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Here’s the cheapest hard drive per TB right now

WD Elements 12TB hard disk drive - $219.99

WD Elements 12TB hard disk drive - $219.99
This 12TB hard disk drive from Western Digital is already available at a discount, but you can make an even greater saving by taking advantage of WD's recycling scheme (see below).

The WD Elements desktop hard disk drive is the most affordable hard drive on the market, regardless of form factor (2.5-inch or 3.5-inch) and type (internal or external).

At $220, the 12TB version (WDBWLG0120HBK) is already a bargain and it's the cheapest per TB across the range. However, using the trick described below, you can shave another 15% off the price, bringing the cost to just under $187. That's a mere $15.58 per Terabyte - the lowest we’ve seen in a year (since last Amazon Prime Day, actually).

The WD Elements range provides reliable high capacity storage with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 compatibility. The drives come with a two-year warranty and have been formatted to NTFS. This device is likely to have a 3.5-inch 5400RPM drive spinning inside, which makes it perfect for backup storage.

A few brave souls have also managed to extract a WD120EMFZ drive from the Elements external hard drive. The model has a 256MB cache and would be comparable to the 12TB WD RED NAS hard drive,  which costs $330 - a whopping 50% premium on the original drive.

WD 15% discount trick

A little-known scheme from Western Digital allows you to save up to 15% off your next purchase from the company’s online store (provided you spend $50 or more).

In a nutshell, send over an old external or internal SSD or hard disk drive for recycling (doesn’t matter if it is in working order) and you'll get a coupon code via email in return.

The entire process can take about two weeks and is described in further detail on this page. Now, if you are willing to jump through the hoops, you can grab yourself an amazing bargain - just make sure you read all the T&Cs. 

Bear in mind

  • If you've managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications, in stock and brand new, let us know and we'll tip our hat to you.
Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.