With the end of the financial year creeping closer, it is time to ensure you have the space to back up delicate information. If you are partial to keeping digital copies of receipts and tax information, then this is even more important. Keeping your files and information on an external hard drive can ensure your data isn't remotely accessible, and it will allow you to take that information on the road when necessary.
Prices inevitably drop around this time of year, so we've included some of the bargains we could find for each drive.
5. Western Digital My Passport Elite (500GB)
We spotted if for: $247.50
Though the basic design and single connection give it a passing similarity to the cheaper WD My Passport, the My Passport Elite screams ahead of other external hard drives when it comes to speed. It uses a two-platter Scorpio Blue that delivers faster read/write speeds than most competitors.
4. Western Digital My Passport for Mac (500GB)
We spotted if for: $193.59
If you're looking for a cheaper way to save 500GB worth of information in a portable package, this fruit-flavoured My Passport will probably do the trick. It is slower than the My Passport Elite, but it comes preformatted for use with Apple Macs and naturally is compatible with Mac OS X's Time Machine.
3. Transcend StoreJet 25M-R (320GB)
We spotted if for: $126
At an ever cheaper price point, Transcend's offering might skimp a little on the storage side, but it provides physical protection for your data in rough-and-tumble situations. Though it isn't the prettiest portable drive, the StoreJet 25M-R's casing is built to US military standards.
2. Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus (750GB)
There is a good reason this drive made the list: 256-bit AES encryption. Maxtor's OneTouch 4 Plus isn't as small as some other external hard drives but it provides 750GB of secure storage. For backing up confidential documents, this is a good choice.
1. Maxtor BlackArmor (320GB)
We spotted if for: $178
Of course, when it does come time to taking you sensitive data on the road, the OneTouch 4 Plus has an important flaw: it needs a power point. That's why the Maxtor BlackArmor (320GB) has taken out our #1 spot: it's a portable drive with 256-bit AES encryption.