Buyer Beware: Deceptive Ads for External USB Hard Drive Power Cord Requirements

Summary

Anyone considering an external USB hard drive should thoroughly consider the power requirements for the device.

USB Powered

For those using a laptop computer, and planning on off-the-grid work running from battery power, an external drive that is USB powered is essential.

Drives Requiring a Separate Power Cable

Slightly lower-priced drives are available that use a separate power cord in addition to the USB data cable. Such drives typically are available in higher storage capacities as well. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to always be near a power outlet to use such drives. Also, having an additional power adapter results in one more thing that can go wrong causing your drive not to work.

Misleading Advertising

The drive shown in the advertisement below shows a single cable going from the drive to the computer. This is done intentionally to mislead customers into thinking that the drive requires only a single USB cable that serves as the data and power cable plugged into the computer.

However, if you read the fine print, you’ll see that the external drive requires an additional power adapter to function (included with the drive). Click here to view the product on Amazon.

You’ll notice that advertising images for such drives never show the side of the drive where the cables connect. This is to ensure that consumers are not fully informed about the product they are thinking about buying.

Advertisers should be required to show all the desirable and less than desirable product cables, adapters, and attachments.

20150602tu-seagate-external-usb-hard-drive-power-cord-misleading-advertising

All Product Images

Below are all the product images offered by the manufacturer. None show the power cable side of the drive. Every other conceivable view of the product is available.

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