How BestExternalHard-Drives.com Determines Top Models
BestExternalHard-Drives.com is dedicated to researching the top external hard drive models in an effort to create a comprehensive repository of information on the best available drives.
Below we discuss how we identify the best drives and then how we compile review information on those drives.
How We Identify the Best Drives
Here is a brief overview of the methodology we used to identify the best external hard drives profiled on this site.
1. Based on PCWorld research findings on the best places to buy external hard drives, we identified the top five retailers for purchasing hard drives online. These were:
- Best Buy
- Tiger Direct
CDW made PCWorld’s list of best places to buy, but we found that they were lacking in customer review/ratings information (not to mention they generally had higher prices). So we decided not to reference their site in determining the best external hard drives.
If you’re interested in learning more about the PCWorld study, a brief synopsis is included at the end of this post.
2. We compiled a list of the top 20 bestselling drives as determined by each of these retailers. In a couple of instances, the retailer had fewer than 20 in their bestselling category, so we simply included the number they had available.
3. For each product, we listed the number of reviews, the rating (based on 5 stars), and the price.
4. We plugged this data into our own methodology for identifying the top drives from the master list. The methodology involved looking at objective data (ratings and number of reviews), as well as subjective information from customer reviews.
5. We then further categorized the drives into:
- Top drives by type
- Top drives by capacity
- Top drives by price
These categorizations were based on the fact that, according to PCWorld, the type of drive, capacity, and price are the most important factors to potential hard drive buyers.
How We Compile Review Information
To compile review information on the best external hard drives as identified above, we first created a template with all the information we felt would be relevant to a diligent consumer interested in purchasing an external hard drive.
The template is used across all reviews to make it easier for our visitors to compare one drive against another.
Next, we gather as much information as possible from reliable resources like:
- The manufacturer’s website
- Online manuals
- Online retailers
- Customer reviews
- Other websites
When including information from forums, customer reviews, and other websites, we make every attempt to cross-reference the material to ensure that it is accurate and valid.
More on the PCWorld Study
For those interested in learning more about the PCWorld study, here is a brief synopsis.
In 2010, PCWorld took on a research project to find the best places to buy consumer electrinics. Included were laptops, HDTVs, cameras, desktop PCs, printers, and hard drives.
They started with Dealerscope’s most recent annual study of the Top 101 Consumer Electronics (CE) Retailers . They chose to look further at retailers who were national, sold a variety of brands, catered to the general public, and didn’t charge membership fees.
All the retailers they looked at sell drives online; some also sell in physical stores. These included:
- Amazon (online only)
- CDW (online only)
- Newegg (online only)
- TigerDirect (online only)
- Best Buy
When it comes to buying hard drives, their research concluded that Amazon was the top merchant. In fact, Amazon won most categories. Newegg and BestBuy tied for second place in the hard drive category.
They looked at both brick-and-mortar establishments and online merchants. In many cases, models available in-store were limited and varied widely from store to store for a given merchant.
The criteria included:
- Return policies
- Detailed product information
- Availability of User Reviews
- Overall shopping experience on site
Although all stores occasionally have promotional sales, as a general rule, Amazon prices were typically $20-$30 less than at physical stores and websites
Other stores didn’t fare well because of high prices, poor selection, websites that were difficult to navigate, or because all their drives were sold through third-party vendors.
The top winners typically had a lot of models to choose from – anywhere from 400 to 1000+.
We hope the description of our methodology demonstrates the commitment BestExternalHard-Drive.com has made to bringing you accurate and trustworthy information.