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Compare the Best External Hard DrivesOctober 2020

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87

What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique external hard drives rating which considers: 17,000 UK prices • 860 expert & user reviews • 990 product comparisons • 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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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
USB Powered
Weight
Hard Drive Capacity
Available Colours
Release Date
#1

90

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 4Tb

 
Big hard drive capacity  Very light  USB powered 
Big hard drive capacity
Very light
USB powered

£96.60

Info
210g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jul 2019
#2

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital D10 ‑ 8Tb

 
Big hard drive capacity  Fast hard drive speed  Password protection 
Big hard drive capacity
Fast hard drive speed
Password protection

£179.00

Info
980g
Info
8TB
Info
Info
Jul 2019
#3

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital P10 Game Drive ‑ 2Tb

 
Lighter than average USB powered  Password protection 
Lighter than average
USB powered
Password protection

£74.74

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Dec 2018
#4

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital P10 Game Drive ‑ 5Tb

 
Big hard drive capacity  Very light  USB powered 
Big hard drive capacity
Very light
USB powered

£124.85

Info
230g
Info
5TB
Info
Info
Jul 2019
#5

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Passport for Mac ‑ 2Tb

 

£74.99

Info
170g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jan 2018
#6

87

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 5Tb

 

£118.99

Info
210g
Info
5TB
Info
Info
Jul 2019
#7

87

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital P10 Game Drive ‑ 4Tb

 

£104.99

Info
330g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jul 2019
#8

86

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 2Tb

 

£77.51

Info
130g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Sep 2018
#9

86

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Book ‑ 4TB

 

£94.92

Info
1kg
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#10

86

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Book Duo ‑ 8Tb

 

£264.63

Info
2.2kg
Info
8TB
Info
Info
Sep 2017
#11

86

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 2TB

 

£65.06

Info
250g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jan 2018
#12

85

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital WDBBGB0060HBK‑EESN

792 Reviews

£202.22

Info
1.1kg
Info
6TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#13

85

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital Elements Portable ‑ 4Tb

 

£85.73

Info
230g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jun 2017
#14

85

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Book ‑ 8TB

 

£201.61

Info
960g
Info
8TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#15

85

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital Elements Portable ‑ 2Tb

 

£57.99

Info
230g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2017
#16

85

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport for Mac ‑ 4Tb

 

£105.00

Info
250g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jan 2018
#17

85

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital Elements Portable ‑ 1Tb

 

£40.83

Info
130g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Feb 2017
#18

85

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 4Tb

 

£103.84

Info
230g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
May 2017
#19

85

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital Western Digital Elements SE ‑ 5Tb

 

£195.54

Info
230g
Info
5TB
Info
Info
Apr 2019

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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 91%. Compare all award winning external hard drives.

Rank Brand Number of External Hard Drives Price Range Average Rating
#1
Western Digital External Hard Drives 107 £39 - £775
91%
792 reviews
#2
Buffalo External Hard Drives 33 £45 - £560
75%
14 reviews
#3
iStorage External Hard Drives 30 £118 - £759
72%
29 reviews
#4
A-DATA External Hard Drives 55 £40 - £176
56%
4 reviews
#5
Freecom External Hard Drives 25 £51 - £158
56%
7 reviews
#6
Silicon Power External Hard Drives 39 £49 - £226
46%
3 reviews
#7
Seagate External Hard Drives 79 £39 - £420
#8
LaCie External Hard Drives 69 £45 - £650
#9
Toshiba External Hard Drives 62 £30 - £323
#10
G-Technology External Hard Drives 41 £62 - £743
#11
Intenso External Hard Drives 26 £37 - £158
#12
BUSlink External Hard Drives 24
#13
Fantom Drives External Hard Drives 23 £88 - £383

Trending External Hard Drive Comparisons

Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
£47.34
£18 cheaper
65g lighter
VS
Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
£65.06
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by six
years
Better brand
Seagate
Expansion - 2Tb
£59.98
Better brand
VS
Toshiba
Canvio - 2Tb
£62.98
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
13% lighter
Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1TB
£39.98
£3 cheaper
Three years
newer
More popular
VS
Western Digital
My Passport Ultra - 500Gb
£43.44
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
A lot lighter
Western Digital
My Passport - 1Tb
£49.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Toshiba
Canvio Premium - 1Tb
£47.68
Four years
newer
6% lighter
Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 2Tb
£62.98
£31 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Toshiba
Canvio Advance - 3Tb
£93.65
Four years
newer
7% lighter
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
£47.34
Lighter
VS
Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1TB
£39.98
£7 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Seven years
newer
Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 1TB
£66.34
£5 cheaper
Better brand
10 months newer
VS
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
£71.53
Better Kagoo
Score
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
£71.53
Newer by three
years
Better Kagoo
Score
24g lighter
VS
LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
£65.49
£6 cheaper
Better brand
Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
£65.06
Three years
newer
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Silicon Power
Armor A65 - 2TB
£67.36
Lighter
Western Digital
My Passport - 4Tb
£96.60
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
More popular
VS
LaCie
Rugged - 2Tb
£97.18
42% lighter
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
£88.42
£103 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Maxtor
M3 - 4TB
£191.05
Two months
newer
5% lighter
Toshiba
Canvio Basics - 1TB
£39.98
£7 cheaper
Newer by 19
months
VS
A-DATA
HV620 - 1Tb
£47.00
Better brand
Better Kagoo
Score
34% lighter
Western Digital
My Passport Ultra - 1Tb
£52.00
£11 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Four years
newer
VS
Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 2Tb
£62.98
1% lighter
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
£88.42
£12 cheaper
74% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
Western Digital
Elements Desktop - 4Tb
£99.99
Better brand
Three months
newer
Transcend
StoreJet 25H3 - 4Tb
£123.09
£14 cheaper
Seven months
newer
Lighter
VS
A-DATA
HD710 Pro - 4Tb
£137.23
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
£47.34
A lot lighter
VS
A-DATA
HD710 Pro - 1Tb
£45.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by six
years
Better brand
Seagate
Expansion - 2Tb
£59.98
60g lighter
VS
Western Digital
Elements Portable - 2Tb
£57.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
Better brand
Western Digital
My Passport - 1Tb
£49.99
220g lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
A-DATA
HD710 Pro
£43.49
£7 cheaper
Newer by six
years
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 1Tb
£47.34
£31 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Lighter
VS
A-DATA
HD330 - 1Tb
£78.70
Seven years
newer
Better brand
Toshiba
Canvio Basics USB 3.0 - 3Tb
£98.99
7% lighter
VS
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
£88.42
£11 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
View All External Hard Drive Comparisons
You can create your own side by side comparisons by clicking "compare" in the main table above against the products you would like to compare. Then click the big "Compare" button at the bottom of the screen to compare your selected products.

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.

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

In total we found 416 external hard drives ranging from £29 to £862. A new external hard drive costs on average £163 and 80% of external hard disk are priced between £49 and £341. The cheapest external hard drive that we found is the Toshiba Canvio Basics - 500Gb at only £30, and the most expensive is the Apricorn Aegis Padlock DT - 10TB at £862.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

The average price of ioSafe external hard disks is £512 which is the highest average price of all external hard drive brands. ioSafe external hard disks range in price from £335 to £858.

The average price of Apricorn external hard disk is £378 which is the second highest average price of all external hard drive brands. Apricorn external hard disk range in price from £113 to £862.

The third highest average external hard drive price out of all brands is Glyph external hard disks with an average price of £356. Glyph external hard disks range in price from £136 to £567.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 13 expert reviews and 849 user reviews for external hard disk drives and used this information to evaluate the average rating for each brand of external hard drive. The top three external hard drive brands are Western Digital, Buffalo and iStorage. Western Digital has an average rating of 91%, Buffalo has an average rating of 75% and iStorage has an average rating of 72%.

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

We found 332 current offers for external hard drives from Quzo making it the biggest external hard drive retailer. That is more than twice as big as the second biggest retailer, SmartTeck for whom we found 159 current offers for external hard drives. The third biggest retailer is Ebuyer Business with 72 current external hard drive offers.

When Are Most New External Hard Disk Released?

June to July is the most common period for new external hard drives to be released in. The biggest month in 2019 for new external hard drive releases was July, with seven new external hard drives released that month. 59 new external hard drives were released in June 2018 making it the biggest month that year for new external hard drive releases. In 2017 most new external harddisks were released in April, with 28 new external harddisks released that month.

Weights

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

Across the range of external hard disks, the weights range from 41g to 11.4kg. The weights of most external hard drives range from 0g to 300g. The external hard drive with the heaviest weight is the ioSafe Solo G3 - 4Tb, which is a 6.8kg external hard drive and currently retails for £449.00. The Integral USB 3.0 Portable SSD External Hard Drive - 256GB, which sells for £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.

The vast majority of the 818 new external hard drives currently listed on Kagoo are USB powered external hard disks. 674 external hard drives (82%) 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).

Comparing all external hard drives, the hard drive capacities range from 1GB to 64TB. The hard drive capacities of most external hard drives range from 0GB to 1.5TB. The external hard drive with the biggest hard drive capacity is the Western Digital My Book Duo - 16Tb, which is a 16TB external hard drive and currently retails for £552.59. The Western Digital WD My Passport Wireless - 2TB, which can be purchased for £160.32, has the smallest hard drive capacity and is a 1GB external hard drive.

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

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for External Harddisk?

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 hard drive. 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 SmartTeck. 54 of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of External Hard Disk Drive 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 SmartTeck. 34% of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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