There are more options today than ever before in upgrading the storage of your laptop. Virtually the only things you need to think about are price and portability.

Any laptop with a USB port can get an external hard drive and many that don’t have USB ports can use a network drive for storage. The main disadvantage for external hard drives is that they require a power source like a wall outlet and are not meant to be used at coffee shops or outdoors. On the plus side, you can get these drives for far less than any other type of storage. These drives are also not meant to be used for program files as disconnecting the drive will cause programs to stop working. You can work around this issue but it requires a little more technical expertise. This would be the simplest option for adding say a 500 GB hard drive to a Samsung laptop.

Internal drives are a lot trickier. First, you have to check your make and model of laptop to see if the hard drive can be changed and the replacement drive is compatible with your computer. You also need an external hard drive enclosure to clone your current hard drive. However, the improvement in speed is seen by most users as a worthwhile upgrade.

Pricing a hard drive depends on several factors. Virtually all electronics are unusual in that prices scale up or down based on different factors than other consumer goods. For example, a 2 terabyte (TB) hard drive will usually cost more than two 1 TB hard drives, while a 500 gigabyte (GB) SSD drive might cost more than all of them put together.

So which hard drive should you get? If you have a lot of videos or photos then a large external hard drive will give you the most value. For high-performance gaming, an SSD will provide far better performance but will cost more for more storage. Whether you are looking for a 500 GB hard drive for a Samsung laptop or a multi-terabyte monster for your videos, there are a variety of choices and options for any situation.