From work brought home to family photos, our computers are home to thousands of important, and often irreplaceable, files. And let's be honest, by the end of summer, there will be tons of new photos and videos we will want to preserve. Laptops and computers come with tremendous space options, however, it never seems to be enough. You can delete large or unused files but is that enough? Thankfully, you have several options to maximize storage space and protect your files from being deleted.
Take a look at the breakdown of storage options below.
Onsite StorageAs the name suggests, onsite storage is a method of storing information that is kept on hand. Frequently used forms of onsite storage include USB drives, DVDs, magnetic tapes or external hard drives.
- Pros - External storage means immediate access: a physical copy of the information on hand means the ability to access it quickly. It also means you have a one-time fee of purchasing a USB or external hard drive and that's it, you're set. You don't have monthly payments and this is usually the least expensive route. You also won't have to worry about the availability of Internet access as it is unnecessary for external storage.
- Cons - The downsides to external storage are that you will need to purchase a new USB or external hard drive and create new folders/methods on a periodic basis as you will run out of space. External storage is also easier to be destroyed, as anything can happen to a physical method of storage: flood, theft, or simply being misplaced. Lastly, external storage can be more complicated as some storage methods are usually less user-friendly and could pose problems for users who don't work with the system on a frequent basis.
Online StorageOnline storage, such as Box, Dropbox or Google Drive work similarly to a USB except that you access them through the Internet. The iCloud® service is the Apple® service designed to keep your Apple devices in sync. It works by keeping all of your files, photos, and even videos stored on iCloud.com from all your iOS® devices and even on Windows® computers. Synchronizing your devices with the iCloud service on a regular basis helps to prevent data loss and increases availability for your family members or friends to the documents, photos, and videos you love and want to keep safe.
- Pros - There no restrictions in size and ways to organize your information when using an online form of storage. You also won't have to worry about natural disasters destroying your storage or misplacing it and you'll be able to access your documents from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Online options are also usually the most user-friendly and offer endless organization strategies for your information with minimal effort.
- Cons - A physical medium offers limited access meanwhile the Internet makes your information more vulnerable to hackers. You may also experience delayed access to data should the Internet be unstable or if passwords are forgotten. Online storage also means continuously spending money (i.e., monthly fees) to store your information.
- What kind of access do you need?
- How private or important is the data you are storing?
- How many users need access to this information on a frequent basis?
- What kind of budget are you working with?