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If you’ve ever had the painful misfortune of losing valuable documents, photos, and information on your laptop due to a random crash or accident, then you know how important external hard drives are. Even if you haven’t, backing up your data is a super smart move. Portable and transferable, external hard drives are vital no matter your profession. Here are the most durable, reliable, and highest storage capacity external hard drives.

Seagate

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When buying an external hard drive, keep in mind the file types and sizes you wish to backup. Everything stored on a hard drive is measured in terms of its file size. Text documents are generally very small whereas pictures are large, music is even larger, and videos are the largest. A hard drive determines the size of digital files in terms of megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), and terabytes (TB). After determining the types and sizes of your files, you can decide how much storage space you’ll need. External hard drive capacities range from 128GB to 10TB.

Consider where you’ll be taking your external hard drive, if anywhere, to determine the best model for you. If this device will only ever stay on a desk, a bigger model that requires a power supply (these are generally faster than their portable counterparts) might work well for you. If you’re, say, a photographer or videographer who travels and needs to offload memory cards frequently, look for a portable, durable hard drive that you can keep in your bag.

Western Digital

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The spin speed, or rotations per minute (RPM), of an external hard drive is also important. The faster a disk, or platter, spins, the faster your computer can find the file you want. Hard drives have spin rates as low as 1200 RPM and as high as 15K RPM, but the most common rates are between 5400 and 7200 RPM.