Desktop external hard drives enable you to expand existing storage, incorporate redundancy into your data storage setup and can even provide faster transfer speeds than an existing internal disk. You can transport smaller models in your pocket or bag, but some larger devices come with stands and other features that make them suitable as a permanent fixture on your desk. RAID enabled external hard drives for PC provide these functions while introducing redundancy so the drive can be rebuilt and data recovered, even in the event of a disk failure. Ensure compatibility when you buy a portable hard drive for Mac and PC by choosing one with a compatible interface. Thunderbolt connectivity is standard in most Macs as well as some high-end PCs, offering fast transfer rates, while USB 3 is another popular interface standard. SATA and SAS drives are other common connection types.
Where Thunderbolt connections are available, you should consider choosing this interface over USB or SATA. Desktop external hard drives with Thunderbolt connectivity offer a throughput speed of up to 40Gbps, double that of USB 3.2's 20Gbps. This means that you can store and retrieve data from the drive quicker. However, compatibility is what matters most, so ensure that the drive you choose is compatible with the ports on your desktop. Thunderbolt is common in Mac hard drives and also an increasing number of PCs.
Most hard drives, except those with the largest capacity and internal hard drives with desktop mounts, tend to be small and light enough to carry in a laptop bag or pocket. However, if you need to regularly access data on a portable drive, because you're a creative professional that carries photos or videos to clients, for example, portable hard drives for Mac and PC exist that strip away unnecessary weight and casing. These will fit in a shirt pocket and are easier to carry. 2.5in models, commonly used as laptop drives because of their portability, are the smallest and offer the greatest convenience.
You can use a portable hard drive for your PC to store personal and professional files. You can also use one to store software, including games and DLC packs. Buyers can use some external hard drives with games consoles to expand their memory without having to upgrade to a new system or rely on cloud storage. Drive speed is important in these cases because it minimizes the loading time and waiting times. Standard desktop external hard drives have a speed of 7,200 revolutions per minute (RPM) but some models can offer speeds as high as 15,000RPM.
You can use a desktop external hard drive for data backup. You can automatically back up important files and folders to the drive periodically, but for ultimate data protection, RAID drives incorporate drive redundancy into their architecture. This redundancy means that you can recover the data, even in the event of a drive failure.