External hard drive disks offer a solution to transporting large amounts of data. They also provide a quick way to back up files and other information to ensure that you don't lose all of your work if something should happen to your PC. However, external HDDs are not foolproof and do get damaged -- with the risk of losing a lot of valuable information. If your external hard disk gets corrupted, you lose way more data than you would have if it was spread over several DVDs.
One of the main perks of the external HDDs can also be a great disadvantage. The portability of the hard drive allows it to transport data from one location to the other, but because of its relatively small size it can easily get misplaced. As external HDDs are so useful and people are always looking for more computer storage options, they have a good resale value -- which also makes them attractive to thieves and thus susceptible to being stolen.
Transporting a hard drive a lot makes it more prone to physical damage. External hard drives are small enough to carry around easily, but this means that they are often dropped, bumped or handled roughly. Although external casings tend to be durable, many external hard drives have moving parts that can be damaged due to bumps and mishandling. Newer, solid state drives are sturdier but much more expensive. If you use and transport your external HDDs a lot, they are more likely to suffer physical damage than the internal hard drives of your desktop PC.
Compared to internal hard drives, external hard drives are often relatively expensive because they require an extra casing, cabling and own fan to work correctly. All of these extra hardware add to the price of the drive. However, compared to smaller memory devices such as USB sticks, memory cards and DVDs you often pay less per gigabyte with an external hard drive, making them an attractive backup data storage option.
External hard drives come with extra cables to connect them to the PC and to a power source. These cables can get in the way and increase the risk of knocking the hard drive over or knocking it from the desk, which can damage the drive. It also means that the drive is not automatically available when you switch on your PC and has to be connected and detected by your PC first, which can be troublesome if you quickly want to access a file.
Some external hard drives don't come with a fan, making them more susceptible to overheating as the drive is crammed into a small space. They also don't tolerate being left on overnight very well and might overheat as a result. Always switch your external hard drive off when not in use. When traveling remote areas, be sure to protect your hard drive from direct sunlight and dust as both factors can damage the drive and cause it to overheat.