Definition of an external hard drive and its types

The hard drive is one of the hardware components (hardware) supporting computers or laptops that provide space for storing data or the output of data processing carried out by computers and humans. Hard drives are usually box-shaped and inside there is a disk where data is stored, hard drives are patent data stores even if your computer or laptop is turned off, the data on the hard drive will still be there, unless you delete it manually or the hard drive is exposed to a virus.

So External Hard Drive is a portable storage medium with a large capacity, so it can be used anytime by plugging a USB cable into a laptop or PC.

In principle, a Hard Drive Storage that is outside the computer and has its own enclosure is referred to as External Hard Drive. Most External Hard Drives support IDE and USB interfaces with various capacity sizes. When buying an External Hard Drive, you can either buy a complete external HD device (HD+ case) or buy the cover only (enclosure) then insert the HD you already have into it.

The Beginning of an External Hard Drive

A few years ago, external hard drives were quite luxurious because they were quite expensive. To get around this, most people use an enclosure that can turn an internal hard drive into an external one. It’s just that, this enclosure is quite large and uses a lot of power, so you need a power plug to turn on the hard drive.

Currently, External Hard Drives have a fairly affordable price with a capacity of up to 2 TB (tera) (2000 GB). The shape is also quite compact so it is easy to carry around. Almost all manufacturers that specialize in storage media make external hard drives as a complement.

External hard drives have also experienced developments in use, from all of which are only on PCs, which are now also used for smartTVs to digital media players.

The increase in computer users and internet speed makes the use of external hard drives widespread, mostly as a means of entertainment to store high-quality movies that take up a lot of disk space. Some people prefer to save entertainment files to an external hard drive rather than an internal hard drive because of the mobility factor.

Types of External Hard Drives

1. v ATA / EIDE Disk

Hard disk with EIDE type (Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics) or ATA type (Advanced Technology Attachments) is the latest version standard of a disk interface suitable for connection to the bus, Many disk manufacturers have a range of disks with an EIDE / ATA interface, such disks can be connected directly to the PCI bus, which is used in many PCs (personal computer). A significant advantage of EIDE/ATA drives is that they are quite inexpensive, due to their use in the PC market. One of the main drawbacks is that a separate controller is required for each drive if two drives are used together to improve performance. One well-known chip manufacturer has included a controller that allows EIDE/ATA disks to be connected directly to the motherboard.

2. v SCSI disks

Many disks have an interface designed for connection to a standard SCSI bus. These disks tend to be more expensive, but have better performance, which is possible because of the advantages of the SCSI bus over the PCI bus. Simultaneous access is possible to multiple disk drives because the drive interface is actively connected to the SCSI bus only when the drive is ready for data transfer. This is especially useful in applications where there are a large number of requests for small files, which is often the case on computers used as file servers.

3. RAID disks

It promises outstanding performance and provides large, reliable storage. These disks are used either in high-performance computers or in systems that require higher-than-normal levels of reliability. However, as the price drops to more affordable levels, these discs are becoming more attractive even for average-sized computer systems.

4. SATA Disk

Hard disk with the type of SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment), namely the ATA disk interface (Advanced Technology Attachment) with the Serial version using a thin cable that has a total of small cables about two-thirds of the total hard drive cable with the type of EIDE or ATA disk totaling 39 pins and SATA has very high data transmission speed and reduces latency. So that the serial bus is able to exceed the speed of the parallel bus.


In transferring data sequentially or serially via the cable and also technically SATA composes its own disk that is connected to the motherboard without any master or slave system, so the SATA cable can only be used on one hard disk. The types of hard disks that have been discussed, all fall into the category of internal hard disks, meaning those installed in the CPU. In addition to the internal hard disk there is also an external hard disk (hard disk that is outside the CPU), so it can be moved. The external hard disk has a rotational speed of 7200 rpm, installation is very easy, no need to disassemble the PC and just by connecting the USB port to the PC, and can transfer data at 480 Mbps.

Difference Between External Hard Drive and Flashdisk

Both of these storage media experienced drastic development in terms of design, technology and capacity. However, the capacity of a smaller flash drive still cannot match an external hard drive. In terms of price too, Flashdisk will be more expensive than External Hard Drive for the same capacity size.

That is the definition of an external hard drive, its types and the difference between it and a flash drive. May be useful!