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Monday, December 20, 2010

How To Easily Buy The Right External Hard Drive

by: George Hutton

Buying an external hard drive can be a daunting task. There are plenty of different models to choose from, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some may be too big, and others may be too small. If you do some work ahead of time, however, you can make the buying decision a lot easier. In this article, you'll go over your own unique criteria, so you can make an easier decision.

Back in the old days, when you needed to save some important information, you simply popped in a floppy disk, and that was good enough. These days, however, computers don't even come with floppy drives any more. You need a lot more space to store your stuff. How much space will vary according to what you will be storing. If you have plenty of photos, or music, or videos, then you'll probably need one of the larger models. If you only have documents, and a few images, then a smaller model will probably be satisfactory for you.

Naturally, if this is the first time you've bought a back up drive, then it can be difficult to estimate how much space you are going to need. A good rule of thumb is to get an external drive that is at least five times as large as your current internal drive. Many software programs will allow you to back up in several different ways, and each way can use up as much space on your external drive as you have available on your internal drive.

One more thing to ponder is the amount of time you plan on using your current computer. If you've ever bought a new computer, you'll notice that the sizes of hard drives keep getting bigger and bigger. Which means people tend to put more stuff there. So if you plan on buying a new computer in six months to a year, it's best to get as big an external hard drive as you can. That way you won't have to buy a new one when you buy another computer.

Portability is another major concern. Do you use your computer in only one place, or do you move around and use several different computers for the same task? If you plan on moving around and using different computers, then you'll likely need a portable hard drive. These are a bit more expensive, as they are more compact. However, if you only plan to backup your home or work computer, the a desktop model will probably suffice.

Your computer, and the data it contains, is very important. When you take the time to go through these ideas, and work them out in your mind before you go shopping, you will save in the long run. You will save time, save money, and free both of those valuable things up for more important matters. After you've got your back up system in place, you'll be happy you decided to take the time.


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