Know Your External Devices for Backup and Data Recovery

When you first develop a backup strategy to keep your computer files safe and ensure successful data recovery, deciding which storage medium to use can be a challenge. There are a lot of different kinds of external storage devices to select from, so which one is best?

Every authority on data recovery in New Jersey will have a different opinion on the best external storage media, but the decision really comes down to a number of considerations, for example:

What kind of device are you backing up? Is it a PC, a Mac, mobile device?
Does your external storage need to be portable?
Are you backing up personal or business data?
What is your budget?
What volume of data do you need to store?
Is a single data recovery solution sufficient or do you need some redundancy built in?

In making your decision, it helps if you are aware of all the available solutions to protect your files and act as a source for data recovery, should you suffer a drive failure or computer malfunction.

Memory Cards

At the smallest end of the data storage scale are memory cards, sometimes called smart cards. Although small in size, the storage capacity of these cards is on the increase. Probably the most commonly used types of memory cards are SD, MiniSD and MicroSD. While these cards are best used for storing mobile device data, many computers have SD card slots. This makes it possible to use memory cards for backing up documents from a computer.

The advantage of using memory cards as a data recovery solution is that you can store many documents on a single card, with SD cards commonly having a capacity of 32 gigabytes or more. Due to their small size, SD cards containing back-up data can be tucked away somewhere in a different location from your computer. They are also very convenient in terms of portability. The only drawback is that these cards are so small, making it easy to lose or misplace them.

USB or Flash Drives

Also known as thumb drives, USB drives and memory sticks, flash drives are another useful and portable data recovery solution. These devices have a higher storage capacity than memory cards, with the biggest versions able to store up to 1 terabyte of data. A high capacity flash drive can be used to back up your entire computer, including the operating system. For this reason, flash drives are a realistic PC back-up solution, with the added advantage of portability.

A flash drive can also provide another useful function in your data recovery strategy. You can turn a USB stick into a flash drive recovery tool to boot up a Windows PC when faced with a computer repair situation. If you need to develop your backup strategy on a low budget, investing in a couple of good flash drives can provide you with an entire data recovery solution. Use one drive to create a flash drive recovery tool for your computer and the other to back-up your important documents. As a further safety factor, the data you store on a flash drive is usually recoverable if the drive itself should suffer a malfunction. You can take your flash drive to someone offering USB data recovery in New Jersey and, get your data retrieved.

Rewritable CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray

You can use rewritable disks to store copies of important documents, photographs and other files from your computer. If you don’t have a disk drive built into your PC or laptop, you will need to have an external drive compatible with the type of disks you want to use. As a storage medium, the capacities of the different disk types varies: CDs have a capacity of up to 700 megabytes, DVDs run to 4.5 gigabytes and Blu-ray disks can hold as much as 25 gigabytes of data.

As part of your backup and data recovery strategy, disks offer an inexpensive solution. They have the advantage of being portable and easy to store away from your computer. You can use these disks to create a full back-up image of your computer as well as for archiving your documents. One minor disadvantage is that they can easily be scratched, damaged or otherwise rendered unreadable.

External Hard Drives

One of the most popular backup solutions for PC and Mac computers is an external drive, connecting to your computer via USB. Capable of holding massive amounts of data, there’s no shortage of choice, so you can find a drive which suits your requirements and budget. Small portable drives are now very popular and need no external power source. They just take their power supply from your computer via the USB connection.

If you have a lot of large files to store, such as movies, you might choose a larger capacity external hard drive with its own power supply. Although not so easy to move around, they are still fairly portable and just need to be plugged into the mains power supply. You can still keep one of these drives in a separate location to your computer when it’s not being used to copy or retrieve data.

Whether you select a larger hard drive or a small portable one, the only drawback is that these drives have moving parts. This means a portable hard drive can malfunction, just like the drive built into your computer. Fortunately, if you use a hard drive as a data recovery solution, it’s unlikely that your computer drive and your backup drive will both fail at the same time. Even if this should happen, any New Jersey data recovery service should be able to get your data back for you.

Use Your Backup Solution Regularly

Whichever storage device you decide upon, it’s important to regularly update the data you store. No device is effective if you haven’t used it to perform regular backups. Always try to keep your backup device stored away from your computer, ideally in a fireproof safe or a location outside of your home.

If you feel you need further advice about which storage medium is right for you, talk to a data recovery expert. He or she will have the knowledge to advise you according to your own unique circumstances. If you are located in New Jersey, Dave’s Computers are located in Hillsborough and will be happy to help with your backup and data recovery strategy. Feel free to phone Dave’s Computers on 908-428-9558.


by David Molnar

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