Wikipedia defines an External Hard Drive as “a type of hard disk drive which is externally connected to a computer, and may be portable.”
To me an External Hard Drive (EHD) is so much more than that. Actually, I compare it to having a defibrillator in my office, especially when your work computer crashes. (Ask Mrs. Ayala) My heart would stop if I would get a BSOD and I had no current back up of my data.
Although your data on your work computer is somewhat safe on company servers, you can never be 100% sure. I have to admit, an External Hard Drive is not fool-proof either, but is more reliable. It gives you some peace of mind. I have several EHD’s at home and one at work. They haven’t failed me yet. I’ll discuss the advantage of having some of your most important data on an online storage service later. Seems like some of our data is worth so much more than $$.
There are so many brands of EHD’s out there in various sizes. A 250GB EHD would provide plenty of storage space for the average user. ($89 Office Max) You can pay a little extra and get a portable one. (Doesn’t require power outlet) It’s a basicaly a Flash/Thumb Drive but with more capacity. By the way, you should have one of those too! If you like the portability of a Flash Drive, you’ll love the added capacity of an EHD.
I recommend that you have one attached to your computer and store all your vital data. This can include documents, presentations, videos and music. Whenever you need to take it home, just detach it and work from home. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.
UPDATE: Lacie, Western Digital, Seagate and Maxtor are all great/dependable brands! Usually on sale for $89-$99 at your local Best Buy, Circuit City and Office Max. Check out the weekly ads and you might get a lower price or pay a little more for double the storage.