Tag Archives: storage

Intelligent Reasons Why External Drives Are Still Needed

External hard drive can provide additional storage solutions.

External hard drives can provide additional storage solutions.

Why Do You Still Need External Drives?

There has been an incredible increase of storage options available which are cloud-based. For subscribers of Office 365, they can store up to 1 TB with the use of Microsoft’s OneDrive. Google offers 100 GB of cloud-based storage for a time period of two years when you purchase Chromebook. This is just a few of the enormous list of options available for cloud-based storage which changes how you view an external drive.

You may be asking yourself; with these many options available to me, is there a reason why external drives are still needed? The answer to that question is definitely yes with external drives

Intelligent Reasons for Having One

Backup of Data

The first most obvious reason is data backup. As most computer users know the importance of backing up their data. They understand the possibility of accidents. Computers fall, drinks spill, motherboards burn out from power surges, the list of mishaps is endless.

Sure, you can use cloud storage for data backup, however, there are a few downfalls to this option. First, you must consider costs as well as data caps. Additionally, the time needed to efficiently backup your data is consuming. During the several hours used to upload your data, due to the drainage of bandwidth, your usage on the computer will be limited.

Additional Security with an External Drive

One of the most significant reasons why an external hard drive is still needed with today’s technology is security. There is always the possibility of someone stealing your password: additionally, the company servers of the cloud storage you chose could become a victim of hacking. In either situation, your private data is put at risk to be stolen and used by criminals.

Access Offline and Ability to Travel

Another intelligent reason to use an external hard drive is offline access as well as portability. The majority of external hard drives today are extremely small, approximately the size of your wallet. Due to this small size, they are ideal to bring along with you while away from home. This comes in handy when internet service is unavailable for an extended period of time.


Almost all cloud-based servers have dealt with issues in the past where customers storage was unavailable for access. If this happens, how will you retrieve your data needed for work, school, or other important business? External drives do not pose this problem and are simple to use.


In most cases, the needed amount of storage space to backup data equals more than the amount in which cloud-based providers offer for free. This means you will incur monthly or yearly expenses to store your data. However, costs for external drives is much lower and do not require an ongoing fee.

If you still feel cloud-based storage is right for you, consider the use of an external hard drive for a second backup to ensure the safety of your delicate data. 

Best Tablets for Windows of 2016

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Get These Tablets That are Rated the Best of 2016

With Windows 10 now here on tablets, focus for them to double as our PC keeps growing. There is a wide range of devices, where simple tablets are no longer your only option. No matter what needs you are looking for in a tablet, there is one available with Windows 10 as the operating system. Before heading out for that new Windows tablet, check out what is hot so far this year.

1) Surface Pro 4

Undoubtedly, the best Windows tablet available. Surface Pro 4 may be costlier than other tablets, but worth it with the built in quality it comes with. Microsoft outdid themselves with a sharper and larger screen than before and a feeling like typing on a real laptop with an island that’s redesigned. After using the Surface Pro 4, you may want to give up your laptop.

2.4GHz Intel Core i5 CPU – Intel HD Graphics 520 – 8GB RAM – 256GB SSD Storage – 12.3” Display

2) HP Spectre x2

There is a resemblance between Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and HP’s Spectre x2, but HP weighs less and is thinner. This is due a processor with no fan powering it, the Intel Core M. This tablet includes a keyboard, and comes at a cost quite less than Surface Pro 4. HP Spectre x2 has a battery life that is efficient, allowing you more time for work or play than on other model tablets.

1.2GHz Intel Core m7 CPU – Intel HD Graphics 515 – 8GB RAM – 256GB SSD Storage – 12” Display

3) Surface 3

If you are looking for something less that what Surface Pro 4 offers, check out what Surface 3 provides. Smaller than the 12” form with a display of 10.8”, this tablet is an excellent tablet rather than a laptop replacement. Surface 3 provides you with a quiet, lighter solution at a more affordable price.

1.6GHz Quad Core Intel Atom CPU – Integrated Intel HD Graphics – 4GB RAM – 128GB SSD Storage – 10.8” Display

4) HP Pavilion x2

An extremely affordable Windows tablet. HP Pavilion x2 is a 10” convertible tablet, with lots of punch. This tablet is equipped with an HD screen, making editing photos a simple task. HP Pavilion x2 has plenty of power to see you through an entire day of simple web browsing. Take the 10” works off when you feel like relaxing with streaming media. No need to stick with 10” of the screen if you’re looking for more, check out HP Pavilion x2 12” model.

1.33GHz Intel Atom CPU – Intel HD Graphics – 2GB RAM – 32GB eMMC Storage – 10.1” Display

No need to change operating systems when purchasing a tablet, one with Windows 10 is all you’ll need.

Have Your Data Drive Backup Ready Before a Hard Drive Failure

External hard drive can provide additional storage solutions.

Always Back Up Your Data for Safety and Security.

Always Back Up Your Data In Case Something Happens

The time to consider if your data is securely backed up is now. Eventually, all hard drives fail, and when this happens, any data will no longer be there. Your personal photos, music, and work documents – GONE.

However, your hard drive loss would be a simple inconvenience when you restore your data to another machine if the data was backed up. A good data drive is all that is needed for backing up. Check out what to look for to make sure you purchase the right one.

External Hard Drives for Data Drive Backup

The majority of computer users prefer the use of external hard drives for their backup solutions.


When looking for a drive to run regular backups, such as daily or weekly, you want a drive that is a little larger than the size of your PC’s internal drive. This will allow each file to store more than one copy, saving you in case some become corrupted.


Speed is not extremely important in backup data drives. The initial backup would be to create a copy of each file on your internal drive. Each backup following would be to save any files that have changed since last time. What this means, any time there is data being backed up, it is very small.


One of the most crucial factors when selecting your backup data drive is reliability. Surveys show a majority of drives that undergo heavy use last at least four years. However, it is challenging to determine reliability. Prior to purchasing a backup data drive, read reviews and learn about different brands.

Optional Features

There are some helpful optional features in many backup data drives. These may include software that can manage, or even encrypt data on your backups. There are built-in backup tools in operating systems, such as Time Machine for Mac and on Windows there is File History.

Backup Using Cloud Storage

Some users decide against an external hard drive or choose to have a second backup method by using the Cloud. To have enough room on the cloud to store an entire hard drive, you will need to pay a monthly storage fee. In addition, due to the amount of data being transferred to the cloud, you will want an internet connection with fast upload speeds.

When storing your data on the cloud, you want to be aware of potential security implications. Before making a final decision on providers, read their privacy policy thoroughly and check their service guarantees.

Bear in mind, due to changing of technology and wearing down of hardware, choose a backup data drive that fits your needs of today but does not be surprised by the technology of tomorrow. There are also a lot of backup services you can use.

Guide to Buying a USB Flash Drive


Know How to Buy the Right USB Flash Drive

Even though cloud storage is nice, USB flash drive has been around for long time is getting better than ever. It is extremely useful, from installing OS to backing up data. There are a few things you need to know prior to purchasing your next one to make sure you get the most.

2.0 vs 3.0 Speed Difference

There are two speeds that come with flash drives, and when it comes down to business; you might think faster is better. The faster speeds are a bit more expensive, but can be worth it if you are an impatient person when putting items on, or taking them off the drive. Depending on what you’re looking to spend, and how long you feel you can wait; either one is a great option.

Thin and Smaller May Not Be Better

Adjoining USB ports are hard to use, due to the large size of majority of flash drives. Throughout the years they have become smaller. However, with smaller size, you tradeoff some speed. Although flash drives which are smaller are portable and convenient, but when they become too small they are no longer able to handle quality components.

More physical space is a requirement for better components, so when size is cut there is a compromise. We will eventually see USB flash drives that are smaller and thinner, performing as well as high-quality-drives, just not yet.

It is fine to choose a drive that is smaller, if portability and convenience is a need, but if you need a drive that is powerful, you probably want to get a drive that is bigger.

Lifespans Limited are Okay

An average flash drive lasts for 3,000-5,000 write cycles. Seeing an actual number for when you flash drive will stop may make you jumpy, but that is actually a lot. Majority of flash drives do not last for this amount of time, anyway. When comparing, flash drives are good for millions of cycles of reading.

There is more of a chance of losing it, or damage being caused to the connector while inserting or ejecting than running through its lifespan.

When MicroUSB Ports Are Useful

Users of Android are tempted when they see flash drives which have both microUSB and a normal USB port. They believe all their stuff can be transferred easily from their computer to their Android. However, the Android needs to support USB OTG, this is a standard allowing Androids to read flash drives which are external. It is pointless in purchasing a flash drive with microUSB port, unless the device supports it. It is a great way of adding storage to devices that do support it.

Secure and Rugged Flash Drives

Protection is offered to rugged flash drives from physical damage, such as when a person leaves the drive in their pants and throw it in the washer. Protection is offered to secure flash drives from hackers and people wanting to steal data.

If needing a secure USB there are flash drives which offer keypads for password entering. Majority of users will not need this amount of security, and can save money getting a normal flash drive.

Rugged flash drives are not as useful, storage with Cloud is a great way of creating backups just in case of damage.

Pros and Cons to Flash Drives

The main use, and pros of using flash drives is for portability, easy accessibility and security since they can be encrypted to protect private information stored on them. However, there is the fact that they can break or have errors quite easily. This means you should never use them as a primary back up, and only to transport information from one place to another, or as a secondary back up.

USB flash drives are continuously improving. Who knows what the future holds!

Understanding the Cloud


Upload and keep your files in one place safely.

Upload and keep your files in one place safely.

The Cloud Data Center

Where is the cloud?  The cloud is located in the data center. The place where super-computer servers store your information is connected to the internet. The information, is then recorded at the data center for retrieval with any device that is connected to the internet. The data center will either let you gain access and change the data, or send the data back to you. This is an advantage when wanting to access data from a different device than it originated. Some people might store documents that are not finished for work, or school from their home computer, and retrieve it from work, school, anywhere that has internet, to finish at a later time.

Computer Data Storage Options

During time your data that you store on the hard drive of your computer, or on CD, DVD, or USB thumb drives, but there is another option that will give you vast amounts of storage space. This is called cloud, even though it sounds weather related, it is not. This is a storage system that uses a third party to maintain it. With the cloud, you send through the internet, data that would normally take space on your hard drive or another device used for storage, to a database that a third party maintains. Some are free, while others charge based on the amount of storage you are renting, or a flat fee.

The best part, when you think all is lost, it is actually all on the cloud…

Examples of the Cloud

Some examples of the cloud, that most are familiar with, but did not even realize they are, is Facebook, MySpace, and providers of web based e-mails. With Facebook and MySpace, the users can upload pictures to their site and post them. With the web e-mails, for instance, Yahoo!, and Gmail, they can also be accessed anywhere there is internet. All of the messages you receive are not stored on the device you are on, but on the web e-mails server.

Some of the best services for cloud storage are names that you probably see, but are not sure what they do. Like Google Drive for instance. They offer the user 15GB of storage space, when you link your Google account or make a new one. If you  have a Gmail account, you probably have Google Drive and might not realize it. Another one is by Microsoft called OneDrive, giving 15 GB free also. This has Office integrated into it.

How Safe is Cloud Storage?

While it is convenient to store all your data with cloud, there is questions of security and reliability. There is encryption, a process of authentication, as well as other security features, but any data stored anywhere, including your own PC can be stolen. There are redundancy techniques in place by most services, but there is no guarantee your data will not be lost with a system crash.

When looking for different cloud services available, check the reviews online for each. Reputations are something that can make or break a cloud data center, which makes security and reliability, a top priority.

Hard Drive Life Expectancy

How Long Do Computer Hard Drives Last?

The industry standard average hard drive life expectancy is from three to five years. That doesn’t mean your hard drive cannot fail sooner or last longer, it’s just an average estimation of use. A hard drive can last you ten years or two years depending on its use and care. The storage and physical characteristics of a hard drive have nothing to do with its life expectancy. Laptops are more susceptible to hard drive failure due to bumps, drops, and general jarring. Hard drive failure is a common issue in computers today. This is why backing up your files is so important.

Hard Drive Care

The more you move your hard drive the more you increase the risk of it failing. When moving your computer, handle it with care.  Bumping your computer may be the breaking point for your hard drive. Dust and overheating often cause hard drive failure.

Hard Drive Failure Symptoms

Symptoms of a failing hard drive can vary widely between hard drives. The hard drive may blue screen on boot or randomly throughout start-up process. Some hard drives may even blue screen randomly during use. Other hard drives could present a loss of data slowly. The worst instance is complete hard drive failure. Most of the time when this occurs your system will display an error message of “no boot device detected”.

     Recovering From Hard Drive Failure

Unfortunately, there is no way to repair a hard drive once it has crashed. The only real solution for hard drive failure is preventative maintenance. Backing up your files is your first line of defense.  The second line of defense is knowledge. Knowing that your hard drive may be having an issue can save you from permanent data loss. If you do find yourself in a situation where you need data recovery, IQ Computer Services offers Data Recovery Service that can help.