What’s the right type of storage for you?
Should you go with Google cloud storage, a portable hard drive or both? We’ll help you work it out…
From essays and presentations to iTunes and photos, the average person accumulates stacks of digital files. Some will take up more space than others, but big or small – how are you going to store them?
What are gigabytes and terabytes?
When buying a portable hard drive or signing up for cloud storage, you’ll see a lot of info about gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB) – which tell you how much stuff you can save. Here’s a rough idea of how much you can store:
- 2TB = 1 million documents, or 400,000 photos, or 332,000 songs, or 800 HD videos
- 4TB = 2 million documents, or 800,000 photos, or 664,000 songs, or 1,600 HD videos
Portable hard drive
In a nutshell: A portable hard drive is a small device that plugs into your laptop’s USB port so you can access your work and entertainment.
Top 4 benefits
1. Get your files anytime
You don’t need an internet connection to access files on an external hard drive – just plug it into a laptop or computer and the files are there. So if you’re offline, you can still get work done.
2. Ample room for your iTunes and photos
Have a gargantuan iTunes archive and heaps of family photos? A portable hard drive gives you oodles of space for your MP3s and holiday snaps for not much cash. You get a massive 1TB with the WD Elements Portable hard drive
3. One-time payment
Whether you’re a student or running a tight family budget, buying your storage up front is a good idea. With a portable hard drive once you have bought it, it’s yours, whereas cloud storage is purchased monthly or annually. Make sure you buy a big enough hard drive for everything you want to save.
4. It’s small enough to go where you go
The days of huge external hard drives are long gone. Today’s portable hard drives are small and slim enough to be slipped in your bag so you can work from anywhere. We love the palm-sized and lightweight WD My Passport
In a nutshell: Save your work securely online to a service like Microsoft OneDrive and Knowhow Cloud and access it from any device, anywhere.
Top 4 benefits
1. Open your work on any laptop or PC
Whether you’ve left your laptop at home or even lost or broken it, you can access your files from other laptops and PCs with cloud storage. Because your files, projects and photos are saved online rather than to your computer, you can pull up your work anywhere – be it the university (or public) library, your iPad in the coffee shop or at a friend’s house.
2. Say goodbye to version control
Whether at home with the family budget spreadsheet or at university with a group project, version control can be annoying. New Windows laptops come with OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud service, built-in. It’s designed to work hand-in-hand with Office 365, so PowerPoint projects or Excel spreadsheets never go beyond one version – no matter how many people make amends.
3. Buy more as your family photos multiply
Start small and buy more cloud storage when you need it. For instance, if your laptop is filling up fast with photos from family days out – or from nights out with friends. Cloud storage is generally bought on a monthly or annual plan in amounts such as 100GB, 200GB, 1TB or 2TB. Some services even offer the first 15GB for free.
4. You have plenty of options
Cloud storage is super flexible, giving you plenty of options. Take our own Knowhow Cloud. It comes in options including 2TB and 4TB storage sizes, and you can set automatic backups and easily share files with friends. If you usually work with Windows, you might want to go with OneDrive as it’s built-in to Windows 10 laptops and also works with Office 365. If you’re a Google Docs and Chromebook kind of person, you might prefer Google Docs.
Is it better to get both?
Probably, yes - text files like essays take up far less space than media files – and larger cloud storage subscriptions can be expensive. The answer? Use cloud storage for essays, notes and presentations and an external hard drive for movies and music.
The WD My Cloud gives you the best of both worlds, chunky hard drive storage with some cloud storage features. It creates your own personal cloud so you can share and save from anywhere provided you have an internet connection.
What about smartphone back-up?
We all snap thousands of photos and videos on our phones – and the storage soon becomes full. Free up space with some back-up
Love selfies and music? You can store up to 16000 songs or 36000 photos on the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB 64GB memory stick.
iPhone or iPad
You can store thousands of photos and songs on the 64GB SanDisk iXpand. Too busy to remember to back up? The memory stick can be set to do it automatically.
What about gamers?
Serious gamer who’s running low on hard drive space? Don’t worry. The Seagate Game Drive is made exclusively for Xbox One and Xbox 360. With 2TB of additional storage, you don’t need to delete your favourite games to make room for new titles. Get the Seagate Game Drive in 2TB and 4TB.