What Are The Best External Hard Drives To Use With Your Trading Computer

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What Are The Best External Hard Drives To Use With Your Trading Computer

A smart day trader builds the best computer possible, and that includes adding an external hard drive to back up sensitive data on your trading computer to protect you in the event of a hard drive failure.

Hard disk drives make up the majority of hard drives. They’re cheap, and you have plenty of options. The leaders in external hard drives tend to be the same companies that make drives for your multi-monitor day trading computer — Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba. Most companies make portable drives that are smaller and don’t require a separate power source. However, you’ll also find desktop external HHDs, which include bases and a separate power cable to keep them on all the time. Look for the HDD with the fastest spin speed in RPMs and the larger on-board cache (in megabytes) for fast data transfer.

Solid state drives, or SSDs, have no moving parts and are less susceptible to physical damage than a traditional HDD, and they’re quieter to boot so you can focus on trading stocks! SSDs are pricier than their HDD counterparts, but day traders need speed over capacity, and SSDs are faster so you can keep up with the lightning pace of day trading. Operating systems load more quickly and you’ll transfer data between your hard drive and computer more quickly when you switch to SSD. Verbatim, LaCie and Transcend are among the manufacturers that create external SSDs. One thing to keep in mind is that these hard drive do not need defragmenting, and this can actually shorten the life of the drive.

A hard drive should be able to transmit data to and from your multi-monitor trading computer quickly. Because of this, you’ll want to consider connection type. You might find an affordable, high-capacity hard drive but if it only used USB 2.0 and your trading PC has USB 3.0, look for a hard drive that uses that same interface. The difference between the standards is staggering. USB 3.0 can transfer 5 gigabytes per second while USB 2.0 can transfer fewer than 500 megabytes per second. When you’re talking about a lot of data or large file types, the difference is clear.

In fact, there are ports even faster than USB 3.0. One option is Thunderbolt, Apple’s name for the newest edition of mini DisplayPort technology by Intel. If you own an Apple product, you’ll benefit by looking for a hard drive that uses this interface. Thunderbolt has a theoretical top-out speed of 10 gigabytes per second. This makes it twice as fast as USB 3.0.

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