Types of Computer storage

Server room interior

In this day and age, there really is no excuse to not back-up your data – there are so many options available, most of which are cost-effective and reliable. Here at eProvided, we help people recover data they feared lost across any storage device, but we know, prevention is better than cure. To keep your work, documentation, or precious media as safe as possible, you should be making back-ups in whatever storage devices you can get your hands on – if the worst happens, and your computer itself breaks or gets stolen, you’ll still be able to access all the materials you need from another PC, laptop, or tablet.

So, what types of computer storage are out there on the market, and what advantages and disadvantages does each offer? Join us as we take a look at the most popular items.

Option One: External Hard Drive.

As well as the hard drive in your computer, you can also use external hard drives with your desktop or laptop – these are plugged-in but remain separate from your device, and are typically available in two models: a 3.5inch ‘desktop’ style, or a 2.5inch ‘portable’ style. These usually differ in price, with desktop models being cheaper than portable ones, though both can provide the same amount of storage space. However, many people prefer desktop hard drives, as they tend to offer faster performance and sturdier construction. These are a great choice for backing-up considerable amounts of data locally.

Option Two: Solid State Drive (SSD).

SSD storage, sometimes called a Solid State Disk share a similar appearance with standard magnetic/mechanical hard drives, yet their construction is vastly different – SSD’s use semiconductors, USB controllers and electronics to store data. This allows for a more dependable drive with no moving components and consume less power than standard hard drives. File transfers, read and write data cycles are much faster. As these continue to become cheaper and more economical, they are commonly used with portable devices, such as tablets and laptops. This makes them a convenient option, though they may offer less storage space than the standard hard drives you’re used to.  Solid state drives are also more environmentally friendly.

Option Three: USB Flash Drive.

USB disk drives, you’ll probably be familiar with these. Similar to SSD storage devices, but with less capacity and a smaller design, these also feature no moving components, which makes them durable and better-suited for portability: you can carry these around your neck on lanyards, or in your pockets. Many people use these for backing-up data when away from home so they can easily transfer materials from one computer to another. These are cheap, easy to use, and durable, but can only store limited amounts of data.

Option Four: Cloud Storage.

This is a hugely popular storage option for many people now, in both domestic and business settings. Companies are now more likely to keep data online, to reduce the amount of physical space needed for record-keeping, and for allowing multiple people across the business (and further afield) to access and modify certain data. Cloud storage also allows users to invite other users to share documentation, for easier collaboration than even email can provide – you can see changes or comments other users make in real-time, and add more and more people as required.

Most cloud storage providers offer limited amounts of space for free, though even these will be enough for most domestic users (businesses may need to try a package option). Choose from Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, and more. Each provider offers its own distinct service. One disadvantage of cloud storage is that you can only access your data with an internet connection. If the provider experiences issues with their servers, you may be unable to get to the materials you need. You may want to keep backups in physical storage as well, just in case.