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External Hard Drives

An external hard drive is a convenient way to add additional storage space to almost any computer. Drives are simple to connect and use, making them an ideal choice for backing up critical data, transferring files between systems or storing important information in a secure location. Staples carries a variety of external hard drives, including brands such as Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba.

External Hard Drives Combine Convenience and Portability
Most of these storage devices are simple to use and compact enough to carry in a backpack or briefcase. The USB 3.0 connection used by most drives combines fast transfer speeds and plug-and-play compatibility with most desktop and laptop computers. Some drives have built-in wireless connections, so you can share data or media files with portable devices such as tablets or cell phones. Select products offer additional connection options such as eSATA or Thunderbolt that handle unique storage needs.

Once your external drive is connected, it's simple to transfer files using your computer's built-in file management tools. Many of these products include software that automates system backups. Devices with AES encryption store data securely, ensuring sensitive personal or business information remains safe if the drive is lost or stolen. RAID1-enabled models duplicate all stored data across two or more physical drives, keeping data safe in the event of a disk failure.

An External Hard Drive Offers Expansive Storage Space
These products come in a broad range of sizes, from 500GB to 16TB or more, so it's easy to find the best external hard drive to handle the needs of a casual home user or a small business. You can store thousands of pages of business documents or digital photos, an entire music library or hundreds of hours of DVD-quality video on one of these devices.

Do External Hard Drives Work With Windows and Apple Computers?
Almost all external drives work with any desktop or laptop and support both Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X. Many also work with Linux and other operating systems. To ensure compatibility, make sure your computer has the same type of connector as the drive you choose. Some drives are pre-formatted for either Windows or OS X. You may need to reformat the drive, which deletes all stored data, to use it with a different operating system.

How Much External Hard Drive Space Do you Need?
When choosing a storage device, consider how you'll use it and how much data your computer currently holds. A small 1 to 2TB drive is an excellent choice for home users with just a few personal and media files. Audiophiles or photographers may prefer a larger 3 to 4TB drive to handle an extensive digital music or photo collection. Business users may need even more space. The biggest drives, 8TB or more, hold large databases, store data from several users or house multiple copies of critical backup files.

How Fast Are External Hard Drives?
Most of these products use the same disk hardware as internal drives, and USB 3.0 data transfer speeds are comparable to the SATA connections used inside your computer system. Thunderbolt connections are somewhat faster, but not all computers support this option. Some drives offer high-performance RAID0 mode, which splits stored data across two or more physical devices, increasing data access speeds.
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Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable Hard Drives with Mobile Device Backup
Item : SS2295357
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  • Metal design delivers the thinnest 2TB portable drive - Up to 42% thinner
  • Easily back up your computer and content from mobile devices with free Mobile Backup App
  • Automatic Backup software
As low as $89.99
Options available
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drives with Mobile Device Backup, Assorted Colors
Item : SS2295356
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  • Metal design delivers the thinnest 1TB portable drive - Up to 42% thinner
  • Easily back up your computer and content from mobile devices with free Mobile Backup App
  • Automatic Backup software
As low as $59.99
Options available
WD My Passport Ultra 1TB
Item : SS4129541
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  • Secure portable storage with up to 1TB capacity
  • Optional 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Automatic local and cloud backup
As low as $79.99
Options available
WD My Passport Ultra 2TB
Item : SS4129545
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  • Optional 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Secure portable storage with up to 2TB capacity
  • Stylish design with a range of exciting colors
As low as $129.99
Options available
LaCie Rugged Mini 1 TB
Item : 2030326 / Model : LAC301558
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  • 1 TB storage capacity with 5400 rotational speed (rpm)
  • Shock, rain and pressure resistant
  • Password protection built in
$99.99
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WD Elements™ USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drives
Item : SS2083719
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  • Available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities
  • USB 3.0
  • PC & MAC Compatible (Can be reformatted for Mac® OS X®)
As low as $62.99
Multiple options available
Seagate Backup Plus 5TB Desktop USB 3.0 External Hard Drive with Mobile Device Backup (STDT5000100)
Item : 1432810 / Model : STDT5000100
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  • 5 TB capacity to protect all your files and valuable data
  • Easily back up your computer and content from mobile devices with free Mobile Backup App
  • Transfers large files quickly with USB 3.0 connectivity
$149.99
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Seagate Backup Plus Portable Hard Drive 4TB, Assorted Colors
Item : SS4673069
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  • 4TB for generous storage
  • Free Mobile Backup App quickly backs up your computer and content from mobile devices
  • Automatic Backup software ensures data is saved effortlessly
As low as $129.99
Options available
WD My Book Desktop USB 3.0 External Hard Drives
Item : SS2176665
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  • Available in 2Tb, 3TB, and 4TB cpacities
  • Dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility
  • Up to 3x faster transfer rates with USB 3.0
As low as $109.99
Multiple options available
Seagate Expansion Portable External Hard Drive
Item : SS3910164
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  • Please select item from drop down menu on the right to view product details
  • Simple to use--just plug it in
  • Portable drive for use anywhere
As low as $58.99
Multiple options available
WD My Passport for MAC
Item : SS4129550
Add to Favorites
  • Secure portable storage
  • Optional 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Automatic local and cloud backup
As low as $79.99
Multiple options available
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim Portable Hard Drive 2TB, Platinum
Item : SS4673065
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  • The thinnest portable hard drive with a uniquely tough and textured metal design
  • Complements all your other mobile devices-available in contemporary color
  • Take advantage of Seagate's reliable, cutting-edge 2.5-inch, 7mm HDD technology
As low as $99.99
Multiple options available
WD My Passport Ultra 3TB Portable External Hard Drive, Black (WDBBKD0030BBK)
Item : 1680237 / Model : WDBBKD0030BBK
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  • Secure portable storage with up to 3TB capacity
  • Optional 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Automatic local and cloud backup
$129.99 $179.99
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Price: $179.99
Instant Savings: -$50.00
$129.99*
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Seagate Expansion Desktop External Hard Drive
Item : SS3910158
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  • Please select item to view product details
  • Ready to use out of the box
  • Expansion desktop drive transfers data quickly with USB 3.0
As low as $99.99
Multiple options available
Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive (HDTB320XK3CA)
Item : 1337686 / Model : HDTB320XK3CA
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  • 2 TB storage capacity for the largest files
  • USB 3.0-powered, with compatibility for USB 2.0
  • Easy to use, no software installation necessary
$79.99 $109.99
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Was: $109.99
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$79.99*
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My Passport Ultra 3TB Blue
Item : 1977543 / Model : WDBBKD0030BBL
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  • Secure portable storage with up to 3 TB capacity
  • Optional 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Automatic local and cloud backup
$129.99 $179.99
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Price: $179.99
Instant Savings: -$50.00
$129.99*
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*Price after savings
Seagate Backup Plus Desktop USB 3.0 External Hard Drive with Mobile Device Backup
Item : SS2295358
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  • Please select item from menu on the right to view product details
  • External hard drive for portable storage
  • Social media connectivity
As low as $99.99
Multiple options available
Seagate Backup Plus 1TB Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive with Mobile Device Backup, Silver (for Mac)
Item : 238869 / Model : STDS1000100
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  • 1TB Mac-compatible slim external hard drive for portable storage
  • 42 percent thinner than other portable drives
  • Wirelessly back up mobile devices with Mobile Backup App
$69.99
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Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Hard Drive 8TB, Black
Item : 2095134 / Model : STDT8000100
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  • 8 TB capacity to protect all your files and valuable data
  • Easily back up your computer and content from mobile devices with free Mobile Backup App
  • Transfers large files quickly with USB 3.0 connectivity
$249.99
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Seagate Expansion Portable Hard Drive 3TB, Black
Item : 2095131 / Model : STEA3000400
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  • Simple to use--just plug it in
  • Portable drive for use anywhere
  • Transfer files quickly with USB 3.0
$110.59 $129.99
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Was: $129.99
Save: -$19.40
$110.59*
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Seagate Expansion Portable Hard Drive 4TB, Black
Item : 2095130 / Model : STEA4000400
Add to Favorites
  • Simple to use--just plug it in
  • Portable drive for use anywhere
  • Transfer files quickly with USB 3.0
$119.99 $139.99
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Price: $139.99
Instant Savings: -$20.00
$119.99*
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*Price after savings
Seagate STDC500100 Wireless Hard Drive, 500GB
Item : 1590221 / Model : STDC500100
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  • Large wireless storage for smartphones, tablets, and computers
  • Stream content anywhere you go
  • Access media without an Internet connection
$89.99 $99.99
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Price: $99.99
Instant Savings: -$10.00
$89.99*
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WD Passport Ultra - Metal Edition (Blue-Black)
Item : SS3372678
Add to Favorites
  • Sleek, stylish aluminum design
  • Automatic, local and cloud backup
  • Password protection and 256-bit hardware encryption
As low as $89.99
Multiple options available
WD My Passport Ultra 500GB Portable External Hard Drive, Black (WDBWWM5000ABK)
Item : 1666709 / Model : WDBWWM5000ABK
Add to Favorites
  • Secure portable storage with up to 500GB capacity
  • Optional 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Automatic local and cloud backup
$59.99
Each