One essential part of any computer is the storage system contained within it. Most computers have one or more storage devices built into them, and these are typically mechanical hard drives, SSDs (solid state drives, similar in functionality to USB flash drives), or a hybrid device that contains a mixture of the two.
These internal storage devices are great for the most part, and computer users don’t normally need to get extra storage space, especially with modern computers often containing a minimum of 500GB of disk space. But there are a significant number of computer users that need to obtain some extra, external storage space for a multitude of reasons.
The main reason is down to backup. You see, if you just store all of your files on your computer’s hard drive and that drive becomes faulty one day, or perhaps ends up in the wrong hands (i.e. it gets stolen), your chances of getting your data back are basically slim to none.
Another reason is portability. If you have a desktop computer with several gigabytes of files that you need to share between different locations, storing them on cloud storage facilities can be a bit of a drag because you have to keep downloading and uploading those files so that all of your systems are synchronised.
You are highly unlikely to carry around a heavy desktop with you all of the time, and a laptop might not have the space you need, so it makes perfect sense to have a small portable gadget that you can plug into any computer system, and there are many that are even network-enabled; these are known as NAS (network-accessible storage) devices.
Now that you know of the benefits to owning a portable storage device, you are now probably wondering what is the best device for you. Here is a roundup of 7 of the best computer storage gadgets of 2014 for you to feast your eyes on!
Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1TB External USB Hard Drive
If you spend a lot of your time travelling between locations, you will doubtless want to have an external drive that is pretty tough and can stand up to all sorts of rough handling. One of the most-popular drives for such a purpose has to be the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1TB External USB Hard Drive!
The rugged case helps this 2.5-inch external hard drive have military-grade shock resistance, and it even features a quick reconnect button so that you can quickly and safely remove and reconnect the hard drive.
Seagate STBV2000200 2TB External USB Hard Drive
A firm favourite with many people is the Seagate STBV2000200 2TB External USB Hard Drive. Featuring 2TB of storage space inside of a 3.5-inch desktop hard drive, high-speed USB 3.0 connectivity is supported on this device, making it one of the fastest external storage gadgets around!
Seagate is one of the most-popular manufacturers of hard drives in the world, with many big-name computer manufacturers using their drives inside their computer systems, so you can be sure of a quality and reliable product here.
Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB External USB Hard Drive
If you want an external drive that has a small 2.5-inch drive and yet looks extremely stylish at the same time, and you don’t have a requirement for something that can be chucked across the room without resulting in any physical damage, you should consider buying the Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB External USB Hard Drive.
Western Digital is also another popular hard drive manufacturer, so if anything were to go wrong with your shiny new drive, the firm will be more than happy to take care of it for you and resolve the problem as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo 4TB NAS
Sometimes people might just want an external drive solution that sits beside or near to their computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If this sounds like you, the Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo 4TB NAS is probably the answer to your prayers!
Buffalo’s NAS (network-accessible storage) gadget features a fast Gigabit Ethernet connectivity port at the back for high-speed network access and contains 2x 2TB hard drives inside of the enclosure. The great thing about this device is that you can set one of those hard drives as a mirror of the other, or you can utilise the full 4TB of space.
Western Digital My Cloud 3TB NAS
The Western Digital My Cloud 3TB NAS is a pretty useful NAS device. Not only does it enable you to store up to 3TB of data in one handy, portable size, but you can also access your content remotely using any computer, smartphone or tablet.
It also has seamless Dropbox connectivity, and if 3TB isn’t enough space for you, another external USB drive can be connected to it to extend your storage space!
LaCie Rugged 120GB External SSD
Many external hard drives are marketed on the basis of being able to work fine with both Windows and Mac platforms, but now there is an external drive that is not only fast, but caters exclusively for the Mac market!
The LaCie Rugged 120GB External SSD is basically an external Solid State Drive that has both a USB 3.0 and an Apple Thunderbolt port for high-speed data transfer. With one of these rugged drives, it’s like having a giant USB flash drive at your disposal – but only quicker!
Apple AirPort Extreme 2TB
Another Mac-friendly product has to be the Apple AirPort Extreme 2TB, available on this website. Despite the strange and apparently tall shape of this device, it’s actually only 16.8cm tall and 9.8cm wide!
It works as a Time Capsule (basically Apple’s name for a backup device) for Mac systems, and also has the added benefit of being a wireless hotspot! You can set it all up from your iPhone, iPad or Mac, and you can even share external hard drives and printers with it too.
Featured Photo via Flickr (source: Karen)