What Is an External Hard Drive Used For?

By Jennifer Patterson

An external hard drive is a computer hard drive that is attached to the computer externally. External hard drives is mainly used to store important data, but it may have other other uses. The portability of the external drive allows it to be transported from one computer to the other. An external hard drive is connected to a computer, using a USB cable or FireWire.

Extra Storage

A computer internal hard drive storage space can become used up after using it for some time. The external hard drive can add additional storage space without much hassle.

Backs Up Important Information

The external hard drive is also used to back up important files or family photos stored on the computer's internal hard drive. Backing up information can save you from losing them, in the event of a computer failure.


One benefit of an external hard drive is how easily it is to be transported from one location to the other. For example, information can be transported via the external hard drive from your place of business to your home office.

Added Security

Each time the average person is logged on to the Internet, there is a chance of getting a virus or malware on the computer. The external hard drive provides added security to important files.


The external hard drive can be used to maintain privacy. Sometimes when computers are shared, sensitive information can easily be compromised. The external hard drive helps to reduce the possibility.