Portable and external hard drives are similar, but there are some differences. An external hard drive is basically a computer hard drive in an external case, which allows it to be moved from place to place. It usually requires a separate power supply to operate, and connects to your main computer or laptop through a USB cable. A portable hard drive is usually much smaller, because it is built with technology similar to your laptop hard drive. It uses the USB connection for power, so there is no separate power supply. Because they are more durable and meant to be transported, they are less susceptible to crashes than the external ones. However, you will pay more per Gigabyte for your storage. There are many brands available. The most popular portables are those from Western Digital, Seagate, and Lacie, while the most popular external brand is Maxtor.
Another option to consider is storing your images on the Internet with one of the newer online backup systems now available. This would avoid any possibility of losing your images due to a hard drive crash or natural disaster, and you wouldn't have to worry about taking them with you. They would always be available when needed. Some backup systems are exclusively for backup, while others incorporate a backup system as part of a website, or image filing system format. Which one you use depends on what works best for you.
Elephant Drive is great if you just need backup, and Photoshelter provides an easy way to get started selling your photos, if that's your goal. Please check them out. If you find them useful, or if you don't please give use some feedback via email. Our goal is to provide the best information possible, and your input is vital.
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