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Compare the Best External Hard DrivesNovember 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique external hard drives rating which considers: 1,900 UK prices • 3,200 expert & user reviews • 1,000 product comparisons • 35 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Layer 1
Small Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of less than 500Gb
Layer 1
Medium Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of 500Gb-2Tb
High Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of greater than 2Tb
#1
Best Selling Hard Drives
The most popular external hard drives on the market
Award Winning Hard Drives
External hard drives that have won industry awards
Latest External Hard Drives
The newest external hard drives on the market
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Save Up To £161 on External Hard Drives View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
USB Powered
Weight
Hard Drive Capacity
Available Colours
Release Date
£20 Voucher
#1

90

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 2TB

£43.99

Info
250g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jan 2018
£20 Voucher
#2

90

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital WD Elements Portable ‑ 2Tb

£40.99

Info
230g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2017
£20 Voucher
#3

90

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Passport

105 Reviews
eteknix.com - Editor's Choicelegitreviews.com - Recommendedstoragereview.com - Editor's Choice

£43.82

Info
170g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Jan 2017
£20 Voucher
#4

89

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Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 4Tb

£63.48

Info
170g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Mar 2017
#5

89

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Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus Portable ‑ 4Tb

£84.98

Info
247g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jul 2017
£20 Voucher
#6

88

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Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 2Tb

£58.47

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jan 2017
#7

88

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Western Digital My Passport X

389 Reviews

£67.29

Info
230g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Apr 2015
#8

88

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Buffalo HDPNF10U3BREU

£52.47

Info
170g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
May 2018
#9

87

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Seagate Backup Plus Portable ‑ 5Tb

£99.99

Info
247g
Info
5TB
Info
Info
Jul 2017
#10

87

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Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 4Tb

£95.72

Info
153g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
May 2017
£20 Voucher
#11

87

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Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 2Tb

£67.95

Info
230g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2017
£20 Voucher
#12

87

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Western Digital WD Elements Portable ‑ 4Tb

£89.04

Info
230g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jun 2017
£20 Voucher
#13

87

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Buffalo DriveStation ‑ 2Tb

£65.46

Info
921g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Dec 2013
#14

87

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Buffalo HD‑PA1.0TU3

£123.24

Info
260g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
May 2018
#15

86

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Western Digital WDBM1M0040BBK‑WESN

£88.50

Info
230g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Sep 2018
#16

86

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A‑DATA HD830

5 Reviews
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£66.84

Info
510g
Info
2TB
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Nov 2018
£20 Voucher
#17

86

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Western Digital My Passport ‑ 1Tb

£41.42

Info
190g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Jun 2012
#18

86

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Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 3Tb

£94.79

Info
230g
Info
3TB
Info
Info
May 2017
#19

86

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Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 1Tb

£51.23

Info
160g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
May 2017
#20

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Seagate Backup Plus Portable ‑ 2Tb

£59.99

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Feb 2015

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What Are The Best External Hard Drive Brands?

We looked at the reviews for every external hard drive and used this to calculate the average overall rating of each brand. The top rated external hard drive brand is Western Digital with an average rating of 87%. Compare all award winning external hard drives.

Rank Brand Number of External Hard Drives Price Range Average Rating
#1
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Western Digital External Hard Drives 101 £36 - £412
87%
752 reviews
#2
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Seagate External Hard Drives 118 £39 - £201
76%
192 reviews
#3
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Buffalo External Hard Drives 37 £45 - £170
75%
15 reviews
#4
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Silicon Power External Hard Drives 39 £37 - £145
73%
52 reviews
#5
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iStorage External Hard Drives 30 £118 - £692
71%
29 reviews
#6
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LaCie External Hard Drives 74 £61 - £728
67%
15 reviews
#7
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Freecom External Hard Drives 25 £34 - £123
55%
7 reviews
#8
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A-DATA External Hard Drives 54 £43 - £142
54%
19 reviews
#9
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Toshiba External Hard Drives 62 £30 - £166
#10
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G-Technology External Hard Drives 41 £56 - £733
#11
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Intenso External Hard Drives 26 £37 - £99
#12
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BUSlink External Hard Drives 24
#13
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Fantom Drives External Hard Drives 24

Trending External Hard Drive Comparisons

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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 2Tb
£53.90
Newer by one
month
4g lighter
VS
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Western Digital
WD Elements - 2TB
£45.00
£9 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1TB
£38.99
£5 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
VS
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Maxtor
M3 - 1TB
£44.00
A lot lighter
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Seagate
Maxtor M3 - 1Tb
£42.95
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
VS
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Western Digital
WD Elements - 1TB
£40.94
Better brand
More popular
Lighter
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 2Tb
£53.90
£6 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Maxtor
M3 - 2TB
£59.99
A lot lighter
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Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 1TB
£49.66
£17 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
£66.62
Three years
newer
More popular
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Maxtor
M3 - 1TB
£44.00
£10 cheaper
19g lighter
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
£54.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1TB
£38.99
£11 cheaper
Newer by four
years
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 1TB
£49.66
Better brand
Better Kagoo
Score
40% lighter
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Western Digital
My Passport - 4Tb
£63.48
£22 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
£84.98
Newer by four
months
loading image
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
£44.33
More popular
65g lighter
VS
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
£43.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by six
years
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 750Gb
£36.48
£8 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Maxtor
M3 - 1TB
£44.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Lighter
Four months
newer
loading image
Maxtor
M3 - 2TB
£59.99
A bit lighter
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
£54.00
£6 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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A-DATA
HD710 Pro - 1Tb
£47.66
£34 cheaper
More popular
Better brand
VS
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Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 2Tb
£81.75
Better Kagoo
Score
Three months
newer
loading image
Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 500Gb
£29.99
£9 cheaper
Three months
newer
VS
loading image
Seagate
Expansion Portable 1TB
£38.99
More popular
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Passport - 4Tb
£63.48
£74 cheaper
Significantly
lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
LaCie
Porsche Design - 4TB
£137.46
Four months
newer
loading image
Maxtor
M3 - 4TB
£81.99
5% lighter
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
£84.98
Better Kagoo
Score
22 months newer
Better brand
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Toshiba
Canvio Premium - 1Tb
£52.96
More popular
6% lighter
VS
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Western Digital
My Passport
£43.82
£9 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
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Seagate
Maxtor M3 - 2TB
£57.97
Lighter
VS
loading image
Western Digital
My Passport
£43.82
£14 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Five more
awards
loading image
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
£44.33
£37 cheaper
More popular
A lot lighter
VS
loading image
Silicon Power
Armor A80 - 2Tb
£81.75
Better Kagoo
Score
Six years newer
Better brand
loading image
Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 2Tb
£53.90
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
Better brand
VS
loading image
ADATA
HD650 - 1Tb
£53.38
Lighter
loading image
Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1TB
£38.99
£4 cheaper
More popular
Three months
newer
VS
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Seagate
Maxtor M3 - 1Tb
£42.95
Better brand
Better Kagoo
Score
Lighter
All External Hard Drive Comparisons

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QHow is the capacity of hard drives measures?
AModern external hard drives are measured in gigabytes (Gb), which equates to approximately 1,000 megabytes (Mb). A single mp3 takes up about 3-4Mb, while a single picture takes 1-2Mb. Larger capacity drives are measured in terrbytes (Tb), where 1Tb = 1,000Gb.
QWhat security is available for external hard drives?
AMost hard drives lack any serious security options - however some have password protection to only allow authorised access. This can be a software password, or an actual physical keypad on the drive itself. Heavier degrees of security are available - including biometric fingerprint scanners, which will only unlock the data to someone with authorised fingerprints.
QHow are external hard drives powered?
AMost external hard drives are powered via USB, meaning they can be plugged directly into the computer and used from there. However some very large/powerful drives need too much power for USB alone, and will also require am external power supply to function properly.

External Hard Drive Buying Guide

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.
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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.

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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 disks range in price from £29 to £738 and in total we found prices for 367 external hard disks. The average price of a new external hard drive is £134 and 80% of external hard disk drives are priced between £44 and £299. The Toshiba Canvio Basics - 500Gb is the cheapest external hard drive at only £30, and Digittrade HS256 S3 - 1Tb is the most expensive at £738.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

The highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is Digittrade external hard disk with an average price of £433. Digittrade external hard disk start at £128 and their most expensive external hard drive costs £738.

The average price of DataLocker external hard disks is £396 which is the second highest average price of all external hard drive brands. DataLocker external hard disks range in price from £396 to £396.

The average price of ioSafe external hard disk drive is £359 which is the third highest average price of all external hard drive brands. ioSafe external hard disk drive range in price from £313 to £421.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 259 expert reviews and 1,629 user reviews for external harddisk and used this data to calculate the average rating for each brand of external hard drive. The top rated external hard drive brand is Western Digital with an average rating of 87%. The second best brand is Seagate with 76% and the third best brand is Buffalo with 75%.

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

The biggest external hard drive retailer by number of products currently for sale is Amazon UK. We found 99 current external hard drive offers from Amazon UK. The second biggest retailer is Ebuyer Business with 69 offers. That means Amazon UK is significantly bigger than Ebuyer Business when it comes to external hard disk. Ebuyer is the third biggest retailer with 47 current offers.

When Are Most New External Hard Drive Released?

June to July is the most common period for new external hard disk drives to be released in. The biggest month in 2018 for new external hard drive releases was June, with 59 new external hard drive released that month. July was the biggest month in 2017 for new external hard drives, with 36 new external hard drives released that month. 42 new external hard disks were released in October 2016 making it the biggest month that year for new external hard drive releases.

How Fast Do External Hard Drive Prices Drop After Release?

In the first 6 months after release, external hard drives drop in price by 1% on average.

A typical new external hard drive costs on average £134. By waiting 6 months before buying you could save on average £1.

Weights

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

Across the range of external hard disk drive, the weights range from 41g to 11.4kg. The weights of the majority of external harddisk range from 0g to 300g. The external hard drive with the heaviest weight is the ioSafe Solo G3 Fireproof External Hard Drive - 2TB, which is a 6.8kg external hard drive and can be purchased for £313.49. The Integral USB 3.0 Portable SSD External Hard Drive - 256GB, which is available at £108.99, has the lightest weight and is a 41g external hard drive.

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

USB Powered

Whether the hard drive is powered by USB or not.

Of the 855 new external harddisks currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are USB powered external hard disks. 684 external harddisks out of 855 are USB powered external hard disks.

Hard Drive Capacities

'Hard Drive Capacity' denotes how much data the hard drive can hold, measured in gigabytes (GB).

The hard drive capacities of external hard disks range from 1GB to 64TB. The hard drive capacities of the majority of external harddisk range from 0GB to 1.5TB. The Western Digital My Book Duo - 16Tb, which sells for £412.20, has the biggest hard drive capacity and is a 16TB external hard drive. The external hard drive with the smallest hard drive capacity is the Western Digital WD My Passport Wireless - 2TB, which is a 1GB external hard drive and is priced at £160.32.

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

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for External Hard Disk Drive?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying external hard disk. For each retailer it shows the total number of external hard disk where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying external harddisk. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was Amazon UK. 51 of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for external hard disk drives by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of external hard drive prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's external hard drive prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was Amazon UK. 51.5% of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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