759 reviews
#2
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Seagate External Hard Drives 116 $50 - $253
76%
192 reviews
#3
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Buffalo External Hard Drives 37 $88 - $213
75%
15 reviews
#4
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Silicon Power External Hard Drives 39 $43 - $123
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 $70 - $800
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 54 $58 - $100
54%
19 reviews
#9
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Toshiba External Hard Drives 62 $44 - $116
#10
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G-Technology External Hard Drives 41 $65 - $850
#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 $55 - $201

Trending External Hard Drive Comparisons

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Western Digital
My Passport - 4Tb
$94.00
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
Better brand
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
$94.50
Newer by four
months
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
$59.51
More popular
65g lighter
VS
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$59.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by six
years
Better brand
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A-DATA
HD710 Pro - 1Tb
$63.62
$23 cheaper
More popular
Better brand
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 2Tb
$86.94
Three months
newer
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
$59.51
$27 cheaper
More popular
A lot lighter
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 2Tb
$86.94
Better Kagoo
Score
Six years newer
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Passport - 4Tb
$94.00
$36 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 5Tb
$129.99
Four months
newer
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$79.99
Newer by three
years
Better Kagoo
Score
24g lighter
VS
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$74.94
$5 cheaper
Better brand
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Seagate
Expansion Portable 1TB
$49.99
$14 cheaper
Better brand
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Maxtor
Maxtor M3
$64.39
Newer by 13
months
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$59.99
$31 cheaper
Three years
newer
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A65 - 2TB
$90.69
Lighter
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A-DATA
HD710 Pro - 1Tb
$63.62
$6 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 1Tb
$69.16
Newer by three
months
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LaCie
Rugged USB-C - 1Tb
$84.94
170g lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 2Tb
$86.94
More popular
Newer by 13
months
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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
More popular
14% lighter
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$79.99
Three years
newer
VS
loading image
Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$67.98
$12 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
loading image
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
$59.51
$4 cheaper
More popular
A lot lighter
VS
loading image
A-DATA
HD710 Pro - 1Tb
$63.62
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by six
years
Better brand
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport Ultra - 4Tb
$96.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
44% lighter
VS
loading image
Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 2Tb
$86.94
$9 cheaper
Newer by seven
months
loading image
Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 2Tb
$59.99
Lighter
VS
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Western Digital
WD Elements Portable - 2Tb
$59.99
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
Better brand
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$59.99
$8 cheaper
Newer by two
years
Better brand
VS
loading image
Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$67.98
32% lighter
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport - 4Tb
$94.00
$16 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
LaCie
Rugged USB-C - 2Tb
$109.99
42% lighter
loading image
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$79.99
$421 cheaper
14 months newer
VS
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Western Digital
My Passport
$500.67
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
Better brand
All External Hard Drive Comparisons

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 170 external hard disks ranging from $26 to $850. On average, a new external hard drive costs $158 and 80% of external harddisk are priced between $57 and $330. The most expensive external hard drive that we found is the G-Technology G-Raid - 16Tb at $850, and the cheapest is the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro at only $26.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

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

DataLocker external hard disks range in price from $394 to $562, and the average price of DataLocker external hard disks is $478 which is the second highest average price of all external hard drive brands.

Glyph external hard disks range in price from $100 to $500, and the average price of Glyph external hard disks is $273 which is the third highest average price of all external hard drive brands.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 255 expert reviews and 1,640 user reviews for external hard disks and used these reviews 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 88%. 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 eBay. We found 58 current external hard drive offers from eBay. The second biggest retailer is Adorama with 55 offers. That means eBay is slightly bigger than Adorama when it comes to external hard drives. Overstock is the third biggest retailer with 41 current offers.

When Are Most New External Hard Disk Drives Released?

Most new external hard drive tend to be released between June and July. June was the biggest month in 2018 for new external harddisk, with 59 new external harddisk released that month. In 2017 most new external harddisk were released in July, with 35 new external harddisk released that month. The biggest month in 2016 for new external hard drive releases was October, with 42 new external hard disk released that month.

How Fast Do External Hard Drive Prices Drop After Release?

New external hard drives drop in price by an average of 1% in the first 6 months after they were first released.

That means that on a typical external hard drive costing $158 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 disk drive, the weights range from 41g to 11.4kg. The weights of the majority of external hard drives range from 0g to 300g. The ioSafe Solo G3 - 4Tb, which can be purchased for $441.99, has the heaviest weight and is a 6.8kg external hard drive. The LaCie Rugged USB-C - 1Tb, which is on sale for $84.94, 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 851 new external hard disk currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are USB powered external hard disk. 684 out of 851 external hard disk are USB powered external hard disk.

Hard Drive Capacities

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

Comparing all external hard disk, the hard drive capacities range from 1GB to 64TB. The hard drive capacities of most external harddisks range from 0GB to 1.5TB. The G-Technology G-Raid - 16Tb, which can be purchased for $849.95, has the biggest hard drive capacity and is a 16TB external hard drive. The Fantom Drives G-Force3 500GB, which sells for $54.95, 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.

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 eBay. 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 hard disk drive 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 eBay. 65.5% of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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