What Types of Data Storage Are Available?
When it comes to storing data, your options are diverse. They begin with the hard disk that’s already nestled within your computer tower, the primary place for your documents to reside once you’ve created them. Because data can easily be lost, whether through hacker attack or a fire or tornado, or simply because a hard disk isn’t the most reliable object in the wide world, there are also other options for data storage out there to complement your hard disk.
Hardware Data Storage
If you want to make a permanent backup of your most important files, you can use a CD, Blu-ray or DVD disk to do so. The physical capacity of each one differs, but the idea is essentially the same: your data is burned into the disk on a usually permanent basis.
If you’d like to be able to update your backup files and folders, you might choose to use a USB stick or an external hard drive for your data storage. Just like with burning to disk, you’ll need to do this manually, but the advantages of this type of medium include storage space and the ability to add to your storage as you need to.
Online Data Storage
A recent addition to your backup storage options are online storage and cloud storage facilities. Each one differs according to the security measures put in place to keep your data secure, the amount of storage space available to you and the cost you’ll be charged for each gigabyte and the method you use to access your data. With some online storage, you can use your web browser to interact with your storage and you can grant access to other people, wherever they may be in the world. Backup storage options that ask you to download and install special software sometimes include extra features and generally offer more storage space, on the other hand.
The major advantage of online data storage over hardware based storage is that your data is not at risk from the disasters that often befall technology. You can’t spill your coffee over a cloud storage system and it won’t matter if thieves break into your building or the cat accidentally sets fire to your office. It also makes your data accessible to you wherever you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection – no more need to remember to pack your peripheral devices if you’re travelling for business and no huge email attachments to be sent back and forth to clients.
Though more expensive than hardware options because they tend to require a monthly subscription fee (although cheap and even free alternatives are available), online data storage is currently the most advanced and advantageous available. You’ll find some of the best providers in our comparison tables below: