If you’re unfamiliar with external hard drives, or if you’re unsure if they’re worth the investment, you’re probably unaware of the benefits of purchasing one for your home use. They’re easy to use — typically, you just plug them in via a USB port, and perhaps plug them into an outlet as well, and you’re ready to go — and they’re not difficult to find.
Buy an external hard drive and you can start enjoying these four advantages of owning one.
Free Up Computer Space
The newer your desktop, laptop, tablet, ultrabook or smartphone is, the more space you may have on the device for storage. Desktop computers especially have a lot of gigabytes, or even terabytes, of space. Nevertheless, the space is finite. At some point, all of the documents, media, games, applications, programs and other files are going to take up the space you have available until you have no more. From there, you can either upgrade your device and deal with the pain of transferring all the files you want to keep or add more internal storage space, which isn’t possible for every device and should only be attempted by a professional.
Alternatively, you can get an external drive that gives you gigabytes or terabytes more of storage space. Connect the drive, transfer files you don’t use often, and disconnect the device, freeing up space on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Whenever you need to access those digital files, you just connect the hard drive back into the device.
Store Large Amounts of Media
Perhaps you love your computer, smartphone or tablet and wouldn’t be interested in upgrading to one with more storage space. That’s perfectly fine if you opt to rely on your external drive to store the bulk of your files, particularly the ones you don’t use on a consistent basis. You can increase the amount of space you have for your digital files exponentially with a simple purchase. It’s easy to use, and it won’t require you to seek professional assistance for some complex installation process.
Hard drives that connect externally come in a variety of digital storage-space sizes, so you won’t have to spend more money than you need on a drive that’s too large. If just a few more gigabytes would do, there are hard drive options for you. Conversely, if you need lots of space, there are terabyte options, too.
Clear Out Your DVD-Rs and CD-Rs
CD-Rs and then the larger-storage-size DVD-Rs that followed were once the most popular method of external digital storage because they were relatively inexpensive and hard drives were pricey. However, hard drives have become more affordable and can literally store about a million times more than a CD-R, which were never able to store large files anyway.
Also, hard drives take up less space in your home. Whereas it would take you bookshelf upon bookshelf to store data externally on discs, the external drive is smaller than most laptop computers, and new models are getting smaller and smaller. Don’t forget that the process of burning each of those disks would take up a lot of time, whereas transferring data to a drive is relatively fast and simple.
Back Up Data
If you ever did use CD-Rs or DVD-Rs, chances are you knew the importance of backing up your digital data, and an external hard drive makes it easier to do so. If you never really thought about backing up data before, now’s the time to do so. If your computer or other device crashes as a result of a virus or faulty hardware, you could lose everything you’ve ever stored: documents, photos, music files, video files, program files, apps and so much more. Similarly, if your device is lost, stolen or destroyed in a disaster, you’ve lost all of your data—unless you thought to make a backup first. Your external drive can serve as that backup. If your computer or device is destroyed or lost, at least you have important, irreplaceable files ready to transfer to your fixed or replaced computer.
Whatever your reason for choosing a hard drive, you’re sure to get a lot of use out of it. Investing in one or more is smart for both individuals and businesses.