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External Hard Drives

Find Deals on Portable Hard Drive Storage for Desktop, Mac and Laptop PCs

Why buy an external hard drive when cloud storage services offer cheap storage and device-agnostic access? Well, physically backing up your computer’s data still makes sense - particularly where sensitive business or personal data is concerned.

Read-write times are faster than uploading to the cloud (especially with external SSD drives) and the ability to easily sync data between computer and hard drive is also a useful feature. External drives also expand the storage capacity of a PC, Mac or laptop - particularly handy on older or budget computers.

And, although the basic technology behind such hard drives has not changed in recent years, their capacity and dimensions have (not so long ago monolith sized versions stored less than 500 GB of data).

However, the process of purchasing an external HDD can be overwhelming, with both desktop and very light, portable options available. That's why we've compiled this short guide, to help make the choice in storing or transporting valuable digital files become that much easier.

Buying an External Hard Drive that best suits you...

Aside from budget, first consider what hard drive will work best for your computing needs. How often do you plan to back up your files? And is the need to regularly sync files between computer and external hard drive important?

Do you also want to transport files frequently? In which case a cheaper, heavier desktop version will prove a false-economy in the long-run, especially if the data involved needs to be encrypted and well-protected on the go.

Storage Capacity

We’d recommend a drive of 1TB or 2TB for users planning to back up media files, while for emails and Microsoft Office documents, a smaller (cheaper) drive of less than 1TB may be sufficient.

Hard Drive Transfer Speed

Traditional mechanical drives need to spin faster to increase performance. Commonly, they are engineered to spin at rates of 5,400 and 7,200 RPM or higher (with higher speeds contributing towards a faster read/write speed, resulting in improved data rates). Depending upon the frequency of your back-up routine, weekly transfers will mean that cheaper drives with a USB 2.0 interface should suffice. However, if back-ups are more frequent (and significant in size) then the superior USB 3.0 standard is recommended - as transfer rates are up to 10x greater than USB 2.0.

eSATA interface drives are a good alternative (often also incorporating USB 2.0 or 3.0 as well) while Thunderbolt drives - developed by Intel in a collaboration with Apple, enjoy the fastest of all transfer rates, with a throughput of 10Mbps.

In addition, Misco stocks a wide-range of portable SSD hard drives which, by design, enjoy increased levels of reliability as well as lighting fast access speeds. We’d still advise upgrading your computer’s own hard drive to SSD before considering an external version (as prices remain significantly higher than mechanical external hard drives) while storage capacities typically range between 64GB and 512GB.

Portability

As desktop-style external hard drives are designed to be used in conjunction with a power adapter, they should not be considered as durable or portable as pocket-sized devices. More expensive portable drives offer an increased level of durability – helping to better protect your files from shock and damage.

Hard Drive Data Integrity / Safety

For your next external hard drive purchase, a device with hardware-based encryption is more dependable than software-based variants. This applies especially to portable drives, where sensitive / important business data may be transported. Naturally, the more frequently you travel with such files, the greater the need to protect them from loss and theft, so a good level of data encryption is highly recommended.

Ease of Use and Reliability

Many manufacturers now offer external drives with the option of backing up locally and/or to the cloud (for example WD’s SmartWare Pro functionality). So if you’re new to computing or simply want any back-up process to work quietly & efficiently in the background then choose a drive with included software.

As mechanical drives have become ever more reliable, they are usually offered with 2 or 3 years warranty. This is another important consideration, especially if the up-front cost of the drive is higher.

Compatibility

Perhaps an obvious point - but one that’s still easy to forget - make sure when purchasing a drive that your chosen model is PC or Mac compatible. This is especially important if the hard drive includes bundled management software.

At Misco, we stock all the leading brands of external hard drive, along with solid-state (SSD) versions from the likes of WD, Seagate, Lacie, Freecom, Buffalo and Verbatim.

This Week's Featured Products
External Hard Drives
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iStorage diskAshur DT 3TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
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iStorage diskAshur DT 3TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
iStorage diskAshur DT 3TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
In stock
£244.00 Ex VAT
£292.80 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 202131
Manufacturer / No: iStorage / IS-DA-256-3000

iStorage diskG 1TB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
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iStorage diskG 1TB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
iStorage diskG 1TB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
In stock
£173.95 Ex VAT
£208.74 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 187996
Manufacturer / No: iStorage / IS-DG-256-1000

Samsung T3 500GB External Solid State Drive
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Samsung T3 500GB External Solid State Drive
Samsung T3 500GB External Solid State Drive
In stock
£143.95 Ex VAT
£172.74 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 2586104
Manufacturer / No: Samsung / MU-PT500B/EU

Samsung T3 250GB External Solid State Drive
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Samsung T3 250GB External Solid State Drive
Samsung T3 250GB External Solid State Drive
In stock
£93.99 Ex VAT
£112.79 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 2586103
Manufacturer / No: Samsung / MU-PT250B/EU

Buffalo MiniStation Slim 1TB USB 3.0 2.5inch External Hard Drive Silver
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Buffalo MiniStation Slim 1TB USB 3.0 2.5" External Hard Drive Silver
Buffalo MiniStation Slim 1TB USB 3.0 2.5inch External Hard Drive Silver
In stock
£69.95 Ex VAT
£83.94 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 2665664
Manufacturer / No: Buffalo Technology / HD-PUS1.0U3S-WR

Buffalo DriveStation Velocity 2TB Superspeed USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
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Buffalo DriveStation Velocity 2TB Superspeed USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
Buffalo DriveStation Velocity 2TB Superspeed USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
In stock
£67.49 Ex VAT
£80.99 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 189663
Manufacturer / No: Buffalo Technology / HD-LX2.0TU3-EU

WD Elements 2TB USB 3.0 High Capacity Portable Hard Drive
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WD Elements 2TB USB 3.0 High Capacity Portable Hard Drive
WD Elements 2TB USB 3.0 High Capacity Portable Hard Drive
In stock
£66.95 Ex VAT
£80.34 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 219379
Manufacturer / No: WD / WDBU6Y0020BBK-EESN

Samsung T3 2TB External Solid State Drive
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Samsung T3 2TB External Solid State Drive
Samsung T3 2TB External Solid State Drive
In stock
£587.00 Ex VAT
£704.40 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 2586106
Manufacturer / No: Samsung / MU-PT2T0B/EU

iStorage diskAshur DT 8TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
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iStorage diskAshur DT 8TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
iStorage diskAshur DT 8TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive + AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption
In stock
£428.00 Ex VAT
£513.60 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 2587221
Manufacturer / No: iStorage / IS-DA-256-8000

Wd My Book Duo 16Tb External Hdd
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Wd My Book Duo 16Tb External Hdd
Wd My Book Duo 16Tb External Hdd
In stock
£415.00 Ex VAT
£498.00 Inc VAT
In stock
Product Category: External Hard Drives
Misco No: 2665819
Manufacturer / No: WD / WDBLWE0160JCH-EESN

Items Found: 170
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Items Found: 170
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