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Here’s a basic rundown on finding the ideal storage option to store, carry, and instantly access your personal documents, photos, music, videos, and more. The first step is figuring out what you need to store, which will help you figure out how much space you need, how the data needs to be accessed, and how much you’re willing to spend.
Avid users who want to maximize their home storage system will love network-attached storage (NAS). They offer amazing speeds, tons of features, and state-of-the-art user interfaces. Adding internal or solid state drives (SSD) to your PC might be the best option if you’re working with limited desk space, or if you have an additional drive bay to fill up. And, because they’re internal, they don’t use up any of your USB inputs. However, in most cases they require a more elaborate internal installation.
Want to extend your laptop's storage space? There are tons of compact and affordable external portable drives that will do just that.
USB flash drives (also known as thumb drives or JumpDrives) are tiny, increase your storage capacities and are generally affordable. Tiny enough to throw in your purse, bag or pocket, a USB flash drive is straight-up convenient.
The Cloud is perhaps the coolest of them all—it’s storage that you can access via the internet from anywhere. The newest and fastest option, Thunderbolt drives use the newest data transfer technology developed by Intel and Apple, giving you unrivalled speed and versatility for an input/output device. Data can be transferred up to 20x faster than a USB 2.0!
Are you looking to store home videos and family photos? Or how about a large mass of miscellaneous files like text documents, emails and more? This will help you pinpoint exactly what your storage needs are.
Apart from transfer speed and security, the question of how much storage space is enough is an important consideration. Determining how much storage space will be enough comes down to what type of data you will be storing on the drive and what the drive will be primarily used for—for example, video will require more space than digital photographs, and photos more than just text documents. Here are a few examples of capacities: 320GB lets you store up to 5,000 hours of music, 100,000 digital photos, up to 320 hours of digital video and up to 80 hours of HD videos. A massive 3TB hard drive, on the other hand, can store up to 49,980 hours of music, 960,000 digital photos, and up to 750 hours of HD videos.
The big plus side of external portable and USB drives is that they’re compact and great for people on the go. They’re small enough to pop in your bag, and durable enough to stand up for transporting.
You can go as cheap as under $10 for an 8GB USB Flash Drive or as high as $2,000+ for a massive 20TB Thunderbolt External Drive
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