Top PC Storage Options for Users
Storage is essential for most PC users, especially if you use your PC for work. We generate a lot of files all the time, whether they are downloaded, backups of photos, music, or documents we have created for work or school – so it is important that you have storage that can meet the demand. We spoke to TechQuarters, a company that provides business IT support London businesses use to setup their own storage needs – their customers range from corporate enterprises, to tiny one-man operations, so they know what storage solutions are suitable for a range of scenarios.
Internal PC Storage
All computers have their own built-in storage, in the form of a hard disk. This is essential for storing the computer’s operating system, system files, and any apps you use – but the internal hard disk will also be the default storage for any files you download or create.
Most PCs come with a Hard Disc Drive (HDD) which is the most common form of hard drive. It has several moving components, which can make it noisier than some options, and also means it is more likely to sustain damage or fail after a long time – however, it is still a very reliable technology, and HDDs are usually the cheapest and largest capacity; so they are great for those that want lots of storage.
Nowadays, more and more PCs are being built with Solid State Drives (SSD) instead of HDDs. These drives have no moving parts, and therefore they are much faster and more reliable – also, if you drop an SSD, it is slightly less likely to break (but don’t go testing that out.) SSDs are more expensive, but they are also becoming the dominant type of hard drive for new laptops and PCs, so we will see a gradual lowering in price.
External PC Storage
It is usually recommended to have external storage for your PC, because storing everything on the internal disc drive can slow down your device considerably. This also ensures that, if your PC malfunctions, your files will be safe.
External Hard Drives
These are exactly the same types of discs that are in your PC, but they are built to be connected to, and ready by your PC via a connection such as USB. External drives are usually quite affordable, and they are great for archiving. The external HDDs are popular because they are cheap and have large capacity, but many people favour external SSDs for their speed.
Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)
Essential two or more hard drives connected together in an enclosure, with some additionally technology built in, a RAID is ideal for those wanting reliable storage and a large capacity. A RAID can be configured in a number of ways – whether you want to prioritise data redundancy, or read and write speeds, it can be programmed to utilize the hard disks in different ways.
Network-attached Storage (NAS)
A NAS drive is like a personal Cloud. Essentially it is a server that connects to your Wi-Fi network, and provides you with remote data access. The benefit of this is that you can potentially access your files from anywhere in the world. As well as this, external storage that requires a physical connection is more at risk of file corruption, which is less of an issue with a NAS. This is the storage solution preferred by many IT support companies, who will recommend this to customers for reliable file storage for a whole office.
Many IT support services these days are based around Cloud technology. This is an excellent solution for both a business and an individual. The benefit of Cloud Storage is that the infrastructure used for the service will be cutting edge, and you can access your data from anywhere in the world, so long as you have internet connection.
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