Despite there being different back up media like floppy disks, CD?s, DVD?s, pen drives etc, there is no absolutely fool proof solution. With the introduction of portable hard drives, many hope that the quest for the perfect solution that is portable, affordable, hardy and with a high capacity has finally been met. Currently, anyone who is serious about data backup and storage only speak in terms of a portable hard drive. A portable hard drive is extremely versatile and can be used just for good old data back up or to transport movies, documents etc from place to place.

Portable hard drives are the result of cutting edge technology, which has been designed to solve the common backup woes of the average man. The technology used is similar to that used in laptops and portable media players. Portable hard drives are designed in a manner keeping the future in mind, so any investment in acquiring one will fully last the whole nine yards and won?t become redundant because of the lack of supporting technology which is so often the case. Especially with the evolution of the global citizen who jet-sets from destination to destination, the need is for a storage medium that can be accessed from multiple destinations without too much bother, the portable hard drives completely fulfill this need.

Portable hard drives come in two configurations and in several capacities. In fact one can even find a portable hard drive with the capacity of 500GB which truly is incredible and opens up all possibilities for storage of data. It is fairly easy to connect the portable hard drives to a system but in the case of large storage capacity drives, it is mandatory to have a powered hub.

Backup Media Has Come a Long Way

Often, portable drives are compared to other storage media like floppies, CDs, DVDs etc but most fall short in comparison as the currently available portable hard drives are the result of evolution and improvements on the older versions. For example, the earlier popular floppy disk is almost redundant now as a result of its slow transfer capabilities, small storage capacity and lack of hardiness so much so that most new PCs do not have a floppy slot. The only advantage that floppy users see in its use is that floppies are extremely affordable. While zip drives did gain in popularity not all computers were designed accommodate these drives and so the need to make special installations proved to be inconvenient. While CDs and DVDs are extremely popular they do have their limitations and are susceptible to rough handling.

Portable hard drives have been created, taking into account the drawbacks of their predecessors while keeping in mind future demands. Even security features are enhanced in portable hard drives with encryption possibilities being built-in. This is hugely beneficial as it prevents unauthorized access to the stored data. These hard drives are extremely popular amongst network and system administrators who find it convenient and help in troubleshooting maintenance.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Portable hard drives are very hardy and not very susceptible to scratches and mishandling as when compared to the less hardy media like floppies, CDs etc. Of course that they are portable proves to be hugely advantageous. They can be transported from location to location without any difficulty and therefore makes them very useful. However, what would be the single most attractive feature of portable hard drives is their dense storage capacity; this makes them a delight to users who require storage of voluminous data. It almost seems that the sky is the limit storage-wise while the portable nature of this media makes it an answer to storage and backup woes. The good news doesn?t end here. The use of portable hard drives does not require additional device drivers which makes it an even better investment.

This almost miraculous invention does have its drawbacks, one of the chief ones being that it is limited in the number of write and erase cycles it can sustain. Also most portable hard drives do not support a write-protect mechanism. This can be a drawback when the need for virus repair arises. The average user may find the portable hard drive a bit expensive but given its versatility and usefulness it is an investment completely worth it!

By Ban