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…

Essays, presentations, notes. Movies, music, photos. You’ll build up stacks of digital files during your time at uni. Some of these take up more space than others, but whether big or small – how are you going to store them?

Should you go with cloud storage, a portable hard drive or both? And what about phone and games console storage? We’ll help you work out what you need…

Essays, presentations, notes. Movies, music, photos. It’s easy to build up stacks of digital files. Some of these take up more space than others, but whether 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 space your files will take up:

  • 500GB = 8,330 hours of digital music, or 125 DVD-quality movies
  • 1TB = 16,660 hours of digital music, or 250 DVD-quality movies

(Source: Seagate)


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. Access your stuff anytime

You don’t need an Internet connection to get at files on an external hard drive – just plug it into a laptop or computer and your files are there to open and edit.  

2. Masses of storage space 

Like watching movies and binging on TV series’? Have an enormous music collection you expect to grow further? A portable hard drive gives you loads of space.


3. One-time payment

It’s one simple up front cost to buy your storage. With a portable hard drive once you have bought it, it’s yours, whereas cloud storage is purchased monthly or annually. To avoid running out of space and having to pay additional fees, make sure you buy a big enough hard drive for everything you want to save.


4 Your data stays with you

With a portable drive, your data is stored in a physical object that is in your hand. This can be more reassuring than uploading your data online, and the drives are small and light enough to carry with you if you need to access the data elsewhere.

Check out our portable hard drives


Cloud storage

In a nutshell: You save your files to a secure online service that can be accessed from any computer, provided you have an internet connection. Knowhow, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox as well as many more provide Cloud services.

Knowhow Cloud storage gives you the security of having all your files backed up automatically, so there’s no risk of losing any business projects or presentations you might be working on. You can also access your files across all of your devices from anywhere.

Check out our Knowhow packages


Top 4 benefits

1. Access your essays, notes and photos from anywhere

Because your files are saved to the Internet rather than to an actual device, you can access them from any laptop or PC – provided you have an Internet connection. Working on a business project with colleagues or an assignment for university? Pull up your notes from their laptop. Whatever changes you make to your document will show when you open it again on your own laptop.


2. Lose or break your laptop, but don’t lose your essays

Ever lost or broken a laptop? Losing your work and photos can be a total nightmare. But if you’ve saved them to the cloud you can still access them from other computers – even if yours is in the bin. Get on with sorting out insurance claims and choosing a new laptop safe in the knowledge your essays and revision notes are safe.


3. Flexibility to buy more when your budget allows

You can start off small and buy more cloud storage as and when you need it. Cloud storage is generally bought on a monthly or annual plan in amounts such as 100GB, 200GB, 1TB or 2TB. So as your workload increases as term rattles on, you can increase your storage for all your notes and essays. Some services even offer the first 15GB for free.


4. Work on group projects at the same time as colleagues

View and edit the same document at the same time from separate laptops with some cloud services such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. You can be working remotely while your colleagues are in the office while you both edit the same presentation in real time. You will see their changes as they make them, and vice versa. This is a huge benefit for students working on group assignments, too.

Sharing files is also simple. With Google Drive for example, just hit the Share button and type in their email address.

Work at the same time as friends

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.


Storage you might not have though about… 

Xbox gaming storage

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. The simple to use plug in and play usability also gets you back to gaming in minutes.

Check out the Seagate Game Drive, available in both 2TB and 4TB


Apple and Android phone storage

We all snap thousands of photos and videos on our phones – and the storage soon becomes full. Instead of having to agonise over what pictures to delete, why not back everything up?



With the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB memory stick allows you to store 64GB of content in one simple compact memory stick – that means up to 16000 songs or 36000 photos. The storage comes equipped with a micro-USB connector and USB connector so you can move your files, pictures and work presentations easily between your tablet, smartphone and computer.

Check out the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB



This memory stick is equipped with a lightning connector and USB, allowing you to seamlessly transfer files across all of your Apple devices. What’s more, you can set the memory stick to back up your files automatically. This means no more accidentally lost files.

Check out the SanDisk iXpand Dual USB