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External hard drives 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 also come in different types of case – some are designed to be tiny, and others are ruggedised to stand up to dust, water and even fire.
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.
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.
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.
On-set or in the studio our range of ruggedized professional storage systems connect directly to your Windows PC or Mac. HDD or SSD in RAID offer increased read/write speeds and reliability making it the ideal choice for multi-channel HD and 4K workflow. Updated