If you need space to store large files, or if you simply prefer the security of having an additional, backup copy of your documents, your best choice is to invest in an external hard drive.
There are a lot of them available online, with storage capacities ranging from 1 or 2TB all the way to mammoth sizes of 16TB, however the latter will require a pretty large investment. Speed also affects the cost of external hard drives but, if you are always on the go and plan on using your hard drive pretty often, you will also need to think about durability and how sturdy they are.
We do know about rugged smartphones but perhaps you haven’t heard that there are rugged external hard drives as well.
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One of the most well known ones is the LaCie Rugged eSATA, the successor to LaCie’s Rugged All-Terrain device, which has received plenty of positive feedback from the users.
This particular external hard drive has a compact size of 90 x 25 x 145 mm with an unusually light weight than what we’re used to seeing from other devices of its kind: 250 grams.
The LaCie Rugged eSATA is built following the MIL-STD-810 (United States Army Developmental Test Command) standards, which requires devices to be used under extreme conditions or severe mechanical stress.
The hard drive allows transfer at up to 90MB/s of both small and large data quantities.
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It is made out of a scratch-resistant aluminum case and also features a system of internal shock absorbers that will keep it safe during impact. The entire body is enclosed in a rubber shell that has more or less become the trademark of the brand.
It is a little pricier but not the most expensive one out there, and the protection it offers will definitely make the price tag worth it.
It’s not what you’re after? Read below for a few more options and factors to consider before purchasing.
What To Look For When Buying An External Hard Drive
In order to understand what the best storage capacity you need, ask yourself what you would like to save on the external hard drive. If you need to make constant backups, then you will need a large one, especially if the backups are from your PC. Of course, the larger the capacity, the better the quality and, by association, the higher the price.
The best advice is to buy a bigger capacity external hard drive nonetheless as you will accumulate data and, as time goes by, the size of data increases as well, so it’s best to be prepared.
This is an important thing to consider when investing in an external hard drive, especially if you will be using it daily.
If the hard drive uses USB 3.0, then your transfer speeds will be quite good. This technology means that the hard drive will be on the pricier side, but it’s highly recommended for those who archive multimedia files or other types of ‘heavy’ files frequently.
You have to ask yourself: what am I going to do with this device? What will I use it for?
If you will use it as an extension of your PC, then you’re fine to invest in an external hard drive that is maybe a bit bulkier and might also be heavier.
If you plan on using it to transfer data from one device to another or store your info on the go, then you have to be more mindful of size and weight.
Most of the best hard drives are compatible with all devices. You may come across issues with the initial formatting of the hard disk via an NTFS file system, which is specific to Windows. All you have to do in this case is reformat it, which is a quick and easy operation.
What Rugged External Hard Drive Should I Buy?
Transcend 1TB Military-Grade Shock Resistance
This external hard drive is specifically designed to meet the US Army shock-proof standards.
It features a non-slip silicone outer case and comes equipped with USB 3.0 interface which provides amazing ultra high speeds and makes sharing your files easier.
This is another good, reliable and durable option. The device has an IP55 certification, which means that it’s resistant to water and dust and can withstand drops of up to 2m.
It’s available in configurations of 250GB to 2TB and it can reach speeds of up to 550MB/s. In addition to that, it weighs only 41g, so you’ll barely feel it’s there if you carry it in your bag or backpack.
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The external shell of this hard drive is resistant to falls from a maximum of 2m and comes with a protective rubber bumper. It has an integrated cable, can achieve speeds of up to 400MB/s and it works with both PC and Mac.
Its dimensions are 9.4 x 6.6 x 1 cm, while the weight is 54 grams, which makes it yet another perfect device to stash in a bag without having to worry about space or weight.
You can purchase it in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes, as well as different colors.
Silicon Power Armor A30
This funky-looking external hard drive has a specially designed rubber enclosure that offers it that extra oomph of protection against drops and bumps. It meets the MIL-STD-810G military standard and can withstand drops of up to 9.8 feet.
It works well even in rough environmental conditions and features an USB-C connector as well as USB-C and USB-A cables. It comes in 1TB or 2TB options and has speeds of up to 120MB/s.
Upon purchase you will be offered a three-year warranty.
When a device of any kind comes with no less than three layers of protection, you know it’s worth the money. The G-Technology ArmorATD external hard drive features internal shock mounts, an aluminum enclosure as well as a rubber bumper. According to the company, this provides the device with a crush resistance of up to 1000lbs as well as a drop protection of up to 3.9 feet.
Of course, it comes with water and dust resistance, can be purchased in up to 5TB capacities and can reach speeds of up to 140MB/s. It’s compatible with both macOS and Windows.