In today’s digital age, virtual files and digital possessions are highly valued. Entire catalogs of music may be stored online, and ebooks, pictures, and other important documents and files often carry values that can be quantified by a number. But as all too many consumers have learned — oftentimes the hard way — saving these digital assets in one spot is just asking for trouble. Plenty of threats exist that could wipe away everything you have stored in a single space, and the effects can be devastating for people who aren’t prepared.
No matter how reliable you think your storage device may be, there’s always a chance of data loss. That’s why computer users today need to wisen up and invest in multiple storage outlets as backups. There are plenty of options on the market today, coming in both physical and virtual forms, and many of them are very cost-effective for consumers.
Each storage device has its own benefits and drawbacks, but in the end, any alterative storage is better than none. If you fail to fully protect yourself, you could easily find yourself back at square one trying to recover from years’ worth of lost data, including pictures and other memories that can never be replaced. Here are a few alternatives for storing valuable data.
Hard disc drives
This is the standard for external storage devices over the past decade, and even with the latest advancements there remain plenty of advantages with this form of storage. First and foremost, external hard drives can store immense amounts of space, which is great for anyone looking to back up pictures and video. These devices are also much cheaper than other storage devices. And for people who are reluctant to trust the cloud, the physical possession of an external hard drive provides a degree of comfort that virtual storage can’t match.
Flash drives have been around for a while now, but only recently have they become practical for large-scale data backup. Flash drives are ideal for those seeking a physical, portable storage device — they are small and efficient in how they store data, and they also come at an inexpensive price point. Plus, the absence of a hard drive disc allows them to be much more energy efficient.
But size isn’t always a good thing. Flash drives are easier to lose and easier to break than other storage devices, and, like external hard drives, they are limited in space and application, unlike cloud-based storage. There are, however, cloud-based flash servers that are extremely powerful and make it fast and easy to call up stored files and data. Although it is a powerful storage option, it is also cloud-based, meaning users will have to compare and contrast the benefits between storing locally and migrating to the cloud.
External hard drives and flash drives are two of the most common types of locally based storage devices, but anything that holds data — CDs, DVDs, even floppy disks — fall into this category. This is the traditional means of data storage, and it’s a popular one because of its familiarity. Plus, you don’t need an Internet connection to retrieve the data and you have security in knowing where your stored information is at all times.
But local servers are also more susceptible to being stolen, and if the device breaks, there may be no way to recover your lost data. And transporting these devices can be an extra hassle when cloud-based storage can be accessed from anywhere.
The cloud is up-and-coming in the storage market for obvious reasons: the data is accessible from anywhere you can find an Internet connection, and you only have to pay for the storage space you use. You can also use as much or as little storage space as you would like, and you have third parties working on your behalf to ensure the security of your stored data and files.
But by enlisting the service of a third party, you are also minimizing your personal role in caring for your stored data. And if you can’t get to an Internet connection, you won’t be able to access your virtual storage. And in the event you are storing very large amounts of data, cloud-based storage may actually cost more than locally based servers.
Ultimately, each consumer needs to review their particular situation to decide what method is right for them. Although there are economic factors at play, in the end, personal preference may win the day. Or, consumers may choose to go with multiple methods of storage, taking out extra insurance to guarantee that they’ll have secure access to their data and files no matter what happens.Category: Featured, web 2.0 | Tags: cloud storage, data storage, digital backups, digital files, Lindsey Harper Mac