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Storage has never been enough and never has it been cheap. Now you can add a terabyte (TB) to your laptop or desktop by means of an external drive. This is adequate to house hundreds of movie files or hundreds of thousands of MP3s or photos. A professional photographer or videographer may need something with a large capacity, whereas a student may need something portable. And someone running a small business may depend on storage capacity, durability and transfer time. But which to choose? Here’s all you need to consider when shopping for an external hard drive.






There are two kinds of external hard drives. Desktop-class drives, fitted with a 3.5-inch inbuilt mechanisms that requires a power adapter. These are designed to stay in one place, naturally on your desk at home or at the office. If you’re buying a desktop-class drive for video or lots of file transfers, look for one with a built-in fan, as the extra cooling will prolong the drive’s life expectancy. Notebook-class (pocket or portable) hard drives are usually 2.5-inch mechanisms powered through a connector cable.

Desktop-class models now top out at 8TB per mechanism, but some drive firms put two or more mechanisms into a chassis for extra storage (for example, two 4TB drives for a total of 8TB of storage). Notebook-class drives come in capacities up to 4TB, but capacities from 500GB to 2TB are most common.

You can increase aptitude, speed, or data protection by buying an external RAID array, but multiple drives add expense and complexity. Once the external RAID array connects to your device, it will automatically act as an external drive. If you are planning to store important data, then you should consider a drive with support for RAID levels 1, 5, or 10.

The solid-state drive (or SSD) is the next type of external storage. It uses a flash memory to store data rather than spinning platters. These drives are faster, and in most cases cost quite a bit more than external hard drives.






External hard drives connect to PCs and Macs via external cables. USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports are almost always present, though there are also newer connectors like USB-C, USB 3.0 provides fast transfer speeds and a little or less fuss since it’s backward-compatible and almost all desktop and laptop PCs come with USB ports. The newer USB-C standard is faster still and supported using the smaller and more suitable USB-C connector, but right now it is still to some extent uncommon to find on drives.

All external drives have USB connectivity of one sort or another, but it’s important to check that the drive you’re considering is compatible with your computer. A handful of USB memory sticks and hard drives are currently available with both USB 3.0 and USB-C support via two separate connectors. Optional adapters will let you use older USB drives with PCs with newer USB-C ports.

Do you care what your external drive looks like? You can buy different colored drives for each family member, for example. Included software is a factor if you don’t already have a local or online backup plan. If you’re basically using the drive as an additional storage container, or if you’re using the backup software built into Windows, the software bundled with the drive isn’t as important. Warranty length is also a big factor. Drives can and will fail. That cheap drive you found on a deal site may only come with a one-year warranty. Look for a three- or five-year warranty if you’re hard on your drives.



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The 5 Best SD Cards to Buy in 2017

The 5 Best SD Cards to Buy in 2017

You need to pay a lot of attention to the specs when buying the right SD card for your phone, camera or video camera. Among the most important specs include capacity and transfer speeds. Capacity is apparently the most important since you will want to know how many images or videos can fit on a card. However, you also need to pay attention to the write speed. Slow speeds will slow down the number of images you capture in a given moment. This can at times prove to be tricky depending on what type of work you are doing. Here below, is a compiled a list of the best SC cards based on type and use.

  1. SanDisk Extreme PLUS microSDXC






The SanDisk Extreme PLUS is designed and tested for harsh conditions. Be it you are taking a shot at the top of the mountain or at the bottom of the lake, you can rely on the SanDisk Extreme Plus. It is waterproof, heatproof and freeze proof. It is relatively expensive but it also has some advantages to it. It has a write speed of 90MB/S and a read speed of up to 95MB/S. The SanDisk Extreme Plus is Class 3 designated meaning it can handle 4K Ultra HD video recording with ease and it also comes with a download offer of the RescuePRO data recovery software, which lets you recover files that have been accidentally deleted. The SanDisk Extreme PLUS is available in 16GB, 32 GB, and 64GB formats.

2.      Polaroid 64GB






This plug-and-shoot high performance SD card is just the thing for photographers of all ranks, balancing speed with value and flexibility for a solid all-around memory result. It has class 10 and UHS-1/U3 compatibility, meaning it can handle 4k photos and videos, in addition to all other traditional file types. It hits 95Mb/s read speed and 90MB/s write speed, letting you transfer large files at quick speeds. It also supports burst mode for continuous shooting, and is shockproof and waterproof to survive adventurous outings.



  1. SanDisk Ultra Class 10 SDHC






If you’re looking for an SD card that is relatively cheaper and don’t mind the slower write speeds then you’re perfectly safe going with a budget SD card. The SanDisk Ultra is the card. It is available in 16, 32, 64, and 128 GB, and offers a moderate write of about 10 MB per second, meaning it could resist keeping up with burst shooting in RAW format. Read/transfer speeds are significantly faster at 80 MB/s. either way, it is a solid alternative for casual photographers who do not fire off 10 wide format shots a second. It’s waterproof, heatproof, freeze proof, X-ray proof, magnet proof and shockproof, and it’s got a 10-year warranty.



4.      Samsung PRO Class 10 Micro SDHC







Samsung’s line of SDHC and SDXC cards are relatively cheaper than the SanDisk Extreme PLUS, other than that they offer the potential for read and write speeds that are every bit as aggressive. The 32 GB and 64 GB SDXC formats both offer read speeds of 90 MB/s and write speeds of up to 80MB/s, while the 16 GB SDHC offers a transfer speed of 90MB/s and a lower write speed of 50MB/s, which is still adequate for most photographers. And you can’t beat that price. These cards are ideal for action cams, smartphones and tablets, and feature all the weather proofing specs a photographer should expect from an SD card.


5.       Transcend Class 10 SDXC

The Transcend Class 10 line of SDHC and SDXC cards offer some driven specs at a lower price point. Both the 32GB and 64GB offer read and write speeds of 285 MB/s and 180 MB/s, correspondingly, and both contain built-in ECC technology that helps detect and correct for writing and transfer errors. Buyers are also offered a free download of RecoveRx data recovery software. This is an ideal option for professional photographers and video producers who prefer to shoot in RAW or ultra-high quality 4K video modes.