Eight things to consider when choosing a hard drive
From business presentations and financial records to personal music and film collections, many of us are switching to digital storage.
Moving away from hard copy storage can be a space-saving win, however the protection of your digital files is a key issue. If these are only stored on your PC or the company network you need to consider the potential for content accidentally being deleted or changed and for running out of storage space.
It’s all about finding the right hard drive. Whether you want to ensure smooth business operations or safely back-up music, video and photography collections, the right choice will free up storage on your computer’s internal hard drive and help to protect and safeguard valuable items.
Here are 8 issues to consider before choosing a hard drive:
GDPR has made the storage and use of personal data even more integral to business operations. If you’re considering keeping individual or sensitive data on a hard drive, you must look for ones with built in hardware encryption and additional password protection features.
If you only need to keep your data in one place, a desktop hard drive could be the best solution. These are larger and heavier than portable drives and designed to sit on your desk and draw power from a plug socket.
If you need to access files out and about, a portable hard drive is the answer. These are smaller than desktop drives, portable, and provide flexibility and expanded storage whenever you need it.
From a 250 GB device that can hold up to 50,000 images and 30 hours of HD films, to a six TB one that can handle an incredible 1,200,000 images and 123 hours of HB films, choosing a drive that is right for your needs will save time and money.
There is no point in investing in a device you will never need to fully use, but under investing in a drive that soon fills up will mean extra, unexpected financial outlay.
4. Accident protection
Many drives offer a shock protection system to protect them against accidental drops. Some are encased in a rugged outer shell or have reinforced casing to protect them from knocks and bumps. These features are essential if you’re planning to use them outdoors, for example, taking photography or while on construction sites.
5. Energy saving
Some hard drives offer energy saving software. This reduces energy consumption and extends the drive’s life expectancy by automatically placing it into sleep mode after a programmed period of time, or by clicking a button on the desktop.
6. Connection type
The speed you would like to transfer files, including video and music, to your computer, depends on your connection type. There are four basic ways to connect your hard drive to your computer.
- USB is the most common connection type. There’s no set-up at all. Just plug it in. The computer recognises the drive, and you’re able to read and save files almost instantly.
- FireWire is plug-and-play like USB. Firewire 800 is significantly faster, making it popular with those transferring video files.
- SATA is the standard connection for internal hard drives. Offers the highest file transfer speeds of any format.
- eSATA is a less common, high-performance connection most commonly found in PCs. An eSATA connection performs at speeds that most closely resemble an internal drive.
7. USB transfer times
Different kinds of USBs offer different data transfer times.
The older USB 2.0 standard can transfer data at 480 megabits per second (mbps), however newer USB standards are becoming more common.
A USB 3.0 is capable of transferring data at 4.8 gigabits per second (Gbps), which is ten times faster than USB 2.0. It is distinguishable by the blue colour of the ports.
The USB 3.1 is the next generation of USB, offering data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps, which is two times faster than USB 3.0. This is recognizable by its bright turquoise port.
8. Read/Write Speeds
This is essentially how fast your device can read data being sent to it, and how fast it writes the data it’s being asked to write. It is usually measured in megabytes per second (MB/s).
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