How does an external  drive work ?

When you connect an external hard drive or external CD-RW drive to a computer , you may need load some software drivers come together with the  drive at first time (only required one time installation ) , after software installation, the computer will assign a drive letter to the drive, for example, "E" drive, then,  this external   drive  will function exactly same as an internal  drive. For example, if this is an external hard drive, you can copy files from your  any other drives, for example, "C" drive to this "E" drive; you can install program to this "E" drive; you can run program from this "E" drive ; If this is an external CD-RW drive, then you can read and write to CD disk in the drive, and so on

Why considering an external drive ?

  • Adds disk capacity to your desktop or laptop computer without removing your original drive.
  • For those laptops and desktop computers that cannot be upgraded internally, an external drive provides an excellent source of additional storage space.
  • Data Security:  backup your computers internal hard drive to the external hard drive. Put the external hard drive in a secured place. If you lost your computer, you still have the most valuable part of the computer: your data. and also  you can restore much faster from an external hard drive than a tape.
  • Being portable. If you know your destination will have a computer available with same connection ports, instead of carrying a complete laptop, just carry the drive with all your applications. Connect it to a computer at your destination and start working. Less weight to carry.

Which type external drive to choose ?

Following table compares the data transfer rate for different connections.

Comparisons for some popular external ports:
   Raw bandwidth (Mbit/s)   Transfer speed (MB/s)   Power provided   Devices per Channel  
USB 2.0 480 60 V, 2.5 W 127
SATA 150 1500 187.5 No 1 per line
eSATA 3000 375 No 1 (15 with port multiplier)
SATA 300 3000 375 No 1 per line
FireWire 400 393 49.13 12–25 V, 15 W 63
FireWire 800 786 98.25 12–25 V, 15 W 63
Ultra-320 SCSI 2560 320 No 16
SAS 3000 375 No 4

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