Have you ever had that moment when your computer screen goes black and a panic begins to settle in as you realize you didn’t back up any of your files? Like any machine, computers are prone to malfunction at some point or another and being unprepared can make a somewhat annoying problem into a huge catastrophe. Family photos, music, personal information, and important files and documents can be lost instantly and in some cases are no longer retrievable depending on the extent of damage to a computer. Unfortunately, people often don’t realize the importance of data storage devices till they’ve experienced a crashed or stolen computer.
The worst moment next to losing your data to a broken or stolen computer is losing your information to a faulty data storage device. Online retailers and local stores are stocked full with all sorts of data storage devices to suit various different needs. When trusting a product with your data, you want to make sure you are shopping for the right device to suit your use.
How Do Data Storage Devices Work?
Data storage devices can be like insurance policies against possible computer problems or they can be utilized as a means of transporting data. There are different data storage devices for certain uses and sizes. The primary function of any of these devices is to store information, such as photos, music, documents and files, on a back-up device.
Certain data storage devices are made to accommodate certain needs, such as a memory card for your camera or a USB drive for storing limited amounts of data. Other devices, such as an external hard-drive, are capable of storing all of the data you keep on your personal computer. There are also online companies that offer data storage, but these tend to require monthly fees and don’t offer the same peace of mind as having a physical back-up.
What Kind of Data Storage Device Do I Need?
No matter the type of data storage devices you may be shopping for, there are hundreds of brands at different prices that may confuse your search for the best device. Before you shop, know exactly what you need out of your storage device so you don’t overpay or get caught up in gimmicky retail tricks.
- External Hard-drive: If you are looking to back-up all the data on your computer, then you will want to shop for an external hard-drive. Since these data storage devices range in sizes and price, start by forming an idea of how much data you have to back-up. There can be a huge difference in size requirements if you are backing up a few documents or an entire music and photo library. Most photo and music devices on your computer will tell you how much memory they are filling, so you can use this as a guide when shopping.
- USB Drive: If you are just looking to back up a few documents, songs, or photos, then a USB drive would be a good fit. USB drives are compatible with almost every modern computer, game system, and television. They also can range in size, with many offering up to 1 full gigabyte of space.
- Memory Cards: Those looking to expand the memory on their camera or have a secondary photo location can get a lot of use out of purchasing a memory card. Most camera devices come equipped with a small memory card to get users started. To get the most out of your camera, you may want to upgrade the memory card to 1 or more gigabytes.
There are more data storage devices available than listed above, but those are the most commonly used by the average person to back-up data, expand memory, or just add convenience to your life.