Bringing your files with you
When you're working on a document or other computer file, you can always save it to your computer's hard drive. Sometimes, you may want to bring your file with you and open it on a different computer. In this lesson, we'll talk about two ways to save your files so you can access them from almost anywhere.
USB drives and the cloud can also be used to back up your files. To learn more, check out our lesson on Backing Up Your Files.
Using a USB drive
USB or flash drives are portable, making it easy to carry your important files and documents with you wherever you go. USB drives have different amounts of memory, or storage space. Those with more memory allow you to store more (or larger) files. It's helpful to know that photo and video files generally take up more space than written documents.
To connect a USB drive:
To work with a USB drive:
Once you've connected a flash drive, you can work with it just like any other folder on your computer, including moving and deleting files.
If a dialog box does not appear, you may need to empty the Trash can to permanently delete the file.
To safely remove a USB drive:
When you're done using a flash drive, don't remove it from the USB port just yet. You'll need to make sure to disconnect it properly to avoid damaging files on the drive.
If you're using a Mac, you can also click the Eject button next to the flash drive in Finder to eject it.
Remember: People frequently forget to eject/retrieve their USB drive if they bring it to a new place. Always be sure to back up your files, and don't include private information on there in case it gets lost or stolen!
Saving files to the cloud
There are many services that allow you to create a free account and save documents, images, and other files to the cloud. Some of the most popular are Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox.
The free storage space that comes with these accounts (usually around 15GB) should be plenty if you're using your account for regular personal, work, or school purposes. If you own a business and want to keep all of your documents in the cloud, you may want to pay your cloud service for more storage.
Unlike physical media, the cloud can't break or get lost, so you don't necessarily need to back up the files you keep on it. Files in the cloud are also easier to share so you can collaborate with friends and coworkers.
However, when you save something online, there's always a risk that unauthorized users will try to gain access to your personal information. To protect your files, create a strong password and pay attention to the privacy settings and policies of the cloud service you're using.
To learn more about services that allow you to store your files in the cloud, check out our tutorials on Google Drive and OneDrive and Office Online.
There are so many questions about what the difference between a flash drive and a hard drive is, so hopefully, I can cover all of your bases.
First, though, let’s get on the same page about what each item actually is.
A flash drive is a device that allows you to store data onto it, usually in the form of a small USB stick that people use to transfer files from one computer to another. These devices have been around since 1995 and have stored data up to 128GB in size (that’s a lot).
The hard drive, alternatively called a HDD or hard disk drive is also used for storing information via computers but on a much larger scale. Hard drives have been around since 1956 and can store up to 15TB of information (although, they typically come in 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, and 8TB sizes). Because hard drives are so large, they have used for housing an operating system and all of your programs and data. You can read more about them here:
Now that we know a little more about each device, let’s discuss the differences between them.
The first big difference is that flash drives are significantly slower than hard drives. This is because hard drives contain spinning disks that access data much faster than flash drives. In fact, hard drives can read and write at speeds of up to 7200 RPMs whereas most flash drives top out at around 100-300 RPMs.
Another big difference between the two devices is that hard drives are more resilient to damage. They can withstand more drops and bumps than flash drives, and they don’t tend to fail as often. Flash drives, on the other hand, can be easily damaged if they are dropped or if something happens to the connector.
Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use a hard drive or a flash drive comes down to what you need it for. If you need a lot of storage space and fast read and write speeds, then you should go with a hard drive. If you need a device that is small and lightweight that can be easily carried around, then you should go with a flash drive.
Advantages of a flash drive
High versatility and performance
Flash drives can be used with a wide variety of devices and do not require installation or drivers to work. It is also very easy to move data between different devices using flash drives. Hard drives are less versatile, because they cannot be connected in the same way that flash drives can, and you need to install software before you can use them on certain devices. They are faster than many USB flash drives, but they are still slower than when compared to external hard drives when it comes to data transfer speeds.
They can withstand more drops and bumps than flash drives, and they don’t tend to fail as often. Flash drives, on the other hand, can be damaged more easily and can fail more frequently.
When it comes to price, hard drives are usually cheaper than flash drives of the same capacity. However, this is not always the case, and you should do your own research before buying either type of drive.
They are small, lightweight, and very portable, which makes them perfect for taking your data with you on the go. They also tend to be faster than hard drives, and they use less energy, which is great for laptops and portable devices. Flash drives are also more secure than hard drives, because they are less likely to be damaged or stolen.
Some people find that hard drives are more reliable than flash drives, but this is not always the case. Flash drives can sometimes suffer from data loss or corruption, especially if they are not properly cared for. Hard drives can also be noisy, which may not be ideal if you plan to use them in a quiet environment.
Advantages of a hard drive
1. They are larger in size than flash drives, making them a better choice for storing large files.
2. They are more durable than flash drives, meaning they can withstand more wear and tear (especially WD Black Drives)
3. They are typically less expensive than flash drives.
4. They offer a higher storage capacity than flash drives.
5. They are quieter than flash drives, making them a better choice for use in quiet environments.
6. They offer faster data transfer speeds than flash drives.
7. They are more reliable than flash drives, meaning there is less chance of data loss or corruption.
8. They can be used with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
9. They come in a variety of sizes.
10. They are not as vulnerable to viruses or malware as flash drives.
11. They are less likely to break than flash drives.
12. They provide better performance for high-intensity tasks, such as HD video editing, graphic design software and music production software.
13. Their boot times are faster than flash drives.
14. They can be used by gamers who play computer games that require a significant amount of storage space to run efficiently, such as online role-playing games with massive virtual worlds like World of Warcraft
15. The first hard drive was created in the 1950s, which gives them an edge over more recent technologies like solid-state drives (SSDs) that were only developed within the past few decades.
16. A hard drive’s storage space can be expanded by connecting external drives to your computer using the USB interface or the newer Thunderbolt interface. External hard drives are available with capacities in excess of 2TB, which is greater than what most laptops ship with internally.
A final note
In general, though, flash drives offer a lot of advantages over hard drives. They are smaller, faster, and more secure, making them a great choice for anyone who needs a portable storage solution. If you’re looking for an easy way to back up your data or take your files with you on the go, a flash drive is definitely worth considering.
Which should you choose? If you need a reliable storage device that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, go for a hard drive. If you need something that is easy to move around and doesn’t take up much space, a flash drive is a good option. Whichever you choose, make sure to back up your data regularly!