When choosing a cheap external hard drive, it is important to make sure that the product will work well and protect the files that it holds, no matter what the price. One way to choose a good hard drive is to purchase one from a company with at decent reputation. Another good way is to read customer reviews, many of which are available on the Internet. Many times, customer reviews can provide more information about how a product works in real life, as opposed to the standardized tests that many consumer magazines and websites use to test products.
Although many people try to spend as little as possible on computer peripherals, if the hard drive stops working after a short period of time and leads to the loss of files, it isn't a bargain. A failed external hard drive costs money to replace, eliminating the money you thought you saved by buying a cheap one. It also can cost valuable hours for users working to recreate the files that were lost.
It is possible to find a cheap external hard drive that is very well made that holds a relatively small amount of information. This can be a very good solution for people who need to transport documents between their professional office and their home office on a regular basis. A cheap external drive is often all that's needed for this purpose because it is not meant to be primary storage. Instead, it is meant to hold files temporarily while they are transported to another computer or an external hard drive that is permanently connected to that computer. In this case, if the drive stops working, little or nothing is lost and the hard drive can be easily replaced.
Those looking for a cheap external hard drive in order to transport files on a regular basis might want to purchase a model that comes with its own carrying case and USB cord. This way, the drive isn't rattling around in a purse, brief case, or tote where it might bump into other hard objects such as a laptop computer or mobile phone, damaging both in the process. This is also a good way to make sure that the USB cord is always with the external hard drive because, without it, it may be impossible to access the files inside. Even if the external drive does not come with its own portable case, look into purchasing something that it will fit inside of so that it can be protected during travel and commutes.