If you work on your computer often, you will quickly accumulate files. To avoid the risk of losing your critical work, emails, videos or family photos should your computer get damaged or stolen, it’s vital to safely store your important files where you can easily access them. You need to consider three factors when choosing the best type of storage for your requirements.
- Capacity: the amount of space needed
- Speed: how quickly you can transfer your files
- Access: multiple devices or remote access required
- External Hard Drives
- Internal Hard Drives
- Solid State Drives
- USB Flash Drives
- Personal Cloud
- Optical Drives
External Hard Drives
An external hard drives offers an internal hard disk drive (HDD) in an external format. They allow you to easily expand your storage capacity, quickly create a file back-up solution or easily transfer bulk files to another computer. The drive’s interface determines what port it can connect to and how fast it can transmit data.
- USB 2.0: Provides easy connectivity between computers, smart TVs or portable devices, Data rates reach up to 480 Mbps to quickly save and transfer most files.
- eSATA: a combination connection for external storage that can deliver speeds up to 3 Gbps.
- USB 3.0: Speeds can of up to 5 Gbps can be achieved if both the drive and the computer support USB 3.0. It still works with USB 2.0 ports at 2.0 speeds.
- USB 3.1: enables data transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps and is only available through the USB Type-C connector.
- Thunderbolt: transmits both data and display signals in both directions at the same time using the same cable.
- Wi-Fi: drives with built-in wireless networking can transfer files and stream media to other wireless-enabled devices and electronics. Data transfer is limited to wireless speeds.
- Multiple connections: some external drives offer multiple interfaces so you can take advantage of the fastest port on any given computer, maintain connectivity across computers, and avoid unplugging other drives or accessories.
Internal Hard Drives
Your computer’s internal hard disk drive (HDD) holds your operating system, software programmes and all your personal files. Files stored on an internal hard drive are only accessible from the host computer. Hard drive speed is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). If you frequently work with large or multiple files at once, a 7 200 rpm or 10 000 rpm drive will improve your computer’s response times.
If your current internal drive is too small or slow, you can replace it with a more powerful model. Be sure to verify what interface your existing components require. Our in store expert technicians can assist you in selecting and installing the right internal hard drive.
Solid State Drives (SSDs)
The SSD uses flash-based technology similar to a digital camera’s memory card, storing and returning data in blocks for quick response times. It will boost your computer’s performance, speeding up boot ups, applications launches and file saving. Storage capacity is less than hard drives with larger sizes coming at a premium price. Our in store expert technicians will need to assist you installing an internal SDD.
If you have an open drive bay in your computer, you could install a SDD alongside your hard drive to take advantage of both. By installing your operating system and most-used applications on the SSD, you get the performance boost while the separate HDD offers the capacity to store the rest of your files. This is an effective approach for digital media users and gamers.
USB Flash Drives
USB flash drives are ultra portable for carrying files on the move, transferring data between computers and other devices, or for safe file storage. They connect quickly to any USB port and require no additional power source. Typical capacities range from 8GB to 256GB. Both USB 2.0, and USB 3.0 are available, with the latter offering faster speeds. Some flash drives feature more than one interface for maximum versatility across devices and operating systems.
A personal cloud is essentially an external hard drive with built-in wired or wireless networking and remote access technology. It can be installed as part of your small business or home network instead of connected to one computer, and files are always accessible to multiple computers and devices, whether over your network or on the cloud via the Internet.
These drives offer a great solution for files you want to share. Many offer data sync and back-up technologies to assist against data loss. Transfer rates depend on the speed of your network or Internet connection.
Optical disc drives let you play and write CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray Discs and install software from disc media on your computer. Burning files to optical discs is a cost-effective way to archive your files for backup and to create multiple copies of files for sharing. You can also use software to format discs of music tracks, digital photo albums and home videos so they can be played on a DVD or Blu-ray player on a home theater system instead of a computer.
Disc capacities range from 700MB on a CD all the way up to 50GB on a double-sided Blu-ray Disc. Maximum speeds vary according to both the drive and the disc.
Note if a drive supports a Blu-ray Disc, it can also support a double-layer DVD. If a drive can support a double-layer DVD, then it can also support a DVD. And if a drive can support a DVD, it can also support a CD. If a drive can rewrite (RW) a disc, then it can also record (R) a disc. And if a drive can record a disc, it can also play or read (ROM) a disc.
Computer Mania stocks a wide selection of drives and storage devices. Our in store technical specialists can answer all your questions and assist you to find the best solution for your requirements.