Pros & Cons of External Hard Drives You Should Know

Rating: 4.67 based on 3 Ratings
  By Michael Moodie
Pros & Cons of External Hard Drives You Should Know

In everything, there are always drawbacks and advantages. Sometimes these advantages outweigh the drawbacks and sometimes its the other way around. We’ve been talking about hard drives in different aspects for a bit and not yet discuss what are some of the pros and cons to actually having an external hard drive or hard drives. In this article, we will be exploring some of these pros and cons to determine if hard drives are the way to go or is cloud storage about to take over the age of saving images and videos.


1. Cost Effective

Most if not all external hard drives are priced at a reasonable amount for the gigabytes or terabytes you’re getting. If you take into consideration all the time and money that was spent into the production of not only CD’s and DVD’s then you can appreciate what hard drives have done. You can get at least a 4TB external hard drive for just about $140 USD or less depending on the brand today. That hard drives will probably last you a lot longer than any other storage device you’ve used if taken care of.

2. Portability

Of course, we have to take into account how easy it is to walk around with an external hard drive. Some of these hard drives can easily fit in the palm of your hand which makes it that much easier to store away in your backpack or purse if you need to. The portability enables you to walk around with data that is probably 3-4 times the capacity of your average laptop.

3. Easily Replaced

I doubt a photographer or videographer would ever want to face the harsh reality of having to replace an external hard drive but its definitely not the end of the world. It is always important to have a back up for your back just in case anything happens to your hard drive as these things are sometimes fragile. Nonetheless, the loss of data can truly be a headache. If your external hard drive has gone bad it’s not so difficult to get a new one as opposed to something like a laptop or camera. I will still put a little dent in your pocket but on the bright side, you have a brand new hard drive.

4. Transfer Speed

If you’ve ever tried transferring over 2GB of data over the internet or to just a regular USB drive then you know its something that can take hours or minutes depending on the drive itself or the efficiency of the computer. With most external hard drives, speed is something that is promised when it comes to transferring a mass amount of data. At average you are more than likely getting a transfer of 150 megabytes per second when writing data to your external hard drive. This is amazing compared to the other primitive methods of storage that were being used before.

5. Data Protection

Most of the manufacturers of external hard drives have made it a habit of implementing precautionary measures to save the data of their customers. These external hard drives now come with instructions and software that allows you to be able to recover your data given that anything unfortunate happens to the hard drives itself. I personally have never had to use this precaution and I hope I don’t have to anytime soon but this is an added bonus when it comes to using external hard drives.


1. Overheating

Under heavy use or in the summer you may experience your hard drive overheating. Most external hard drives are manufactured in a way that facilitates cooling fans. However, in situations of extreme heat, these cooling fans might not be enough as your hard drive may heat to about 45-50 degrees Celsius while in use.

2. Fragile

Most if not all external hard drives need to be handled with care and could be considered very fragile. This is a major con when it comes to external hard drives because if you do not have a casing to protect it from bumps and shakes then you can unintentionally destroy your hard drive. Of course, manufacturers are still trying to eliminate this issue, however it still a precaution that has to be taken.

3. Theft

External hard drives are not the hardest thing to get your hands on but they hold so much important things on them. From personal experiences, I can say that it is easy for someone of bad character to copy your documents or steal your drive without you even noticing. An external hard drive is very easy to conceal and unless the right precautions are made on the drive, your information, images or videos are readily accessible to anyone.

In conclusion, I think there are more pros than cons to having an external hard drive and if cared and used properly, you will be satisfied. This tool has made a huge impact in the world of photography and videography and will continue to do so unless cloud storage makes a move to take over but who knows? Its been a pleasure sharing these pros and cons with you and until next time, I appreciate you stopping by.

Rating: 4.67 based on 3 Ratings
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Michael Moodie is a Freelance Photographer and Photojournalist. He Enjoys Lifestyle Photography and Traveling while doing all things creative!

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Comments (1)

  1. Neil Robertson Verified buyer

    I use external hard drives for backup purposes and I found that they don’t work that well – they have a tendency to stop rotating or shut down. I now use internal hard drives in external hard drive cases for that reason. I have one backup drive attached to my desktop at all times and a second backup drive off-site. I did find that regular external hard drives were excellent for copying stuff between computers though.