Hard Drives - External

External hard disks are ideal for backup or portable file storage, and these drives come in a large range of categories: some use desktop-sized 3.5in hard disks, other use smaller 2.5in drives, and faster products use SSDs. Most drives use USB 3, Thunderbolt or eSATA connections, and these drives can come in different types of case – some are designed to be tiny, and others are ruggedized to stand up to dust, water and even fire.

External HDD 2.5" - 250GB - 4TB

These external drives use mobile 2.5in hard disks, which mean they're a lot more portable than desktop drives. They've got capacities that range from 250GB to 4TB, most use super-fast USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connections, and many include backup applications and cloud storage deals for added security.

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External HDD 3.5" - 2TB - 8TB

These larger drives use desktop-style 3.5in hard disks, which means they're better suited to sitting on a desk than being carried around in a bag, but their larger profile does mean big capacities: some of these products serve up a whopping 4TB of space. Their 7,200rpm spindle speeds mean file transfer are quicker than 2.5in drives, too.

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External HDD WiFi - USB 3.0

These high-end external hard disks have Wi-Fi connections, so they can be used to transfer and access files without a wired connection is being used at all - perfect if you're on the road or elsewhere in the house. They've got added versatility thanks to rapid USB 3.0 wired connections, and some come without hard disks if you'd like to save money by using existing drives.

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Direct Attached Storage / Enclosures

Direct Attached Storage or DAS is an external storage device that is connected directly to a server or workstation without a network device in between (ie there is no hub, switch or router required) using USB, Firewire or eSATA for example. This direct connection ensures fast access to data. A DAS will work as though the hard drives are internally connected, meaning drives can be partitioned, formatted and set up like any other internal hard drive or raid array. These DAS devices are available for standalone desk or rack mounting.
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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: Firewire DAS & NAS RAID

Enclosure (3.5"-5.25") - SATA - USB 3.0

Combining Super Speed USB 3.0 with a SATA hard drive interface results in an external hard drive with high data transfer rates. A 3.5" internal SATA hard drive fits into these enclosures. Power to these enclosures are either via the USB 3.0 connection or a separate power lead, check specifications of the individual product to confirm.
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NAS - 3 to 4 HDD Bays (Ex HDD)

These medium-size NAS units hold three or four HDDs. Entry-level units are great for home users and prosumers with lots of HD media and other data that needs centralising, while more advanced units come with faster processors and more advanced security and RAID features for business and surveillance users. These units are not sold with hard disks so you'll need to add your own – it's best to get matching models and capacities, especially if you plan on using RAID.

If need more info to help you choose the right NAS, or you can't see the exact specification you'd like custom built NAS please click here.

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NAS - 5+ HDD Bays (Ex HDD)

These NAS units are the largest around, offering five HDD bays at a minimum and ten or more in many cases. They are typically geared towards advanced users who need plenty of storage space, and many are supplied in rackmount cases for use in industry and large-scale businesses. These units are not sold with hard disks so you'll need to add your own – it's best to get matching models and capacities, especially if you plan on using RAID.

If need more info to help you choose the right NAS, or you can't see the exact specification you'd like custom built NAS please click here.

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