Compare External Hard Drives

Compare the 10 Best External Hard DrivesAugust 2017

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Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every external hard drive on the market in the UK to determine our top 10 list. In total we compared over 848 external hard drives, 6,360 reviews and 5,060 prices. Last updated 18 August 2017.

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£44.99
Save £60.01 (57%)

#1 LaCie Porsche Design

Porsche Design
pcactual.com - Recommendedbenchmarkreviews.com - SilverDigital Versus - 5 StarLes Numeriques.com - 5 Star
A recently released and affordable USB powered external hard drive, with multiple awards and a massive 6TB hard drive capacity
86
Reviews
7 Awards
98
Value for Money
Excellent
84
Features
Fully-Featured
91
Age
4 Months Old
90
Overall Score
Excellent
Yes
6TB
Silver
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
1kg
May 2017
Weight
Release Date
Ebuyer Business £44.99
Wex Photographic £54.00
Euroffice £58.79
View Details
£55.00
Save £23.53 (30%)

#2 Transcend 1TB StoreJet 25M3 1TB

1TB StoreJet 25M3 1TB
The highest scoring medium capacity hard drive on the market, with a best buy award from one expert review website and 12 further awards from other expert sites
No Reviews
97
Value for Money
Excellent
65
Features
Good Features
87
Age
7 Months Old
86
Overall Score
Excellent
Yes
1TB
Green
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
216g
Jan 2017
Weight
Release Date
Ebuyer Business £55.00
Ebuyer £55.04
Euroffice £79.19
View Details
£98.10
Save £29.85 (23%)

#3 Freecom mHDD 2TB

mHDD 2TB
hardwareheaven.com - Recommended
An spectacularly light weight and top-value 2TB external hard drive, with very good features and an industry award
85
Reviews
1 Award
95
Value for Money
Excellent
80
Features
Fully-Featured
75
Age
2 Years Old
85
Overall Score
Excellent
Yes
2TB
Silver
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
150g
Jan 2016
Weight
Release Date
Officeworx £98.10
Amazon UK £99.95
Ebuyer £112.49
View Details
£145.01
Save £27.77 (16%)

#4 LaCie Rugged USB‑C 2TB

Rugged USB-C 2TB
tweaktown.com - Best Value AwardDigital Versus - 5 Star01net.com - 4 StarLes Numeriques.com - 5 Star
The highest review score medium capacity hard drive on the market, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 7 further awards from other expert sites
98
Reviews
8 Awards
83
Value for Money
Excellent
74
Features
Good Features
82
Age
11 Months Old
85
Overall Score
Excellent
Yes
2TB
Orange
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
100g
Sep 2016
Weight
Release Date
Ebuyer £145.01
PC World Business £145.22
Wex Photographic £174.00
View Details
£115.71
Save £4.27 (4%)

#5 Western Digital My Passport 3TB

My Passport 3TB
A good value for money and multi award winning 3TB external hard drive, with a Gold award from four expert review websites and 29 further awards from other expert sites
No Reviews
84
Value for Money
Excellent
75
Features
Good Features
82
Age
10 Months Old
83
Overall Score
Excellent
Yes
3TB
Blue
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
250g
Oct 2016
Weight
Release Date
Ebuyer £115.71
Laptops Direct £116.97
Amazon UK £155.00
View Details
£40.88
Save £6.75 (14%)

#6 Freecom Classic 3.0

Classic 3.0
A very popular and astonishingly light weight 5TB external hard drive, with an extremely fair price and great features
97
Value for Money
Excellent
85
Features
Fully-Featured
89
Age
3 Months Old
82
Overall Score
Excellent
Yes
5TB
Black
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
140g
May 2017
Weight
Release Date
Una Technology £40.88
Amazon UK £45.13
base.com £54.59
View Details
£39.50
Save £14.46 (27%)

#7 A‑DATA HD650

HD650
techporn.ph - Extreme Valuetweaktown.com - Best Features Awardhd-tecnologia.com - Value for Moneyvoz.vn - Recommended
A newly released and bargain price 2TB external hard drive, good for a large amount of cat pictures
90
Reviews
5 Awards
97
Value for Money
Excellent
48
Features
Average Features
91
Age
2 Months Old
81
Overall Score
Excellent
Yes
2TB
Black
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
390g
Jun 2017
Weight
Release Date
Ebuyer Business £39.50
Amazon UK £54.95
Misco £56.34
View Details
£52.66

#8 Western Digital My Passport 1TB

My Passport 1TB
klgadgetguy.com - Silverhwlegend.com - Platinumlegitreviews.com - RecommendedPC Advisor.co.uk - Recommended
A relatively new and bargain price 1TB external hard drive, with multiple awards and good features
79
Reviews
4 Awards
96
Value for Money
Excellent
63
Features
Good Features
82
Age
10 Months Old
80
Overall Score
Excellent
Yes
1TB
Orange
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
170g
Oct 2016
Weight
Release Date
Ebuyer £52.66
Amazon UK £59.00
Novatech £60.86
View Details
£75.47

#9 Seagate 2TB Backup Plus Slim

2TB Backup Plus Slim
benchmark.pl - Great Qualitypcforalla.idg.se - Good Choice01net.com - 5 Staraltomdata.dk - Recommended
A sensationally light weight and low cost 2TB external hard drive, with an Editor's Choice award from three expert review websites and 13 further awards from other expert sites
89
Reviews
16 Awards
89
Value for Money
Excellent
72
Features
Good Features
59
Age
3 Years Old
79
Overall Score
Very Good
Yes
2TB
Black
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
159g
Dec 2014
Weight
Release Date
SVP UK £75.47
Misco £88.74
View Details
£79.00
Save £28.13 (26%)

#10 Western Digital My Book 3TB

My Book 3TB
The cheapest high capacity hard drive around, with moderate reviews
69
Reviews
3 Reviews
97
Value for Money
Excellent
68
Features
Good Features
82
Age
10 Months Old
79
Overall Score
Very Good
No
3TB
Black
USB Powered
Hard Drive Capacity
Colours
960g
Oct 2016
Weight
Release Date
Amazon UK £79.00
Ebuyer Business £89.50
Ebuyer £107.98
View Details

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External Hard Drive Brands

Find out how external hard drive brands compare. The average rating for each brand is based on the rating of all of their external hard drives. Click on a link to compare all external hard drives made by your favourite brand.

Logo Brand Number of External Hard Drives Price Range Average Rating
Seagate logo Seagate External Hard Drives 63 £39 - £304 82%
Western Digital logo Western Digital External Hard Drives 44 £8 - £670 82%
iStorage logo iStorage External Hard Drives 43 £118 - £511
LaCie logo LaCie External Hard Drives 42 £45 - £638 80%
Toshiba logo Toshiba External Hard Drives 38 £30 - £219 81%
Buffalo logo Buffalo External Hard Drives 22 £35 - £264 85%
Other brands Other External Hard Drive Brands 115 £8 - £547

Choosing the Best External Hard Drive

External hard drives are portable and used to backup files and data from your computer, so they’re safeguarded in case of accident or for retrieval at a later date. While Cloud-based backups are being used more and more for backups, external hard drives still have several important benefits compared to online backups:

  • Peace of mind: many people don’t 100% trust the Cloud yet, and having their data stored in some unknown, invisible server somewhere leaves them worried about the long-term safety of their data. External hard drives offer tangible, physical objects to safely backup your files, without having to rely on 3rd-party companies.
  • Backing up and restoring files is far faster, especially with newer models that use USB 3 for transferring data.
  • Data can be retrieved without needing a net connection, making them useful if travelling or if you find yourself somewhere without a solid net connection.
  • High-level security options - such as fingerprint scanners, palm vein scanners and number pads - offer vastly increased security and peace of mind when storing very important files. Moreover, there is the increased security of being able to physically lock away the hard drives away from prying eyes.
  • Finally, USB hard drives are still one of the best methods for quickly moving very large files between different computers. It is frequently easier (as long as the computers aren’t too far apart) to simply transfer the file to the drive, plug it in to the second computer, and transfer rather than having to deal with slower upload/download speeds from services such as Dropbox.

Capacity

The main important consideration when choosing an external hard drive is the capacity. This Is a measure of how much data the drive can hold, and is measured in gigabytes (Gb) or terrabytes (Tb) . A gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, and a terabyte is 1000 gigabytes. Our drives range from relatively small portable 120gig drives to enormous 5Tb drives, which can safely hold all the data from multiple machines at once. Generally speaking the higher the capacity the better, but it does depend on what you’re going to be backing up. If you only use your computer to store documents, low-res photos and the like, a 2-500 gig drive should be enough. On the other hand, large capacity drives are useful for storing RAW photos, video editing or Photoshop files.

Size & Portability

Hand in hand with the capacity of the drive is its size. Generally speaking, the larger the capacity of a drive, the bigger it is. Small-capacity drives are extremely portable, being no larger than a mobile phone, so can be transported very easily. On the other end of the scale, the very large capacity drives are not meant to be portable, and usually sit in or under your desk as a safe deposit for all your data. Portability and weight will only become a real issue when choosing the very high-capacity drives, but it is worth paying attention to if you plan on transporting the drive frequently.

Read/Write Speeds

Read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the external hard drive. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be transferred onto or from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.

Power

On the subject of USBs, external hard drives are powered by 2 main methods: via USB or externally power lead. Smaller drives will be powered via USB - this means that the same lead that transfers the data also powers the device. This means no battery, no extra leads, and they are far more portable. Larger drives may be so big and powerful that USB alone can’t provide enough power - in which case they may need an external power connection to properly function. This means that extra consideration has to be made for a spare power socket and the required leads - making them less use when on the go.

Extras

Finally, there are a wealth of extras that can be found in more advanced models of external hard drives. Some of these may only be useful in specific situations, and you will usually pay more for them, but the utility may well be worth the extra cost. Some examples of extra features include:

  • Integrated card reader: a built in card reader in the drive allows the device to also read/write to SD cards.
  • Fingerprint scanner: an optical fingerprint scanner drastically increases the security of your device, by meaning only specific fingerprints can unlock the device and access the files. For even greater security, a ‘palm vein’ scanner detects the blood pumping through the unique arrangement of veins in your hand, meaning that the scanner cannot be fooled by severed fingers - the owner has to be there in person and alive.
  • Ruggedized outer layer: for those who frequently take drives outdoors or in harsh conditions, a hefty rubber or metal basing protects the device from damage, keeping your files intact through even the worst conditions.

External Hard Drive Retailers, Prices and Features

External Hard Drive Prices

External hard drives range in price from £17 to £736 and in total we found prices for 341 external hard drives. On average, a new external hard drive costs £153 and 80% of external hard drives are priced between £48 and £323. The most expensive external hard drive that we found is the Western Digital WD My Book Pro 12TB RAID Storage at £736, and the cheapest is the Seagate Ultra ATA/100 160GB at only £18.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

Lenovo external hard drives range in price from £618 to £618, and the highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is Lenovo external hard drives with an average price of £618.

The second highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is ioSafe external hard drives with an average price of £411. ioSafe external hard drives range in price from £335 to £476.

DataLocker external hard drives range in price from £266 to £519, and the third highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is DataLocker external hard drives with an average price of £382.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 1,187 expert reviews and 4,366 user reviews for external hard drives available online and used these reviews to determine the average rating for each brand of external hard drive. Seagate is the top rated external hard drive brand with an average rating of 91%. Maxtor is the second best brand with 91% and Samsung is the third best brand with 89%.

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

The biggest external hard drive retailer by number of products currently for sale is Ebuyer. We found 161 current external hard drive offers from Ebuyer. The second biggest external hard drive retailer is Amazon UK with 139 offers. That means Ebuyer is slightly bigger than Amazon UK when it comes to external hard drives. Ebuyer Business is the third biggest retailer with 132 current offers.

When Are Most New External Hard Drives Released?

We looked at the release dates for new external hard drives over the last 3 years, but couldn't see any noticeable pattern. 37 new external hard drives were released in June 2016 making it the biggest month that year for new external hard drive releases. September was the biggest month in 2015 for new external hard drives, with 79 new external hard drives released that month. The biggest month in 2014 for new external hard drive releases was February, with 91 new external hard drives released that month.

How Fast Do External Hard Drive Prices Drop After Release?

In the first 6 months after release, external hard drives drop in price by 2% on average. That means that on a typical external hard drive costing £153 you could save on average £3 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Hard Drive Capacities

This denotes how much data the hard drive can hold, measured in gigabytes (GB).

The hard drive capacities of external hard drives range from 1GB to 20TB. The hard drive capacities of most external hard drives range from 920GB to 1.8TB. The Western DigitalMy Book Pro has the biggest hard drive capacity. This external hard drive is a 16TB external hard drive and is priced at £573.21. The Western DigitalMy Book Pro has the smallest hard drive capacity. This external hard drive is a 1GB external hard drive and is available at £131.24.

A bigger hard drive capacity means that it can hold more files and data at once.

USB Powered

This indicates whether the hard drive is powered by USB or not.

Of the 661 new external hard drives currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are USB powered external hard drives. 73% of external hard drives are USB powered external hard drives.

Colours

Black is the most frequently found colour amongst new external hard drives. We found 413 external hard drives that are external hard drives that have a Black coloured. Silver is the second most frequently found colour amongst new external hard drives. We found 126 external hard drives that are external hard drives that have a Silver coloured.

Weights

This denotes the weight of the external hard drive, measured in grams (g).

The weights of external hard drives range from 41g to 6.8kg. The weights of the majority of external hard drives range from 41g to 340g. The ioSafeSoloPRO, which is priced at £476.40, has the heaviest weight and is a 6.8kg external hard drive. The ioSafeSoloPRO has the lightest weight. This external hard drive is a 41g external hard drive and sells for £101.99.

A heavier hard drive will be bulkier, and more annoying to carry around.

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

The biggest external hard drive retailer by number of products currently for sale is Ebuyer. We found 161 current external hard drive offers from Ebuyer. The second biggest external hard drive retailer is Amazon UK with 139 offers. That means Ebuyer is slightly bigger than Amazon UK when it comes to external hard drives. Ebuyer Business is the third biggest retailer with 132 current offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for External Hard Drives?

Ebuyer Business most frequently has the cheapest external hard drive prices (found to be cheapest for 95 external hard drives).

Proportion of External Hard Drives for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

The cheapest retailer by number of external hard drive for which they offer the cheapest price is Ebuyer Business with the cheapest price on 72% of its external hard drives.

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