If you are currently storing your digital files on your computers hard drive or on CD's, you really should consider an external hard drive to store files. An external hard drive allows you to store your data in a compact, portable enclosure that connects to your computer through a USB cable, freeing up space on your computer needed for memory and other uses. There is usually no need to install software, you just buy it, plug it in, connect the USB cable, and most computers will see it as an additional hard drive to save files to.
If you are frightened at this point, don't be! Above are a few drives we found at different price levels. A 500 gigabyte external drive should be sufficient for most people. Drives this size are usually between $50 and $200. The difference in price is usually related to how durable, how portable, and how fast the drive is. If you plan to keep the drive connected to your computer at home, you can afford to spend a little less for a larger box. If you plan to take the drive with you to use it on other computers, it may be worth it to spend a little extra for something that is easy to carry and won't shatter if you drop it.
When shopping, as with most digital products these days, it is best to stay with brand names that are well known. LaCie, Seagate, Western Digital and Hitachi are good names.
Next you probably want to make sure the drive is compatible with both USB 2 and 3. USB 3 cables transfer faster but only newer computers have USB 3 connections. Most computers out there today still use USB 2. Also make sure the drive is compatible with your PC or Mac depending on what you have.
The above drives were found on Amazon.com.