External Storage Devices: A Secure and Portable Way To Store Your Files

In the race to provide the best Cloud-based file storage, external storage has been put on the back burner. But a large chunk of the consumer market still prefers storage devices. There are three reasons a small business might choose external storage over Cloud-based storage:

  1. Security. Even if your Cloud provider promises all the security in the world, once your data is out there, it’s vulnerable. An external hard drive is the only way a small business owner can truly remain in control of all business data. There is, however, one loophole. An external hard drive or external hard drive can easily be lost or stolen, with its data left open for viewing. This makes encryption and complex passwords extremely important.
  2. Accessibility. While Cloud-based file storage requires an internet connection, external file storage goes everywhere with you–as long as you remember to take it. This is convenient on airplanes and in hotels with expensive wi-fi charges.
  3. Reliability. Sure, your Cloud-based provider will promise 100% uptime, but anyone who has ever dealt with cable and phone service providers know there’s no such thing. When your Cloud-based file storage is unusable, your files may be held hostage, as well, especially if you’re away from the computer where your original copies of all of your files may be stored. An external hard drive ensures you’ll always be able to get to your important files.

The key is to find a storage device that has all the features you need to safeguard your documents. A hard drive that is lightweight, durable, high capacity, and, perhaps most importantly, secure. External hard drives range in price from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars, but SMBs might be interested to know that more expensive doesn’t necessarily equal better.

  • Drobo specifically tailors its project to the need of SMBs, with a weight of only three pounds and a capacity of 3TB. The standout thing about Drobo’s external storage is that it incorporates RAID storage, which automatically protects data even in the event of a hard drive crash. This external drive will be available in September with prices starting at $650.
  • Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable Drive offers 1TB of storage with USB 3.0 compatibility allowing for fast transfer speeds. Seagate’s drive is also ultra-portable, weighing only .44 pound and measuring 4.86″ X 3.19″ X .6″. The 1TB version begins at $140.
  • Western Digital puts your data in your pocket with its mini drive. WD’s My Passport compares to the dimensions of a passport, weighing in at .51 pounds and measuring .820″ X 4.4″ X 3.2″. The best part about My Passport is its capacity with its ability to hold 2TB of files, photos, and media. The 2TB version retails for $170-$200.

But if you’re still on the fence about choosing an external hard drive vs. Cloud-based file management. Western Digital’s software now includes the ability to auto-save your content to popular Cloud-based file management software Dropbox, combining the power of both hardware and software.

“By combining access to Dropbox and personal cloud storage into a single intuitive mobile app, WD is empowering consumers with the flexibility and control of anytime, any-device management of their growing libraries of digital content,” said Jim Welsh, executive vice president for WD’s branded products and consumer electronics groups.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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