Internal vs External hard drive

Internal vs External hard drives are two common types of storage media that use different methods to store data. Internal hard drives store data on a small magnetic platter inside the drive, while external hard drives store the data on a hard drive that connects to a computer’s internal hard drive.

In today’s ever-growing technological world, it’s become quite difficult to keep up with the pace of technology. We’ve seen continuous improvements in the computer and mobile phone markets; and in the world of gaming, we’re even seeing virtual reality becoming more real as the years go by. So, on top of the technological advancements, we’ve also begun to see the trend of the external hard drive shift.

External hard drives are all the rage these days, but they are not the best choice for storing data. There are several reasons for this. External drives are expensive, bulky, and prone to failure. They also have a shorter warranty, and you cannot repair them if they break. Internal drives offer plenty of advantages. They are cheaper than external drives, and are less likely to break or be damaged.. Read more about internal vs external hard drive speed and let us know what you think.

There are now more options than ever before for storing data for our machines. SSDs, external HDDs, flash drives, USB storage devices, the cloud, and other options are available.

Internal and external hard drives are, however, the two most common data storage methods for most people. So, in this article, we’ll go over what they are, how they work, their advantages and disadvantages, and how you may compare the two so you can make the best option.


The storage capacity is one of the most significant considerations when choosing a storage device. Internal drives win by a long shot, owing to the fact that internal storage is significantly more numerous and costs far less. Not only that, but when it comes to storage, internal storage usually offers the most headroom for capacity. 

Yes, external drives may be all you need in terms of capacity, but equivalent internal storage, whether it’s an HDD or an SSD, is significantly less expensive. 

Also see: SSHD versus SSD vs HDD: 3 Key Differences


Internal storage receives reliability points as well. Because your disks are housed in the system itself, they are rarely accessed or tampered with, failures are significantly less likely. 

External drives, on the other hand, are continually plugged in and out, changing hands, moving around, and enduring far more physical everyday wear and strain than internal drives. As a result, an external drive has a higher failure rate and a lower battery life than an internal drive. 


Internal drives are speedier by design, owing to the fact that they communicate with your computer over an interface that was created expressly for data transfer. 

External drives, on the other hand, can be slower because they commonly connect to PCs via USB (type A 0r type C). In addition, a quicker external drive will cost more than an internal drive. This is also true for internal drives, however the price difference isn’t as significant. 

HDD vs SSD:: The battle of virtual storage devices

Now, comparing the data transmission speeds between the two isn’t straightforward because the test can’t be repeated under the identical conditions. However, because they communicate with your PC through a connector specifically built for that purpose, 3.5-inch SATA internal HDDs or even SSDs will most likely be speedier (and even improve your machine’s performance).

External HDDs or SSDs aren’t bad either, but interface limits and other form factor and price constraints can slow them down. For general data transfer, they can still be rather fast, but an internal drive will always be faster. 

Also see: How to add a second SSD or HDD to a laptop.


An external hard disk is simple to transport and use. Simply plug them into a different computer and you’re ready to go. Internal drives, on the other hand, not only necessitate a lengthy installation procedure to get them into your system, but you also have to set them up, install your operating system, and so on to get them to work properly.

External drives don’t require any additional formatting to work with multiple operating systems. You can keep one in your bag and utilize it whenever the situation calls for it. 


External drives can add a degree of security to your data by allowing you to carry a second copy with you at all times. So, if your PC’s files are corrupted by a virus or taken by a hacker, your files are still safe in the case. 


Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of using an internal or external drive.

Parameter Internal Hard Disks External Hard Disks
Reliability Highly reliable, with a lower failure rate than an external drive. Physical damage is more likely to occur, resulting in failure.
Storage It has the most storage space. Storage differs from one drive to the next.
Speed External drives are usually quicker. Internal drives are slower.
Security In the event that the machine is hacked, data is at risk. As long as you have the disk on your person, your data is always safe.
User-friendliness Installation and formatting are difficult. Most machines include plug-and-play functionality.
Performance of the machine Can improve the efficiency of the machine (faster boot times, quicker program loads). There is no effect on the machine’s performance.

Also see: How to Migrate the Operating System from a Hard Drive to an SSD.

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When he’s not writing/editing/shooting/hosting all things tech, he streams himself racing virtual vehicles. Yadullah can be reached at [email protected], or you can follow him on Instagram or Twitter.

Perhaps the biggest question for you as a gamer is: how much storage space do I need? Many games today offer around 30-40 GB of space, but external hard drives can be much bigger, sometimes with up to 1 TB or more of space. Which one is better: an internal hard drive or an external hard drive?. Read more about external hard disk vs external hard drive and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better external hard drive or internal?

External hard drives are better because they are more portable and can be plugged into any computer.

Are internal hard drives faster than external?

External hard drives are faster than internal.

Why are external hard drives cheaper than internal?

External hard drives are cheaper because they don’t require a case or power supply.

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