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Internal or External Hard Drives for Your Mac?

written by: •edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 9/12/2009

As any computer user will know there is a fairly new wave computer accessory known as an external hard drive. The name pretty much explains it; the idea is that the user can have a very large hard drive that is removable in order to expand the amount of space available to save things.

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    External or Internal Drive?

    As any computer user will know there is this new wave of computer accessory known as an external hard drive. The name pretty much explains it; the idea is that the user can have a very large hard drive that is removable in order to expand the amount of space he/she has to save things. I currently have a 1TB external hard drive that I use every day. But what many people wonder is if it is better to get an external hard drive or just a larger internal?

    In my opinion the best choice is an external hard drive. To me the greatest advantage that this product had to offer was the portability. With the ability to go anywhere, anytime, external drives introduce a whole other kind of production capability. Now I can take my work anywhere with me no matter the size of the project.

    Another great reason that an external drive is worth the money is the ability to put whatever you want on it and save the space on your internal hard drive. For example, I put all of my music, movies, and non-active folders on my external drive. This keeps my internal drive nice and clean. I feel that this makes a difference in performance of your computer. Now my drive is completely opened up to things that I know that I am going to working on actively. Also, with having all of my music and movies on one external drive I can take it anywhere and connect it to another Mac, granting instant access to media files for whatever reason.

    As far as what brand to buy, that is up to the user. Each person has his or her own preferences. For instance certain drives can offer different features. For those users that prefer to keep their documents private and password protected, a drive that requires a driver may offer more security features then the plug and play versions. I personally like the plug and play ability with external drives. I have a 1TB Western Digital external hard drive. I would recommend it to anyone, especially individuals that aren’t exactly computer savvy. All you have to do is simply take it out of the box and plug it into your computer. Your computer will immediately recognize it and it will then be ready for use.

    External drives can be used for a number of different things. One of the most critical reasons they are used is to backup your computer. A backup is a lot like making a copy of everything on your computer. This is so if your computer gets a virus or for some reason needs to have a clean install performed, your files are always there. If this is going to be your preferred method of security, make sure you perform these backups at least once a month. Once a week is definitely a better habit to get into. I personally like the external drive for its drag and drop capabilities. Just like a flash drive, you can use your external drive to store files. These files, as explained earlier, can be music, video, or ordinary document files. I love this feature simply because I do not want all of that stuff clogging up my computer. It gives me a good feeling to know that my computer itself is clean and organized, but all the while I know that if I want access to 10GB of music and video I can simply plug in my drive.

    Once again, the decision between external and internal drives really comes down to the specific user. I know a ton of individuals that would much rather prefer an internal drive because of the permanent security they get. However, I prefer the non-permanent capability that an external drive provides. So if you are in the market for another hard drive, make sure you purchase exactly what you want. With drives being so large it is likely that whatever you purchase you are going to have for a very long time.

Tips for Young Mac Users

As you enter college you are probably just starting to use your brand new Mac. You may be new to the Mac world or a veteran user. Regardless of your status this series will only be beneficial for you and your Mac.
  1. How To Save Yourself and Your Mac Some Heartache
  2. Why Buying a Mac for College Just Makes Sense
  3. Internal or External Hard Drives for Your Mac?