Speed up your Computer by Saving Files Elsewhere
Retrieved: Mar 21, 2010 Author: Kayleigh Teachout
Article by: Azmira Azhar Upload by: Munirah
A Basic External Hard Drive
Each year, students write midterms, essays, finals, and assignments. Professionals write reports, presentations, and other files. Freelance writers can write up to five or more articles every day they need to or want to store for a portfolio or future edits. Home computer users save emails, pictures, music files, and many other digital files.
While most modern computers have at least 2 gigs of storage space, that may not be enough for many computer users. In addition, files and pictures need to be stored for years and need to be transferred to a new computer or two over the users lifetime. Saving files on a computer is great for temporary or short-term storage, but for those files that will be hanging around for a while, there are better options.
Why Storing Files on a Computer is Bad
Having thousands of music and photo files stored on a computer's hard drive slows it down considerably. Each time a computer is turned on, it has to load every file. If there are multiple users on a single computer, each storing files regularly, it may take a long time for a computer to start up and run.
Another problem occurs when a new computer is purchased. How are files transferred from the old computer to the new one? It used to be a long process of saving each file on a disk and then transferring them onto a new computer. Each user would have to save his or her own files and keep track of the disks.
Now there are a few newer, better options, but not everyone knows about them, or understands them. These three options are ways of storing files externally, or not on the computer's hard drive.
An external hard drive can be a small thumb, or flash, drive that can save a few text documents and photos, or can be as large as 1 terabyte (TB), which is 1024 Gigabytes (GB) or 1 million megabytes (MB). External hard drives are set up similarly to the file system on basic computers. Some come with pre-named folders such as Photos, Documents, Music, and Videos and others let the user create their own. 1 TB external hard drives take the average computer user many years to fill, so it is a good choice as long as it can last.
This type of storage device usually looks like a novel sized box with an indicator light, a wall plug, and a USB connection. It can be used with a laptop or computer and can easily be plugged into a new computer. Most brands can also be networked so multiple users on multiple computers can access and store files on it over the network without needing to be plugged into each computer.
External hard drives are commonly referred to as back up drives due to their ability to back up an entire computer so nothing will be lost if the computer is broken or is infected with a virus. A basic 1 TB external hard drive costs around $100 USD or more, but is worth the investment to store large amounts of data and allow computers to run faster.
Option 2: Paid Third Party Storage
A second option for external file storage is paid third party storage. There are a few companies who server sell storage space for computer files. Basically, files can be uploaded to the company's website after the user purchases a storage plan and sets up an account. Certain storage companies only allow text files while others allow many types of files.
One example is Box.net