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Storage buying guide: selecting the perfect storage device for your needs

Elias Plastiras | April 24, 2015
The advent of streaming music services, and more recently of video on demand services (SVOD) in Australia such as Netflix, Stan, and Presto, has put a lot of audio and video content within fingertip reach. You can access it whenever you want, without you having to worry about the amount of storage space in your computing device. But not everyone has the ability to stream, and local storage is still as important as ever for backups. Here's our guide on the best storage solution for your data storage problem.

The advent of streaming music services, and more recently of video on demand services (SVOD) in Australia such as Netflix, Stan, and Presto, has put a lot of audio and video content within fingertip reach. You can access it whenever you want, without you having to worry about the amount of storage space in your computing device.

However, not everyone has a good enough home Internet connection for streaming media smoothly. Furthermore, for those of you who do subscribe to streaming services, their limited libraries might be supplemental to the content that you currently have on your hard drives or in disc collections that you eventually want to put on a hard drive. Additionally, you'll still need plenty of storage to store your backed up data.

Therefore, local storage is still a must, and, as the old adage goes, you can never have too much storage space. So where do you start when trying to decide what type of storage solution is right for you and your expanding needs?

There are many different storage options these days, ranging from tiny drives that cater to mobile devices, right up to network behemoths that are more suitable for multi-user environments. Even Wi-Fi drives and drives with 'Cloud' features are making the rounds.

In this feature we'll examine each type of drive and let you know which is best for certain scenarios.

Internal hard drives for desktops and laptops

These are the most basic of storage devices. They exist inside your desktop computer and laptop, and they can range in capacity from 500GB to 1TB for laptops, all the way up to 6TB for desktops. The benefits of internal storage in a laptop or desktop are that it can often be plentiful, and it's almost always accessible unless there is a problem with your hardware.

In a desktop PC, you can add a second, third or fourth hard drive to expand your storage capacity, as long as space within the PC case and connectors on your motherboard and power supply allow. Meanwhile, in a laptop you're usually stuck with whatever hard drive was installed at the factory (unless you're the adventurous type and want to tinker with a DIY upgrade).

For a desktop, the drive form factor is 3.5 inches. For a laptop, the hard drive form factor is 2.5 inches, and the thickness is an important consideration if you ever plan on replacing a laptop drive in a DIY project. Bigger laptops can take 2.5-inch drives that are up to 9.5mm thick, while thinner laptops require 2.5-inch drives with a thickness of 7mm. It's important to know which thickness your laptop supports prior to attempting a replacement.

 

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