As we go about our day creating more and more data, our storage needs continually increase. According to Cnet.com, there are three primary types of consumer-grade data storage devices:
- Internal Storage Drive: This type of storage usually hosts your computer’s operating system and programs. Internal devices include hard drives and solid-state (or SSD) drives.
- External Storage Drive: This type of storage is an outside drive that connects to a computer through a port, such as a USB.
- Network Attached Storage: Otherwise known as NAS, network attached storage is a unique storage solution in which storage space is provided to an entire network through a switch or router.
The average consumer spends more money on external storage devices because of their portability. They’re always compact and easy to use for moving files from one location to another across diverse devices. Before you decide on your external device of choice, let’s take a sampling of 10 devices considered to be top on the market:
The SanDisk Cruzer Fit is a USB storage device capable of storing up to 32GB of data. One of the most awesome selling points is its size: a USB drive not much bigger than your fingernail. This little USB drive is perfect for packing the maximum amount of data into the smallest possible space. It is also the perfect addition for tablets, smart TVs, and car stereos.
The IronKey is the ultimate external device for the prudent customer in need of iron defenses. According to ZDNet.com, the biggest worry when carrying data is loss. It’s one thing to forget a device on the train or have it stolen, but it’s entirely different to realize your sensitive files were not encrypted.
Some opt to use a software or password solution. A tougher solution is to use a hardware encryption solution, which forces the user to encrypt the saved data immediately. The IronKey offers an AES 256-bit hardware encryption, and it is built to resist intrusion. After ten consecutive failed password attempts, this external USB drive will permanently self-destruct. The rugged, waterproof metal chassis is resistant to physical break-in attempts, and it will readily show evidence of tampering. Although a strong choice for those moving sensitive data, always keep a backup in the event of a failed break in and self-destruct.
Compact Flash and SDHC cards are some of the hottest external data storage devices on the market for media storage. Speed and space are two of the biggest selling points as faster data transfer rates equate to fewer incidents of data loss or corruption. According to Digital Camera World, the top six on the market include:
- Courier Dual FIPS 197 Encrypted USB 3.0: 32 GB, this card offers noteworthy USB 3.0 performance. It has a 140 MB/s (per second) read speed, and write speed of 40 MB/s (per second). This dual password interface uses AES 256-bit hardware data encryption and is FIPS 197 approved.
- The Kingston Ultimate: Said to be the speediest card on test for write speed in a Nikon D800, this card beats the Lexar 1000x hand down with outstanding value.
- The Lexar Professional: Offers the ultimate in speed from an SDHC card. It’s the fastest read speed in both USB 3.0 and in-camera reads.
- The Lexar Professional SDHC: Comes with 200x, 400x & 600x transfer speeds, both via card reader and in-camera. As far as USB 3.0 read speed, it’s one of the faster SD cards available. Class 10 performance, High-speed, using UHS-I technology, read transfer speed up to 600x (90MB/s)
- The SanDisk Extreme Pro: It will take a bit longer to download media in comparison to other flash cards, but it makes up for its lack of transfer speed with excellent write speeds. Available in SD, CompactFlash and microSD flash media formats.
- The SanDisk Ultra & Ultra PLUS: Handy flash media cards offering sensible performance at an affordable price. They’re slightly faster than alternatives that are more expensive, storing upwards to 128GB. Available in SD Card format, microSD, CompactFlash and USB. microSD & SD formats include MicroSDHC, microSDXC & SDHC & SDXC respectively.
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The Western Digital My Passport Ultra Drive & My Passport Slim portable USB drives are the perfect device when a few gigabytes of storage just isn’t enough. My Passport Ultra & My Passport Slim both offer 2TB of space. Both physically small yet relatively fast thanks to USB 3.0. Both external USB hard drives, they don’t need external power. It’s the perfect USB storage device for on-the-go travelers who need to ability to backup and store large amounts of data.
Finally, for super serious data storage, the Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+ 512 GB is a lightning-fast, no-nonsense SSD-based portable drive with lots of storage and lots of appeal. It’s compact, easy to carry, and sports the fast data transfer speeds that help eliminate data file corruptions.