The easiest way is to buy an external drive. It can be a memory card, a traditional hard drive, or an SSD. Let’s discuss the features of each option.
Most laptop models already come with an SSD instead of a traditional hard drive. An SSD is faster, but it’s noticeably more expensive, so manufacturers can save on volume. What should you do if you don’t have enough space on your laptop’s drive? Buy an external drive. Let’s explore the possible options, and at the same time calculate how much they can cost.
SD memory card
Many laptops are equipped with a card slot – usually an SD format, namely microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC. The cards will be handy mainly for those who use them in other devices. For example, in cameras. Take a picture – stick the card in the slot and transfer all the content.
Using a card as a permanent storage device is not the right way to go about it. It is the most unreliable type of storage possible, the leader in the number of sudden failures.
External hard drive
Optimal option in case you plan to work with really big amounts of data. That’s because traditional HDDs offer the lowest cost per gigabyte compared to memory cards and SSDs. The flip side of that cheapness is the low data transfer rate.
Some laptops have a special bay for installing additional 2.5-inch hard drives. So you can use the internal drive instead of the external one – you will not need to carry an additional device. There is nothing difficult to install: unscrew 4 screws and put the component in the compartment.
From the disadvantages of using an external HDD should be highlighted and its vulnerability. Hard drives do not tolerate falls, shaking, large temperature drops and so on. Also HDD is the heaviest and most oversized storage device of all.
Today’s most advanced storage medium. It is also the most expensive. A terabyte c with the cheapest TLC memory will cost about 2.5 times more than an HDD variant.
But for that money you get high read and write speeds. In addition, SSDs do not heat, do not noise, and consume less power, saving laptop battery power. SSDs are not afraid of falls – because they have no mechanically moving parts that can fail.
And if you’re looking for more reliability, you can choose from our selection of shockproof models.
What to look for when buying?
- The form factor, that is, the physical size. The most common type – form factor 2,5″ (so-called SFF HDD). Such a drive has a width of 2.5 inches (~6-8 mm together with the case), a length of less than 15 cm, weight 100-200 grams. Easily fits even in a small lady’s handbag. You can also find forms: 1.8″ and 3.5″.
- Connection interface. For an external hard drive is USB, and in modern laptops it is usually USB 3.0 or 3.1. Which of these is best? Depends on what connectors your laptop has: if Type-C is supported, you’re better off with a USB 3.1 drive – it can transfer data at up to 10 Gbps.
- Read and write speeds. As a rule, the manufacturer’s claimed speed always differs from the actual speed. It is only possible to measure it accurately with special utilities after purchase, such as CrystalDiskMark. However, it is strongly recommended that you purchase drives with a claimed speed of at least 500 Mbit/s.
- Spindle Speed (applies to HDD only). There are two basic types: 5400 and 7200 rpm. A higher value achieves higher data transfer speeds. However, noise and power consumption increase. If you buy a drive just for data storage, speed is not crucial.
An expert in household appliances and electronics. I prepare and publish reviews, ratings and instructions for choosing the best models and brands. Higher education – IT engineer.