Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » E »

external hard drive

A hard drive that is outside of the computer case in its own enclosure. Most external hard drives support the IDE interface and are slightly bigger than a hard drive itself. When purchasing an external hard drive you can buy a full external hard drive system that consists of both the hard drive and the enclosure, or you can purchase just the enclosure to hold your own hard drive.

External hard drives may contain a fan for cooling and are popular because they are portable devices and can be stored securely under lock and key since they are not inside the computer case. An external hard drive is connected to the computer system with a single high-speed interface cable, usually with plug-and-play interfaces such as USB or FireWire.

Hard drive enclosures, also called hard drive cages are made to support up to a certain physical size of hard disk, so you need to check the manufacturer's specification when buying just the enclosure.

See hard disk drive.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »

Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits

The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »

13 Best Free Android Apps

From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
5 Best Cloud Storage Services

With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »

Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC

Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »