For those who spend most of their time on computer, the worst thing they can expect is loss of data. Whether it’s your music collection, favorite movies, games or important documents and presentations, you would want to store your data in a safe place. Market has different types and sizes of storage devices depending upon different space, speed, sharing and data security requirements.
Let’s look at Storage Devices paradigms. When talking about storage there are two main types of storage devices– Internal Storage and External Storage.
INTERNAL STORAGE is which is inside every computer e.g. RAM and ROM. It is mainly required to hosts your computer’s operating systems and programs.
Then you have the EXTERNAL STORAGE i.e which connects with computer from outside through USB ports/Floppy Drive/CD Drive and allows you to carry your data. There are two types of technologies for external data storage. One is magnetic storage and the other is optical storage.
In the MAGNETIC STORAGE, sectors of the disk are charged magnetically. Examples of this type are Hard disk & Floppy disk. Many Modern day computers do not have Floppy Drives so Floppies have become somewhat obsolete. External hard drives come in different storage capacities ranging from 120GB to 4TB. Because of simple plug and play operation and compact size they are considered ideal for on-the-go requirements for PC users. Mostly Tablets do not come with USB ports so these days WIRELESS EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES such as Seagate GoFlex Wireless Storage and Kingston’s Wi-Drive are available in the market.
In OPTICAL STORAGE, laser is used to read/write data. Some of the examples of Optical storage are CD, DVD and Blu-Ray disc. Blu-ray discs differ from CD/DVDs in storage capacity, laser technology and player compatibility. Blu-ray discs are primarily designed for writing and playback of high-definition (HD) video. They can hold up to 25GB – 50GB data on a single disc, i.e more than five times the storage capacity than traditional DVDs.
As the usage of digital content is growing, customers today look for anytime anywhere access, sharing and streaming of the stored data. To meet such a requirement, many companies offer cloud solutions. While CLOUD STORAGE sounds like it has something to do with weather, but it actually means storage on off-site storage system maintained by a third party. It requires internet connection between your device such as computer and the database to store the data. Some of the popular ONLINE STORAGE solutions are Google drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, InSync, Apple iCloud, Skydrive, AVG LiveKive etc. These solutions empowers users to bring all their content together in one place, including music, photos, video and documents stored on PCs, Android/iOS based tablets/Smartphones etc and allow easy access and streaming of stored content on their Internet-connected devices.
One issue about the third party hosted cloud is concern on data ownership. i.e Who owns the data stored in a cloud system? Does it belong to the person who originally saved the data to the hardware or the company that owns the physical equipment storing the data? So for the Hard core users to whom security and ownership of content are main concern, companies such as Toshiba and WD present PERSONAL CLOUD STORAGE devices - Toshiba’s Canvio Cloud Device and WD’s My Book Live. These devices are also known as NETWORK ATTACHED STORAGE (NAS) devices.
Network storage devices come with hefty storage capacity – two terabytes or three terabytes, depending on which version you pick up. Set up of these devices require few initial steps but once they are up and running you and your community can share, access or stream data on compatible Windows/Mac computers, Android/iOS based tablets/smartphones and DLNA enabled devices.
Before I end this topic I would like to mention that there are many important factors to be considered before buying storage devices such as compatibility with other devices, applications required to run and service etc so instead of relying solely on specs and reviews, it is better to go to retail store and check all these things.
- Saying Goodbye: 5 Alternatives To The Optical Disc (makeuseof.com)
- For a Glimpse Of The Future, Try Reading A 3.5-Inch Floppy Disk (fastcompany.com)
- 2013 Storage Visions Conference Announces Storage Visions Award Winners (prnewswire.com)
- The demand for storage devices in a connected world of data (phys.org)