We’ve gone through several revolutions in data storage in the best couple of decades, and we’ve certainly come a long way from those unreliable flimsy floppy disks that used to be ubiquitous back in the day.
In 2017 we have several good ways to store our important and valuable data, and each one of them has their pros and cons. Let’s take a look:
Mechanical Hard Drives
This is the method that’s been around for the longest. Its main advantage is that it’s cheap and provides lots of storage. The main disadvantage of this method is that mechanical hard drives are prone unfortunately to failure. It’s often said it’s not IF your drive will fail, it’s when, and there’s sadly a good deal of truth to that statement.
Solid State Hard Drives
These are more reliable than mechanical drives, but also more expensive. You can reasonably expect 10-20 years out of them. Most people think they are well worth the extra money. They are also a good deal faster than their mechanical brothers.
These are really similar to Solid State drives, just smaller both in size and in physical capacity. These are a really good idea for individual projects, or passing on things like big music libraries person to person. They can be had for cheap, but generally the poorer quality products don’t last as long. Stick to name brands.
These are probably the most reliable method of storing your data, but of course there are some major drawbacks. Storage space is usually incredibly limited, unless you are paying monthly for more space. And since clouds are on the internet, uploading and downloading large amounts of data can be painfully slow, of course depending on your own level of internet connection. Lastly, once again since everything’s on the internet, your data could be more vulnerable to hackers etc., not to mention of course that if the internet goes down, you lose access to your data until it goes back on. This can be a great option or a terrible one, depending on what your specific needs are.
If you do find that despite your best precautions you have lost valuable data, you may need recovery software or a hard drive recovery service. You may even have to pay a professional by the hour to comb your drive for what could be left of your precious data, so whichever method you choose make sure you keep multiple backups. The effort is almost always worth it.