Ok, the title of this article may be a tad misleading. I am not going to go into every single detail of what you need to know about data storage. However, I am going to tell you about the most common types of data storage that you may want to use at home. And, these items make great gifts for the upcoming holiday. Everyone needs more storage. I am always talking about the importance of backing up your data and keeping it safe.
Remember floppy disks?? Storage has come a long way. 🙂
Internal SSD (Solid State Drive)
Chances are you are familiar with the hard drive in your computer. However, you may not know about the different types and what it means for your data. The storage device that we are all used to talking is an HDD (hard disk drive). A hard disk drive uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head to move around and read information from the right location on a storage platter. Hard drives typically have several platters which are mounted on the same spindle. Think of it as a needle on a record. There are a few moving parts. And trauma to the drive, like dropping your computer, can indeed damage the hard drive and your data. Just like bumping the record and causing a scratch.
An SSD, on the other hand, has no moving parts. Instead of a circular disk, information is stored in microchips. It's the same technology used in USB keys. This difference is what makes SSD so much faster, and less vulnerable to damage.
If you are for the faint of heart or don't feel comfortable installing your own PC parts, you may want to skip over this one. However, the time may come when you need to upgrade your storage. At that time that you may opt to switch to a larger capacity SSD drive.
USB Flash Drives
USB keys come in very handy. If you’re on the go a lot, get yourself a good USB flash drive. The great thing about these is that they are cheap, versatile, and easy to use. And now, you can get them in larger capacities which is very useful. In newer cars, you can use a USB key to load up your car with music. Purchasing a large USB key is a lot cheaper than buying a new iPod. They can also be used to move data from one computer to another, backup photos, or even to pass data and photos on to clients. A great USB key like the SanDisk Ultra 3.0 will meet your needs while on the go. Or if you need additional storage, then go for the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3. It is available in sizes up to 128GB and it offers support for optional encryption. Running a business and want to use USB keys to advertise? Order wholesale and save some money. You can then load them up with photos of your event, your company press release, or anything else that you want clients to have. Throw them in swag bags for guests to take home.
External NAS Drive
I won't go into all of the details here again about NAS drives since I have written about them before. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. This is an external hard drive that plugs into your home network via Ethernet. You can then use it to back up your data, store home movies, or store your entire music collection which can then be accessed from all network devices in the home.
The Cloud – Google Drive
Google Drive is my Cloud storage of choice. I am a heavy Gmail user, and I love having my storage and therefore my data integrated into my account. I am always on the go and constantly accessing data on my Google Drive from my smartphone. If you have a Gmail account, you already have 15GB, plenty to get you going.
This space is shared across all of your Google services. So, if you have a ton of mail, it will cut into your quota. Uploading tons of pics to Google Photos? That uses your space too. So, before you know it…that 15GB could be gone.
However, Google is pretty generous. There are ways to earn free storage or keep your storage usage down. For example, if you purchase a Chromebook, you get 100GB free for two years. Additionally, there are similar deals on specific Android phones. If you are a music buff, don’t worry, if you use Google Music separately, this will allow you to have 50,000 songs in the cloud free of charge, and it won’t count against your Drive storage. I mentioned not too long ago that I have a good amount of space due to different promotions.
However, upgrading your account is pretty reasonable. As you can see above, I currently upgrade to a 100gb plan. That is only $1.99/month. But, as my promotions wear off I am probably going to upgrade to the 1TB plan for $9.99/month, because I really do store almost everything on Google Drive. It is totally worth it to me.
I use a combination of all of the above to store and backup my data. You can never be too careful!
How do you back up your data?