When it comes to saving and accessing your data, there are no second chances.  That's why its best to know where your data lives, how it's being stored, and what the best methods for backing up your data are.  Data storage and backup has sprawled into it's own category of computing, with various industry partner dedicating themselves entirely to the concept of backing up and storing data for their customers.  There are quite a few methods, and determining the best way to store your data can save you a load of trouble, and money in the future.

Methods of Storing Data

There are many methods of storing your data, and the right solution will depend on a few factors.  How important is the data, how secure does it need to be, and how quickly and easily do you need to access it.  There are many methods to achieving levels of accessibility, security, and cost when it comes to storing your data which we wanted to detail for you below.

External Storage Drives

One of the simplest and most common methods of storing data today is placing it on an external drive attached to your computer using a USB cable.  External USB Hard Drives are not only common, but can be an inexpensive way of storing and moving data around with you.  Set up of external drives is rather simple as well, because most external drives come pre-formatted and are plug and play ready.  Many external drive capacities range from anywhere between 1 TB - 8 TB.

Although simplicity is a benefit of external USB hard drives, it can also act as a double-edged sword.  Security is often over looked with many external USB drives. Which means if your drive is lost or stolen, the data is easily accessed from the theft or whomever happens to find the drive.  Unless the drive comes with some security features, or unless you otherwise secure the device yourself, you should be careful with the data you keep on any external hard drive.

Network Attached Storage

Another popular method for storing your data is with a network accessible hard drive, often called a NAS.  Network attached storage utilizes an external hard drive connected to your home or office network.  This method of storage often is useful for those who need to share and access data across multiple devices quickly and easily.  Many NAS devices can store anywhere from 1TB - as much as 100 TB of data.  Set up of NAS devices can be slightly more difficult than simply connecting a USB drive, but are quite easy to work with after the initial set up.  NAS devices can often cost a premium as well depending on the type of NAS and what it can do.  Many NAS devices even allow for the administrator to set up separate accounts and allow for serious control and security of your data.

The Cloud

Every day more people are choosing to store their data in the cloud.  Many companies offer a Cloud Storage service for storing your data in a Cloud that allows you and your coworkers, or family and friends to access the data they want, quickly and easily.  If you have a Google, Microsoft, or Apple iCloud account you likely already have access to some available cloud storage from one of those companies.

Storing data in the cloud means you can access it through a web portal, or from software that can establish the connection between your device and the data stored online.  Utilizing Cloud storage also means that you don't need to worry about data limits, as you pay only for the storage you need.  Theoretically this gives you an infinite amount of storage capacity, you get what you pay for.

Storing your data in the Cloud can also be one of the most secure methods for keeping your data.  A Cloud service provider gives you the control you need to share or give access to your data when you need it.  Although the Cloud can be a convenient method for storing your data, it does require a constant connection to the internet.  If for whatever reason you can no longer reach the internet, that means you will can no longer reach your data stored on the Cloud.

Whichever method you choose to store your data, it's always important to be aware of the three key factors when considering how to access your data.  How secure the data is, how easy it is to access, and what the cost of storing the data will be.  Keeping that in mind will help you to determine the best methods of keeping your data.  If you have questions, or would like to know more, please reach out to us today.