From the bulky and noisy first generation computers, data storage has grown in leaps and bounds while shrinking in size. Today an item no larger than a fingernail can store information that would fill a whole warehouse. An ideal storage device would have enough space to back up all your Word files, music, videos, pictures and all your other stuff so that in case of OS failure, your data would not be lost. It would also offer portable storage solution so that it will now be easier if you are operating from home to work or class. There are a lot of options to consider when buying a storage device depending on your needs but here we will consider just two.
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
An external hard drive works in the same way as an internal hard disk drive. The only difference being that you would be able to carry the information with you when you leave your desk. This is ideal for users on the go and who need to carry large amounts of information with them without packing the entire computer. The protective case ensures that the hard disk is safe from mechanical damage when you are out and about but otherwise its construction and design is similar to the internal hard disk.
External hard disks are compatible with most operating systems. When connected to the computer with an USB (Universal Serial Bus) the user can be able to access the files and folders much the same way as using the internal hard disk. It shows up on the computer as an external drive. It has a large storage capacity going up to 6 TB, and counting, which can hold literally all the information on your computer in your school or work bag.
The external hard drive is much cheaper when you consider its price to size ratio, it is more durable than the flash drive and can be found anywhere you look. The only flaw is that since it was designed like an internal hard disk with the rotating magnetic disk, it can be susceptible to magnetic fields and impact when being used. So if it is the primary back-up for all the files in your computer it would probably be better to leave it at home.
USB FLASH DRIVE
This is a small portable data storage device usually encased in plastic. Most of them come in sizes between one and one half inches long. One end usually has the male USB plug to connect with the computer while the rear end holds the solid state memory. Currently flash drives available in the market hold between 8GB and 32GB data.
Unlike the hard disk the USB has a flash memory. This simply means that there are no moving parts to worry about. Information is stored on chip which has semiconducting materials for storage. This is why it can be almost considered disposable and is often given out during company events. It is best used just to transfer files from home to work, or for that presentation, or as a gift.
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