If small businesses and individual users have special questions about data storage options, IT consulting services can give them some of the answers they are looking for. Records technology has advanced from paper hard copy to various means of digital storage. But what methods of storage are the best for the specific needs of the user?
Hard Drives – Internal and External
One of the principal means of data storage for most computers is a hard drive. Almost everyone automatically saves their documents on their computer or laptop’s internal hard drive. But when there is the desire for storage that is not directly connected to the workings of the computer, the computer user can use an external hard drive. This type of drive can be kept disconnected from the computer for regular use, which will protect the data from possible malware.
Compact disks have become the successor for the floppy drives that early personal computers featured. Data can be written to the disk, usually called “burning to disk” because of the laser that is used to write and read the data. Whether the disk is a standard CD, a DVD, or even using Blu-ray technology, the disk is a permanent object holding the data for a greatly extended time. The physicality of the disk retains an appeal for many users.
USB Flash Drives, Memory Sticks, Memory Cards
Another means of storage in a physical object that is external to your computer, and thus continuing to protect the data from malware infections that attack your computer or laptop, are the small devices such as flash drives and memory sticks and cards. Many digital devices, such as digital cameras, MP3 players, and other specific-use devices, have memory cards for storing all types of data. As the ability to miniaturize circuitry continues, the amount of data that can be stored on such cards and sticks continues to grow. Most sticks and cards require specific types of ports for transfer of data. USB flash drives, however, transfer via the USB port on most computers and laptops.
The latest development in data storage is cloud storage. What this means is that the user can upload data to a site on the Internet that will maintain the files on independent servers, often in multiple locations. Cloud storage is, in effect, an external hard drive maintained by an outside provider, often for a service fee, although there are free services.
For the ordinary computer user, there are many ways to maintain data storage external to their computer. Backing up the data is important for keeping your records safe from loss due to malware or damage to your computer. There are so many ways of backing up your data, there is very little excuse for not doing it.