Best external desktop devices

Updated April 11, 2014 12:34 PM PDT

An external hard drive has three main purposes: to expand your computer's storage capacity, to back up your data, and to share data between computers. It's also easy to use. Most of the time, you just need to plug it into the computer and use it as an internal hard drive. Desktop external hard drives are based on the 3.5-inch internal hard drives, and laptop (or portable) external hard drives are based on the 2.5-inch internal hard drives. Here's a current list of the top external drives.

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SoloPro G3

The ioSafe Solo G3 makes an excellent backup solution for those who need to make sure their important data survives even the worst disasters.

4 stars Excellent

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt (10TB)

Though it lacks RAID 5, the speedy 5big Thunderbolt is still worth the hefty investment, and is a better buy than competing devices.

Price: $999.00 - $1,504.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Promise Pegasus J4 (2TB)

The Pegasus J4 is currently the only good choice on the market if you're looking for a compact four-bay Thunderbolt storage device.

Price: $419.72 - $1,285.83 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good
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