A Speed, price, capacity, USB version and weight.
The four main factors are: read speed, write speed, price and capacity. Speeds should be quoted in MBps and should be checked before making a purchase, some drives are painfully slow. The main thing to ensure is that the drive is USB 3.0 which is significantly faster than USB 2.0. Some manufacturers offer various bells and whistles like built in security or backup features but these are generally available as freeware downloads (e.g. Truecrypt and Syncback) so are not worth paying any extra for. Finally you might want to consider weight and physical dimensions, some drives are ten times heavier than others.

The Best.
CPUGPUSSD
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X $400Nvidia GTX 1070 $370Samsung 850 Evo 250GB $94
Intel Core i7-7700K $310AMD RX 480 $188Samsung 850 Pro 256GB $121
Intel Pentium G4560 $73Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB $225Samsung 850 Evo 500GB $150
HDDRAMUSB
Seagate Barracuda 1TB (2016) $50Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 C15 2x8GB $110SanDisk Extreme 64GB $33
Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $85G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 3200 C14 4x16GB $650SanDisk Extreme 32GB $26
Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 1TB $50HyperX Fury DDR4 2133 C14 2x8GB $120SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB $9
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