Portable Hard Drive Buying Guide

Portable storage devices have gained its popularity in recent years, making tens to hundreds of gigabytes of storage space compacted into thumb drives which can be carried easily on a keychain. The advent of removable media made transferring a handful of files from PC to PC easily. In worst case scenarios, having a portable drive is a perfect transportable back-up of the entire internal hard disk drive.

The prices for both hard drives and Flash-memory humb drives have dropped immensely for the past years. The popularity of thumb drives made floppy disks obsolete as the standard media for small-scale portable storage. Some companies are now using thumb drives in sending out promotional materials and information. Some portable drives need to be installed before being used; others are plug-and-play with the latest operating system like Windows XP. This gadget doesn’t need batteries because these thumbs drives USB connection have link supplies power.

Unarguably, the information stored in a thumb drive will be safer than other traditional backup means. It is all because of the solid-state Flash memory which manufacturers estimate to save data for ten years or more. Flash drives can even survive getting wet, and you never have to worry about scratches as with optical media.

Of course, there’s also a downside with this technology. The fact that drives have gotten smaller and more portable, the risk of misplacing and losing it is higher, thus the higher probability of losing the needed data.

One emerging and most popular portable drive trend is the inclusion of digital audio playback. With a headphone input, volume control and simple navigation controls, a portable drive becomes a MP3 player. Some traditional items have also took advantage of the USB popularity, that’s why Swiss Army knife with a built-in thumb drive or hard drives disguised as food or toys are now out in the market.

In buying thumb drives, always put into mind what this device is intended for use, or what files or types of files are going to be stored. If you need to transport a few office files while on the road or transfer a handful of digital images and audio files from one computer to another, a thumb drive should be sufficient. If you require a large storage capacity for a library of images or music, or if you need a separate, portable medium for backing up significant amounts of data, you should seek a portable external hard drive with sufficient memory for the task at hand.

Consider also the features that you really want, so you can choose for the specialty storage devices. Music lovers may opt to choose the MP3 players, while digital photographers are suitable to use specialty drives for transferring photos from digital cameras. Always remember that no matter what special purpose is hidden behind buying a thumb drive, it’s always important to note that backing-up files is a must and these gadgets are here to make transferring much easier and convenient.



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