Today, when it comes to backing up data, a person has different options to choose from. This wasn’t always the case. Back before devices like flash drives and external hard drives came out, a person was fairly limited when it came to backing up their data. The most frequently used method was via “floppy disk”. You know, those this black square objects with a round piece of film inside? Yeah, that’s almost ancient history now. But they were readily available, and back then, you didn’t have gigabytes (GB) worth of data, like you do today. It was either that, or you bought yourself an extra hard drive for your computer. But today, a person is offered more options. As mentioned before, you have your flash drives, also known as thumb drives, external hard drives, CD/DVD’s, and even online storage. That makes backing up data virtually limitless. But the one device this article is going to concentrate on is external hard drives.
In recent years, external hard drives have become very popular. Most have a capacity that exceeds the average PC hard drive, some storing as much as a terabyte (TB) of data. Now that is a lot of information. The reason they have become so popular is because they are convenient, easily accessible, easy to use, and hard to lose. You can take them with you wherever you go, use them on virtually any computer or tablet, and when you’re done, you can put them away and forget about them until the next time you need to use one. Externals come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are flashy like designer jeans, others are just plain and simple. But they all serve the same purpose: Backing up your data. The only real disadvantage is that most of them can only be used by one computer at a time. Of course, if you have network sharing turned on, that eliminates that problem.
As mentioned before, a flash drive is another option for data backup. But flash drives aren’t always a practical means in which to do so. For one, they are small, easy to lose, and can be easy to break or damage. Also, flash drives are limited in the amount of data they can store. It’s only a small percentage compared to what an external hard drive can hold. Flash drives, on average, only hold up to 32GB of data. By today’s standards, that’s not very much. Some programs/games use more than that to operate. Externals, on the other hand, range anywhere from 50GB to a terabyte (or more). That’s enough to back up more than one average system. Another great thing about external hard drives that flash drives do not offer is wireless connectivity. Of course, we all know that flash drives have no wires, so in this case, it would be saving you from plugging anything in to your computer. But that makes the process of backing up your data that much more convenient for you.
When it comes to backup solutions, it is really a matter of personal preference. Do you have enough data on your computer to back up to warrant getting an external? The average computer user usually keeps between 50-100GB of information worth backing up. Keep that in mind when you are left to make a decision between getting an external hard drive and a flash drive.