Happy Friday, everyone! In advance of our next blurb that will focus on how to backup your important data, this edition will talk about two of the most common types of storage devices, price and capacity ranges, and some pros and cons of each.
USB sticks / Jump-drives: These sticks are the most common way to store and transfer your data. Common sizes for these drives range from 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, with some capable of holding 512GB or greater. Prices will range anywhere from $8 for a 16GB stick to $100 for a 512GB stick.
- Extremely portable
- Fast data transfer rates
- Prone to theft, loss, and damage (falling, dropping, etc.)
- Shorter life span (around 1500 connections/disconnections from computers)
- Risk of transferring viruses/malware to other devices (not more at risk inherently, but can transfer dangerous files if connected to a computer that’s infected)
External Hard Drives: External HDDs are physically larger than USB sticks, so while they aren’t quite as portable, they still provide an excellent tool to back up your data. Most today are found in sizes from 500GB all the way up to 4, 6, or even 8TB. Prices range from ~$60 for a 500GB HDD up to ~$250 for the larger 4 – 8TB units.
- More cost effective at $/GB than USB sticks
- Greater storage capacity
- High transfer speeds
- Prone to overheating in warm or poorly ventilated environments
- Prone to theft and damage (falling, dropping, etc.)
Now, because of the size and portability of these devices, it is recommended that they are kept in a safe place whenever they're not being used. Keep in mind that these devices aren't perfect, but if cared for they will last quite some time.