Every computer has in it a hard drive or hard disk as some call it while a mainframe computer has hundreds of them connected to it. A hard drive is where digital information is stored and retrieved and has one or more rotating discs that are coated with a magnetic substance.A typical hard drive should have certain basic features starting with the storage capacity which is measured in gigabyte.A desktop hard drive can have anything from 160GB and beyond. Hard drives used to be quite large in size although the prices have come down considerably now along with the size.

A Solid state drive is what you have in a modern laptop and is considered the viable alternative to the hard drive. The difference in the two drives is that while the former is based on magnetic substance, the latter is built out of semiconductors. A Solid state drive is used in almost every electronic item that is based on semiconductors and chips. What this means in actual terms when compared to the hard drive is that the primary storage medium in the computer is through semiconductors in a solid state drive and not through magnetic substance as in the case of the hard drive.

Another drive that we are quite used to and is very popular among computer buffs is the USB flash drive.This is a drive that is invaluable in saving your work as back up or in order to take it somewhere else. Let’s say you have done some work on your office computer; be it a document, spreadsheet or even images and you need to complete the rest of it at home. All you do is plug in your USB flash drive into a USB port in your computer and save it. You can take your device home and plug it into your home computer, open the file and start working on it again. Although it’s a tiny device it’s very important as backup for your valuable data.

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With everyone needing storage devices with large capacities they will have to go for an extra drive be it an external or internal hard drive. There are many aspects that should be considered when deciding which one to buy with the most important being the access speeds and rate of data transfer. With both the external and internal hard drive being almost the same on these aspects you can use either of them. Storing your valuable data in an external hard drive however gives added security especially because it is located outside the computer making it easy to use and also enables you to keep an extra copy of your data for use whenever required.

The type of external hard drive you purchase will depend on your needs with a desktop hard drive being larger and created specifically for the purpose of connecting to your computer while a portable hard drive as the name suggests being small and light enough to be carried around and used in different computers as and when the need arises.

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