Have you heard the famous slogan from tech experts, “It’s always a good habit to create a reliable backup of data”? If so, you are not alone. Tech experts always recommend the usage of reliable storage media to store valuable data to prevent any unforeseen situation due to data loss. Losing data is the worst nightmare for any business organization as it can result in the disruption of business operations and can lead to the loss of millions of dollars. For instance, if the confidential customer information is lost or it comes into the wrong hands, it will shake the foundation of the company. This is the reason why creating a secure backup of data has become the top priority of businesses at present. And this is where hard disk comes to the rescue of firms. They offer a great way to expand the storage of the lower-end laptops and portable devices.
But, with the cloud technology at a boom, is it an intelligent decision to invest in hard drives? Although backing up your valuable data in the cloud is great, what if you are unable to access the internet? In such a situation, having an alternative backup in the form of a hard disk can save time and effort in recovering data back from the cloud network. But, with so many options out there, how do you know which one to buy? Should you buy a hard drive or SSD? What level of security and encryption do you need? Are you vexed with so many questions that leave you confused as to which drive to choose? To answer all these questions and to make the purchase of a hard disk a hassle-free experience for users, we have created this guide.
Look out for the storage capacity
What’s the first thing you must look for when you go for the purchase of a hard drive? The right answer is the storage capacity. This is arguably the most critical specification users must consider before going for the purchase. Do you know buying a high –speed device with encryption and remote access will be of no use if it’s not big enough to store your valuable data? But, with all said, you don’t want to buy a hard drive with space that you are never going to fill. So, the question is, what size should you be aiming at? The answer depends on the use case of the hard drive. Say you want a storage device for transferring documents, photos, or other media from one device to another or want to expand the internal space of your laptop, then a mid-range hard drive is what you need. On the other hand, for business firms that have a massive amount of data to store, hard drives with up to 2 TB can be the best option.
But, for regular backups, you can do well with a drive with a storage capacity more than that of the internal hard drive on your computer.
The transfer speed can play a crucial role
Get one thing right: size isn’t everything when it comes to hard drives. Along with size, you have to take the transfer speed into account as well. When you have to transfer data back and forth regularly, the last thing you want is to wait endlessly for the process to complete. When it comes to transfer speed, two factors play a crucial role. The first being, the storage technology and the connector of the hard drive. According to tech gurus, solid-state drives can transfer data at a faster speed than the HDD ones. But the SSD’s are more expensive than the counterpart hard drives.
Coming to the second factor that influences transfer speed, i.e., the type of connector hard drive uses. There are various options when it comes to a connector that connects the external drive to your desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. Mostly the hard drives use the USB interface, but different generations come with distinct features, transfer speed being the critical point of difference. If you are looking for something more than a small file transfer, USB 2.0 connectors are a big no for you. If you want a substantial increase in file transfer speed, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 is what you should opt for. USB 3.1 offers a transfer rate of up to 10 Gbps. Also, devices that support Thunderbolt 3 offer the fastest connection medium, with the transfer speed up to 40 Gbps. But, with all said, some older devices use alternative connectors like SATA and Firewire – but trust us, you should avoid them as much as possible.
Portability and Durability are the next features on the list
Want an external drive for creating back up of essential data in your home? If so, portability is not the factor that will excite you to purchase the hard drive. But, when it comes to business use, portability is the critical factor for buying the hard drive. Portable devices that are light and small enough to fit in your pocket or bag will help you to take your data with you anytime and anywhere. When choosing portable hard drives, you must consider the weight of the storage media. Most of the external hard drives are not that bulky and offer digital storage capacity while being lightweight. SSDs are more lightweight than the hard drive counterparts. Also, SSDs are more durable than HDD counterparts. Both storage devices have different physical makeups. SSD does not consist of moving parts, making them less prone to drop damage. If you are a careless user, it’s better to go for the SDD hard drive.
The security feature is what you should look for
Before going for the purchase, you must look for the security features. The last thing you want is the data to come into the wrong hands. But, with the hard drives endowed with the hardware-based encryption, you can create an extra layer of security for your valuable data. Note that hardware-based encryption is more effective than software-based encryption. When the data under the subject is of high importance, encryption becomes a necessity. Instead of crying over the loss of data, it’s better to take preventive measures in the first place only. And, to do so, you have to take the hardware encryption feature into account while purchasing the hard drive.
Great software package
The main point of difference between the various external hard drives lies in the software package. An excellent software package influences the average performance and hence, the overall user experience. The software package also affects the storage capacity of the hard disk. There are specific applications that automatically upload files and data to dedicated websites, rollback systems, and file encryption in a cinch. On the other hand, there are specific applications that have built-in synchronization functionality that allows users to operate their go-to applications like Microsoft office and Word. The extra features give the hard drives an edge over the other storage media. These features improve the performance of the hard drive and improve the overall user experience. Apart from these features, specific hard drives can perform, manage, and encrypt data backups automatically. So, if you are lazy about backing up your data or are forgetful, this feature of automatic backup is the cherry on the cake for you.
Which platform do you use?
One factor that will influence the purchase of a hard drive is the platform you are going to use. Whether you are a laptop user or a remote worker will also affect your choice of the hard drive. For laptop users, a USB flash drive or a portable hard disk drive is the most preferred solution. As in the case of the portable hard drives, you don’t need any external power supply. But, if you are Mac user, purchase a firewire model as it offers more expandability as compared to the counterparts.
Warranty is also a crucial factor
There are many manufacturers like Seagate that offer you up to five years of warranty on their storage solutions. Warranty means if the device fails to boot, the warranty solution will come in handy to the customers. But, note that no manufacturer provides data recovery service in case you lose data on your hard disk. In case of a data loss situation, you will have to consult a recovery service provider to get back your data back without any loss of privacy.
Connectivity is the critical factor
There are currently three significant connections in the market, eSATA, USB, and Firewire. E-SATA is the new kid in the block. It offers improved performance and consumes fewer resources. But, if you are using high-end platforms, Firewire is what you can opt for. Firewire provides the best performance out of the three connections and is compatible with the Mac systems as well.
After reading all these points, you will be all set to purchase the hard drive. Ensure the hard drive you are buying is reliable and ideal for your business or personal use. So wait no more and purchase the external hard drive to meet your backup needs.