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.
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 »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 »Cloud Computing Market Leaders, 2015
If not for AWS, Microsoft would dominate the cloud. The race to capture market share will grow ever more fierce in the years ahead. Here's a look... Read More »
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 »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »