Why You Need an External Hard Drive
The boom in data storage – certainly in the consumer market – is almost unprecedented. Whilst businesses, governments and commercial organizations struggle to keep up the burgeoning mass of data that deluges them day after day, the home or consumer market has never been so flush for affordable and accessible storage.
Gone are the days of having to delete your old files because you have run out of disk space, or worrying about whether that CD-R you just overburned will really be still readable in 6 months time. We now live in world where – if the need is there – we can walk into any downtown store, or any online computer supplies retailer and buy a variety of storage options that could fit all the electronic data the world had several decades ago, and all of this can fit in the palm of your hands.
Why an external hard drive?
Whilst the current boom and fashion in the market is for flash storage devices (the lightening fast storage devices in all the modern smartphones and some cameras), the real gem in this market is the external hard drive. Whilst fixed, physical hard drives for desktop or even laptop computers are cumbersome to install and can rarely be hot swapped in or out, the external hard drive equivalent allows you to read and write data at near internal hard drive speed, but also enables you to add and remove the drives when the need arises. Given that you could realistically attach 10 external hard drives via USB to your day to day computer, the affordable external HDD market now allows for multiple layers of redundancy, all under the roof of your own home.
Data portability – and expandability
Of course, flash drives and pen drives are the ultimate in portability. They make data so portable that you can fit them between your finger tips and read and write to them thousands of times. However, if you are needing to transport tens of gigabytes of data and files around, your affordable options start to narrow dramatically. When considering the data requirements of HD movie editing, the cost of supporting these files via flash drives would be pretty large compared to the external hard drive equivalent. Whilst hundred-gigabyte flash drives may exist, they are certainly not affordable at the moment.
Choosing your external hard drive
Remember to choose and buy your external drive with the fitness for purpose in mind. There is no need to spend extra money on terabyte level HDD if you are only going to be backing up and transporting your family holiday snaps, and at the same time, don’t rely on many smaller drives if you are editing HD movies for a living – you would want multiple terabyte devices to give you a layer of affordable redundancy (putting this much data into the cloud would be very expensive).
Remember, even with the added safety net of external hard drives – you should always have a tiered backup routine. Whilst drives are very unlikely to fail these days, there is nothing stopping you accidentally dropping your devices or your bag being stolen on the way to work.