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An external hard drive is a computer solid state drive that is connected to the exterior of the computer unlike other computer drives that are installed inside the computer. The external hard drives have cables that are connected to the computer to power the drive, however, there are other drives that uses an AC wall connection that enables the drive to power itself. External hard drives are similar to their counterparts internal drives, the difference is the external drive has a protected case around it.
All drives are designed to have a certain storage capacity, therefore all external hard drives have different storage capacities. The drives connects to the computer externally through USB cables, wireless or by Fire Wire. The external hard drives are also referred to as portable hard drives since they can be carried and transported easily. Flash drive are the most common external hard drive for most computer users.
Functions of external hard drives
1. Storage of files
These drives are portable and they are very easy to use. The drives come in different storage capacities, therefore the drives can be used to store large number of files. The drives substitute the internal drive to easy the load of storage of files internally that might slow down the functionality of your computer.
2. Sharing of files
The portable nature of the external drives gives the drive the advantage that they can be moved easily, therefore making it convenient to share large file with other computer users. Large files can consume a lot of time to share through the network but with the external hard drives it is easy.
3. Storage of backed up files
The external hard drives have large storage capacities, therefore the drives are used to store large files as back up to other files that are stored internally. Backing up files is for the safekeeping of the files to keep them separate from the original files in case the files are lost or accidentally deleted and it is a common practice called backup program.
4. Free space from the computer internal drives
The internal hard drives can hold files to a limited capacity that when the drive is full the computer malfunctions. The external hard drive relieve internal drive of too much file to free up space to ensure that the computer does not perform sluggishly. The external drives allows the user to copy some of the files and free up the storage capacity of the internal drive for better performance.
In conclusion, using external hard drives is easy and once plugged into the computer it takes a few seconds for the contents of the drive to appear on the screen. External hard drives work best to free space of the computers primary drive to allow the computer performs best.