Asides from a good laptop sleeve, the most important accessory that any laptop owner can invest in is an external hard drive. In fact, it is probably more important than any other accessory if your laptop holds lots of irreplaceable data which is imperative to your business; or even if you just have thousands of dollars of music and movies. Laptop theft is a lot more common than you might think, hard drive failure is even more common.
A great external hard drive can be had for a lot less than $100 these days and it is safe to assume that most people value the information on their laptops at a lot more than $100, think of all the photos, the memories, or perhaps think about how much time you have invested in your college assignments! It takes just minutes to back up everything on your laptop to an external drive, they are important – don’t learn that the hard way.
Toshiba Canvio Basics Portable Hard Drive 320 GB
Toshiba laptops are right up there with the most reliable laptops on the market, that is a proven fact, and it looks like they have carried that into accessories too – this sleek Toshiba Canvio Basics Portable Hard Drive is among the best rated external hard drives on the market with an average customer rating of 4.5/5 on Amazon across almost 300 customer reviews. Toshiba have also handed this product a three year warranty, longer than the warranty given to most laptops!
This easy to use drive requires no installation (plug and play), and accommodates even the largest of files. Some of the laptops featured on this site, such as the best multimedia laptops under $400, only have a 320 GB hard drive to start with so this drive will double your storage capacity. Toshiba Canvio external drives are also available in 500GB and 1TB sizes but they cost more money!
Seagate Expansion 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
If you are looking for a 500 GB drive with a $100 budget then you could do a lot worse than to invest in this portable Seagate Expansion 500GB external drive which has a USB 3.0 port. Most laptops now come with a USB 3.0 port for faster download speeds, so investing in a USB 3.0 hard drive will make data transfer multiple times quicker – perfect for those who deal with large files or who want quick access to a library of HD movies.
This plug and play drive requires no installation and can be used on any laptop, simply drag and drop files onto the drive at any time. This is an excellent drive but please ensure that your laptop has a USB 3.0 port before buying as otherwise you won’t be able to transfer files from your laptop to the drive. You can however transfer files from the drive to any computer via a USB 2.0 port so there are no concerns about compatibility if you need to transfer files from the drive to a college or work computer! The normal retail price of this drive is $119 but it can be yours for around $95 with free shipping if purchased from Amazon (best online price).
Western Digital WD Elements 1 TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive
Both of the drives featured above are portable drives, you should ask yourself whether you really need a portable drive? You get a lot more for your money if investing in a desktop drive, they are big and heavy but if you only need it to back up the files on your laptop then do you need to be carrying it around? If you are carrying your portable drive in a laptop bag with your laptop, and you leave that laptop bag on a train or in a cab, then owning the external drive would be proven pointless!
This Western Digital 1 TB external hard drive is probably the best selling affordable external drive on the market at around $100 with free shipping on Amazon (list price $129.99). Western Digital drives are the market leaders in external drives and have a high proportion of repeat customers, they are simply highly reliable and robust drives and problems are not common. This plug and play drive is designed to save power, just connect it to
Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 3.0/2.0 Portable External Hard Drive
Western Digital also make fantastic portable external hard drives too, these trendy ‘My Passport’ hard drives have a 500 GB capacity and are available in four colors – black, silver, blue, and red. These drives are compatible with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, when a USB 3.0 port is available use it for three times faster download speeds! These drives also benefit from quick and easy password protection.
My Passport drives are ultra-small, in fact the area of the top of the drive is smaller than that of a U.S. passport – hence the name. Customer reviews, as with all Western Digital drives, have been excellent. A great product at just $99.99 plus free shipping (typical offline price is $129.99).