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.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »20 Ways to Shorten a URL
If you need to shorten a long URL try this list of 20 free online redirection services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »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 »