External hard drives have been used for numerous uses which include the fact that they can be used to carry data from a point to another and they can be used for backups. Others will use them just for storage purposes and these are for example the storage of data files and the music files. About every computer user will have a form of the external hard drives for their personal uses. Some characteristics which make them much loved are the fact that they are portable and offer convenience in use, their usability and dependability, the fact that they are long lasting as well as the variety of shapes and sizes made available.

The most basic feature about the external hard drives is that they are very easy to use despite of the style and sizes available. Even the large drives will be used just like the pen drives which are plugged in and out of the computer through the USB port. Other features which can be mentioned are the storage capacities made available which can extend in range up to four terabytes. They will vary in sizes and shapes dependent on who are the manufacturers and the physical design features added to the drives. The features will also be different and these will also affect the pricing of the drives.

A look at the types of the external hard drives will unveil two broad categories which are thus broken down dependent on the size and the manner in which they are powered. The big external drives which can also be called the non portable external drives have the largest storage capacity which is in terabytes. These drives are often intended for use with a computer or a network and they are used continually like the internal hard drive of the computer. The drives are powered individually from an external source of power and not by the computer itself. therefore need to be connected in to the power supply via a power able and second they are connected to the computer through the USB cable or a Fire wire or the eSATA cable dependent on the options provided as features of the external hard drive. Compared to the portable drives, these big external drives are slow in operation owing to their very big storage capacity.

The second category of the external hard drives is the portable drives which are small in size as well as capacity. These drives will offer anything between eighty and eight hundred gigabytes of storage. These drives are dependent on the computer as their source of power to begin their operation. Connection to the computer can be achieved through a single USB cable or via two USB plugs. The operation speeds for these portable drives are excellent meaning that they are fast since they offer limited storage capacity.

A lot care should be taken when handling the external hard drives so that they can offer longevity in operation. Right from establishing a connection, the external drive should be plugged in and the drivers installed so that it is connected and used. Mostly the drives will come with their own driver software which should start installation upon connecting to the computer. Again care should be taken when removing the drive from the computer to make sure that it is done correctly to avoid the corrupting of data and other mishaps. The safe method of removing the hard drive is by following the recommended procedure to eject or remove the hard drive.

Other precautions include that the external drives should be kept away from water and any liquid which may spill on it and cause irreparable damage. As soon as the external drive is connected to the computer, an icon will appear on the right side of the taskbar at the bottom. You are required to follow the suggested procedure to remove it safely and properly. If it is just yanked out from the USB socket without ejecting it properly, it may end up corrupting or losing the stored data. The drive is ejected by right-clicking on the icon in the on the taskbar icon to remove the hard drive safely.

The functioning of an external drives gets more complicated by the day as computer manufacturers continue introducing drives with enhanced features and improved memory capacity. In conclusion, the life of the external hard drive depends on the way it is used and maintained.

Source by George Cherere