Having a reliable external hard drive is a must for almost anyone. Today we deal with various types of data – from photos to work and study projects. And all computers, especially laptops, have their limitations.
If you are not sure how to make the best use of your hard drive in college, this guide is for you.
External Hard Drives Overview
The first question one might have is, “Why do I need it anyway?”. The main reason is to safely store and back up your data. Sure, cloud storage is now available to anyone who wants to back up their data. But it is not the ultimate fix to the problem.
A proper backup means having at least 3 copies of files, with 2 of them being on different media. So cloud storage is just one. Physical storage is another one. Just imagine if your laptop crashes and catches a virus, and all your college work is gone.
All of the notes, materials, and papers are lost. And you need to submit that essay in two days. Now you have to start over. One might find themselves wondering, “Can I pay someone to write my paper for me this time?”. The answer is yes, of course. Professional academic writing platforms are ready to help at the shortest notice.
Expert writers can nail any type of college assignment for you. They deliver writing, proofreading, and editing to meet all deadlines. It is a great option in any situation, whether you’ve lost your file or simply need help with the paper.
Although the papers and projects can be done by others, the same will not work with lost photos, movies, or personal documents. That’s why investing in credible external storage is a must. There are just too many cybersecurity threats and potential hardware malfunctions.
Besides that, physical storage is easier to access than cloud one. You do not need an internet connection. It is faster, more protected (no hacker can access it), and mainly, offers more space.
HDD vs. SSD: Which one is Better?
There are two types of this essential gadget for students: Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid-State Drive (SSD). They have different principles of work and various pros and cons to them.
HDD is the original design with moving hardware parts inside. This makes them less portable and more vulnerable to physical damage. They are also slightly slower than SSD ones. However, they are usually significantly cheaper and offer more storage space. It is a good desktop option if you do not plan to move it around a lot.
SDD works like a super flash drive. It is robust, fast, and has no moving parts. It is very mobile, and you can carry it around in a backpack with no risks. But these devices are often less spacious and more costly.
So the choice is individual and depends on such factors as:
- How much storage space do you need;
- You much you are willing to spend;
- Do you plan on carrying it around with you;
- Are you prone to dropping things?
In any case, both types offer immense benefits to users.
Benefits of Using an External Hard Drive
Now let’s talk about the main advantages of having such devices for students in college. These are:
- Offers easy access to any data you need without any internet connection;
- Gives additional storage. This is essential because as soon as 50% of your laptop’s memory is filled, it starts to slow down. Unless you want to be annoyed with a slow computer, you need to store files somewhere else;
- Secure backups for all types of files;
- Better convertibility. Some home routers are also now connectable with external drives. This way, the device can act like a home server that other devices can connect to. With a connected TV, you can stream movies or pictures right from the drive.
- Portability. You can take all essential files with you anywhere you go.
How to Use it to the Maximum
One can use such a device to store information and do backups. But they are also great for digital editing, data sharing, and gaming.
To make the best use of your hard drive in college, follow simple steps.
- Put there all the essential files you want to back up. Those are work and study-related documents, personal information, photos, etc. Anything you want to protect from malware or loss due to laptop crash/malfunction.
- Store there all files you do not need often. To make your laptop faster, get all the files you do not need daily to the external hard drive. These can be movies, old video or photo edits, pictures, etc. They are going to be safe and easily available without slowing down the device you work with every day.
- Create a comprehensive organizational system. Do not just dump everything there. Create a system of folders that you can easily navigate and find anything you need.
- Use it for complex tasks like video or photo editing, digital illustration, 3D rendering, or advanced simulations. It is called a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) processing. If you have two or more external drives, you can plug them simultaneously to act like one. This significantly increases the processing power of your computer to deal with complex software. And it serves as several points of backup. Even if one crashes, the others still have all the files on.
- Use it for gaming. Modern video games require immense computing resources. This is where external devices can also help. However, you’ll need one with a Thunderbolt system or USB-C connector for that. They offer high-speed and advanced performance.
- Check it regularly for malware and performance levels. Maintenance includes deleting duplicates and unnecessary files.
An external hard drive is a great tool for college students as it offers multiple benefits. You can speed up your computer by storing files elsewhere. You can get proper backups and a lot of storage space for all crucial data. And you can use it for running complex software.