Until recently, the standard of portable storage was USB pen drives, because their small size allowed transport to any site without relying on external power for them. But times have changed and the external SSD has opened a significant gap in that market. One that the pen drive cannot fill even if it wants to.
Photos, videos, music, programs, games … the internal hard drives of computers, consoles, and tablets are soon filled with information and it soon becomes clear that an additional storage unit is needed. It is a market that, like everything related to technology, is constantly advancing. During the last decades, computers have had magnetic hard drives or HDD (Hard Disk Drive), but a few years ago the SSD (Solid-State Drive) appeared, which meant a radical change in reading and write speed
If you are looking for a portable and small electronic storage device, USB flash drives and SSDs are two possible options. Compared to HDDs, USB and SSDs have lower storage capacity. However, they are more durable solutions, since unlike HDDs, they can be transferred. Despite a few similarities, USB flash drives and SSDs have some differences.
USB Flash Drive Vs External Hard Drive: Back to Basics
A regular desktop computer uses an which has a magnetic disc which rotates at a speed of multiple thousands rotation per minute. It has an arm that writes and erases the information of the disc in bits. This happens on a desktop or a laptop. However, an external hard disk drive is a portable device that allows you to store your data in a secure place.
The biggest advantage of using an external hard drive is that you don’t have to carry your entire computer or laptop to carry the data. The external HDD works with both PC and Mac. It functions similarly to the internal hard drive. The external hard drive also has the same design and built, but it has an extra layer of protection using an own protective casing which a traditional drive doesn’t have.
What is flash storage?
The flash storage is a data storage technology based on a high – speed memory that is programmed electrically. The speed of flash storage is what gave it the name: write data and perform random I / O operations at flash speed.
Flash storage uses a type of non-volatile memory called “flash memory.” Non-volatile memory does not require power to maintain the integrity of the stored data, so if the supply is interrupted, nothing is lost. In other words, nonvolatile memory does not “forget” the data it has stored when the disk is disconnected.
Flash storage uses memory cells to store data. Cells that have previously written data must be deleted before new data can be written to them. Flash storage also comes in several forms: from USB devices to enterprise all-flash booths.
Define what use you will give to the external hard drive
Before you begin to assess the characteristics and specifications of external hard drives, the first thing you have to be clear about is what use you are going to give to the unit. Do you want to transport data? Save backups? Store and play multimedia files? Are you going to use it at home and in the office, or do you want it to work anywhere? Do you need a large capacity or do you use a more restrained space?
All these considerations are important since depending on your answers you can decide what type of external hard drive will be best for you. Therefore, it is best to take a few minutes to define what you are going to use the external hard drive for and, once Have it clear, go to the next point.
What dimensions to choose?
Now that you are clear about the use that you are going to give to your external hard drive, one of the first considerations when choosing your external storage unit is the physical size.
If your goal is to use the device mainly to transport data from one place to another, the ideal is to choose compact dimensions and a measured weight, while if you are going to use it at home or in the office and you do not plan to take it with you, Nothing happens to make you a bigger and heavier model.
Features, specifications and hard drive performance
After choosing what type of external hard drive to buy, the next things you need to consider is the specifications and performance of the drive. These are the features that you have to look at:
Storage capacity. The consumer-oriented hard drives that you can buy in stores offer you a capacity between 500 GB and 12 TB. Choose the space that best suits your needs, and if you are undecided, keep in mind that it is always better for you to have space left over.
The data transfer speed is closely linked to the type of connection used by the unit (USB 2, USB 3, eSATA). In addition, in the case of mechanical hard drives, the speed of rotation of the disks also influences.
The cheapest HDD rotates at about 5,200 revolutions per minute (rpm), while the most expensive and powerful are 7,200 rpm. The transfer speed in the SSDs is not affected by the revolutions but varies (and much) depending on the type of memory and the flash technology used.
The external hard drive has been better to choose instead of a USB flash drive. We can say that after taking the storage size to price ratio under consideration. However, the external hard drive is significantly larger in physical size as compared to the USB Flash drive. While so, the disc drive is subject to magnetic fields and impact; so the data might get lost if any of such situations occur with the disc drive.
The external hard drives are the perfect option for computers and laptops. On the other hand USB flash drives, are very portable, easily available. The price of the USB flash drive is lower than the external hard drive as smaller memory size flash drives are available at a reasonable price.
This is an ideal option for those who often share presentations on a projector on a regular basis or for those who wish to carry their data always with them in a portable form factor.
There is no clear winner in the USB flash drive Vs external hard drive battle. This is because both have a different purpose to fulfill and you can choose the one as per your personal requirement. The decision of choosing between USB flash drive and external hard drive completely depends on personal usage.