The best Seagate external drive
We have all heard hundreds of times how important it is to back up our data, yet the majority of us don't do it often enough. If you have a Seagate external drive available for your computer or gaming console, though, the backup process is fast and easy, and you can leave your external drive plugged in for a storage boost.
Seagate external drives are available in a range of sizes to meet different needs. In addition, they are available as HDDs or SSDs, which vary greatly in their speed and cost.
To learn more about Seagate external drives, continue reading our buying guide. Our favorite model is the Seagate Expansion Desktop External Hard Drive, which delivers the best mix of value and performance levels.
Considerations when choosing Seagate external drives
HDD vs. SSD
When picking a Seagate external drive, you can choose between two popular types of storage technologies:
HDD technology, short for hard disk drive, appears in the majority of Seagate external drives. It uses spinning platters and a read/write head to save and retrieve your data.
HDD technology has been around for several decades. It's a reliable technology, but if you drop the external drive, the read/write head could break, leaving your data inaccessible.
People tend to choose a HDD when they want huge external storage drives from Seagate at a reasonable price per TB of storage.
SSD technology, short for solid state drive, is a newer type of storage technology. It does not use moving parts to store bits of data, so if you drop an SSD, it has a better chance of remaining viable than an HDD storage unit.
SSD is quite a bit more expensive per TB than HDD in storage drives from any manufacturer, including Seagate.
Seagate sells SSD external storage drives at smaller capacities than its HDD external drives, so it may not work as well for those who have hundreds of huge files to store, like videos and photos. However, SSDs do have faster read/write speeds than HDDs, making them a popular choice for tasks like video editing or gaming.
When comparing Seagate hard drives, you'll want to pay attention to a few specific features.
Size: Those who store quite a few video files or photos will need a large-capacity Seagate external drive. You may want a drive of 2TB (terabytes) or larger to handle big files. Some customers may want a drive of 1TB or smaller to save some money. A TB is equal to roughly 1,000GB, or gigabytes.
Power source: Some Seagate external drives run over power pulled from the USB cable that's already plugged into the computer. Others require a separate power cable, which is less convenient, particularly if you have limited available ports.
USB connection: USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 (also known as USB-C) deliver faster transfer speeds than USB 2.0. You may want a Seagate external drive that supports USB 3.0 or 3.1, especially if you plan to transfer large photo or video files.
Portability: Some external Seagate drives have a more portable design than others. These drives can be thick and bulky, which makes it tough to slip them into a backpack or briefcase. Others are thin and lightweight, which is ideal for using an external drive with a laptop or other portable device.
When considering the price of Seagate external storage drives, try to compare the cost per TB of storage. HDDs will cost about $25 to $35 per TB of storage. SSDs may cost up to $100 to $200 per TB of storage.
Q. Can I daisy-chain multiple Seagate external drives to each other for extra storage space?
A. No. These drives are not made for connecting to each other. They're only made to connect to a computer -- one per USB port.
Q. Do Seagate external hard drives fail faster than internal hard drives?
A. No, unless some sort of unexpected factor occurs, such as if you drop the drive. These external drives should last a few years, even with regular use.
Seagate external drives we recommend
Best of the best: Seagate Expansion Desktop External Hard Drive
Our take: Good value for a hard drive that delivers plenty of storage space for the majority of users.
What we like: Compatible with USB 3.0 ports. Works with either Windows or Mac computers.
What we dislike: Needs a separate power cord to operate rather than pulling power through the USB cable.
Best bang for your buck: Seagate Backup Plus External Drive
Our take: You won't find a better price on a high-capacity Seagate external drive.
What we like: Ships with integrated software for simplifying making backups. Will work with a PS4.
What we dislike: Has odd performance quirks with some Macintosh computers.
Our take: Designed to handle huge media files with fast transfer speeds over USB 3.0.
What we like: Desirable amount of storage for the price you'll pay. Made for those with large storage requirements.
What we dislike: The bulky design makes it difficult to carry this drive in a bag or briefcase.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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