1} MORE FREE SPACE
If you’re like me then you have a ton of files, games, pictures and videos on your computer. The only problem is, as your inventory of files rises your space for it begins to dry up pretty quickly. After my 1 TB internal hard drive had began to give way to my desire to collect everything available on the internet I knew it was time to invest in more memory.
If you’re in a similar situation, or think you may in the future become a virtual hoarder like myself then an external hard drive is a MUST for your grocery list. And considering how quickly premium software suites like Adobe (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc…) and AAA game titles are growing in size with each release it’s almost required to have a ton of space in preparation for the future.
2} SAVE MORE TIME
Do you remember the feeling of dread that comes with purchasing a new computer or upgrading the operating system. It can take hours to move 15 GB’s of data at a time using a flash drive and a series of re-writable DVD’s to a new location, especially with files getting larger every year. Thankfully though, there’s a quick solution. With the help of an external hard drive you can simply plug the drive into the USB port of your new computer and voila! All of your files are moved instantly and can be accessed in as little as 5 minutes.
3} THEY’RE PORTABLE
What appeals most to people about an external hard drive, even though the large size and data safety are a huge plus, is the ability to easily transport all of your data wherever you go. With external hard drives getting smaller in size over the years while getting bigger in terms of storage space it has now become completely possible to literally run a company off of an external hard drive. And if you’re worried you might bump your hard drive around a little bit while on the road, in an airplane or in a shootout there are already a whole line of heavy duty devices that are water proof, fall proof, fireproof and even bulletproof to fit your individual needs.
4} GAIN MORE PHYSICAL SPACE
How many cassette tapes, home movie video tapes or burnt CD’s do you have lying around? Whatever the answer is, it’s probably too many. With an external hard drive it’s easier than ever to keep a clutter free house and get rid of some of those pesky video tapes in your garage. And even better, with the introduction of devices like the PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Android Boxes, Radio Tuners and Smart TV’s you’re now able to play all of your videos and music from your external hard drive directly to your television or surround sound system. Cool, right?
5} PROTECT YOUR DATA
If security is a huge concern for your sensitive data then external hard drives can help you there too. As we’ve previously mentioned, all external hard drives are portable, which means when you’re done working you can simply store your drive in a safe or deposit it into a lock box at a bank. Not only that, but for as little as $150 you can purchase an external drive that requires your fingerprint before giving access to any data behind a custom made, military grade encryption algorithm. And this isn’t even mentioning the data encryption options and file passwords you can implement after you get into the drive. If you ask me, all of this is perfect for hiding those pictures from your last Vegas trip, don’t you agree?
6} IN CASE OF DISASTER
We’ve all had it happen. Sometimes you’re up working on a term paper or important sales report late at night and you accidentally delete the wrong file in an attempt to keep your folders neat… Oops! Or maybe you’re typing your way through a 1,500 word article and all of a sudden the power goes out. When it comes back on, your file has been corrupted because you didn’t shut the program down properly and have to start all over again. These are just a couple of disasters that are waiting to strike your data at any given moment; even while you’re reading this! So how do you prepare for it? Simple.
With the aid of automatic backup software you can have all of your files backed up immediately or at specific times each day to your external hard drive. In most cases this will save you from the worst case scenario of when you accidentally overwrite an important file or worse… When your computers hard drive inevitably dies.
7} TO KEEP YOUR COMPUTER FAST
If you’ve read through our Nerd Dictionary you’ll know that we equate the hard drive to the part of the human brain in charge of memory. So ask yourself; what happens in real life when you have a lot of stuff going on? Do you begin to slow down, not think straight, take longer to make decisions and take longer to remember things? That’s exactly how a hard drive works. Once you have many files on a hard drive and it hasn’t been maintained through steady defragmentation and error checking you will quickly begin to notice your computer grinding to a halt as error messages concerning memory become more frequent each day. And even if you begin to delete files to free up memory the files will leave behind trash known as clutter, which will in turn still slow down your computer, making it a losing battle.
By adding an external hard drive to the mix you can relieve yourself of most of those concerns while expanding your memory to almost limitless bounds for under $100 dollars these days. By freeing up memory on your computers brain you’ll notice that it will speed up as you transfer files off of it as this will allow it to “think” clearer, resulting in happiness for both you and your computer.
8} IF YOUR COMPUTER GETS INFECTED WITH A VIRUS
Most viruses are designed to attack only your main computer. They’ll come in, damage your system files and make your computer useless until it’s properly cleaned. This is where the safety of an external hard drive comes in. Since external hard drives always have random data on them and are in random places on your computer, most virus creators won’t waste time writing code for them; this is why they usually leave them untouched. And while there are some viruses specifically made to steal your passwords and seek out sensitive data, which can affect files on your external hard drive, 9 times out of 10 after you’ve had your computer cleaned of any viruses you can get your computer back up and running quickly without having to worry about your data.
Not only this, but while your computer is being worked on or in the computer shop you can easily plug your external hard drive into another computer or laptop and finish your homework or update your resume with no problem at all.
9} CLOUD BACKUP SERVICES CAN’T ALWAYS BE TRUSTED
Cloud storage services seem to be all the rage these days. You can upload videos from your smartphone instantly to the cloud, save your video game files and store countless amounts of data on a server somewhere far, far away from your home saving it from any disasters you may face. But what’s the catch? While we condone, suggest and even use cloud services from time to time for certain projects, the truth is… You should not put all of your faith in cloud services.
An example of just how wrong cloud storage can go lies in the highly publicized downfall of well known ex-cloud storage service, MegaUpload. In early 2012 MegaUpload was shut down by the FBI due to the massive amount of illegal and pirated content stored on the servers. With the shutdown MANY users, both legitimate and illegitimate, lost almost infinite amounts of data including family photos, videos, work related documents and more that was all stored on the company 1000+ servers.
Now while the MegaUpload incident is likely to go down in history as one of the internet’s biggest events, there are numerous horror stories all over the internet about cloud services closing down, having their data centers attacked by hackers and the mass data loss of users that followed. The best way to make sure your data is safe and always accessible is to buy an external hard drive and keep a copy of your files on there; at least for the time being.