These days we can find a plethora of reliable External Hard Drives and even External SSD Hard Drives, but in years past, building such a drive was the affordable option, and allowed us to pick the best enclosures and drives; which is what this guide is going to tackle.

Our first step is selecting an enclosure for your hard drive; according to your preference of Network Based (connected to your network via a networking cable (useful for sharing the drive with your network) or USB3 connection (for use primarily on one computer).

There are numerous options for Network Drive Enclosures and USB3 External Drive Enclosures over at Amazon; you'll need to do a little leg work to find what is going to work best for you, but I generally look at the specifications and customer reviews while leveraging the price point that I'm looking to spend.

Now that we've selected our case, we need to find a hard drive, so we'll head back over to Amazon, looking at SATA Hard Drives we'll select the type of drive that your enclosure supports, which will be either a 3.5" Hard Drive or a 2.5" Hard Drive, but it'll be down to your enclosure specifications on what we can actually use. We however do have the choice of Standard Mechanical Hard Drives or a SSD Hard Drive.

After we've received our parts, we'll unpack everything, slide open our External Enclosure, connect our hard drive, close the case, plug it into our computer or network, and your computer should recognize and install it as a new external hard drive. For a Network Drive you'll need to read the instructions on configuring the controller on your network.

Please note that some external cases will list a max capacity, this should be listed on the specifications page, and you should not install a drive larger than it wants.