By John Reynolds
January 22, 2014
For years, hard drives have been the primary storage medium for most computer users. From the humble beginnings of just a few kilo bytes, modern hard drives can now store multiple terabytes of data quite easily.
But what if I told you, that your most reliable storage medium is not only the biggest threat to your data now, but is also limiting its effectiveness in more ways than one – surprised?
Here are 5 reasons why you should not rely on your hard drive storage anymore.
1) Hard Drive Storage is Not Safe
There are just so many ways how you can lose data from your hard drive. From accidental data deletions and overwriting to permanent physical damage and lethal viruses, hard drives are full of potential pitfalls that can deprive you of valuable data.
In one of my recent posts, I mentioned how almost 6% of the total hard drives manufactured annually die within one year without any warning.
This is a staggering statistic especially considering how unprepared most computer users are with a brand new hard drive.
It just amazes me how some people are still so naïve about the potential vulnerability of their highly confidential and valuable data.
In today’s highly connected working environment, it is almost impractical to assume that you won’t need to access your critical data from multiple locations.
With a hard disk drive, you can only access your data from within a secure network of computers. And even that is only possible when your computer is powered on and you have an open network that allows sharing.
Now how problematic would that be in a situation where you need to access your data from a remote location?
This is a major limitation of hard drives that can substantially impact your productivity. Especially when there are other, much more reliable and accessible, options available now.
3) Hard Drives Require Power Supply
Have you ever of a hard drive that works without a computer or power supply? Of course you haven’t!
Unlike cloud storage, the only way to access a hard drive is when the data carrier has consistent power supply. Even if your data is shared on a secure network, you would still need a running PC to access it.
This dependency can prove costly if the power supply is turned off for some reason while data is being copied or processed from the hard drive. This not only stops data transfer immediately, but can also permanently damage the hard drive.
These are major limitations for anyone who needs to access data from multiple locations and in varying circumstances.
Why would anyone want to risk so much for an outdated technology is, quite frankly, beyond me.
4) Hard Drives Are Incompatible With Mobile Devices
Smartphones and mobile devices have become integral parts of our daily lives. Some of our most crucial data transmission and communication takes place entirely through our mobile devices.
With such high dependence on smartphones, it is hard to believe that there’s no direct method of integrating hard drive data with our smartphones.
You would either need to transfer your data using USB cables, or email the required files to yourself (which has its limitations as well).
There’s no real way of keeping your hard drive data synced with your mobile device.
In the current age of mobile devices, this is a major drawback.
5) Hard Drives Have Limited Mobility
Moving a hard drive from one place to another is a major headache for a number of reasons. First of all, most hard drives are fixed quite deep inside the CPU. So unlocking and unplugging them takes a lot of time.
Secondly, hard drives are not compatible with all types of computers. So even if you do manage to unplug your hard drive from the system, there’s no guarantee it would work with other systems as well.
And just in case you’re thinking about external hard drives as a potential solution, I’ve got bad news for you.
External hard drives have compatibility issues as well. And although they can be carried around easily, most external hard drives use a USB cable to connect with other devices. If you lose the cable, you cannot get connected.
Cloud Storage Services – The Best Storage Solution for Modern Needs
All the problems that I’ve discussed above have one common element at their core – connectivity.
Fortunately, this is what cloud storage has effectively resolved.
Cloud storage technology is designed to meet the challenges of modern computer users. It completely takes away the risks that users have to deal with while using hard drive storage.
With cloud storage, you have regular backups of your data managed at separate locations. Similarly, there’s no threat of any physical damage or virus attacks on your data.
Not only can you connect with your cloud data from anywhere in the world, you can also access it from your mobile devices and sync data with your smartphones.
Here’s a quick comparison that will help you select the best cloud storage service according to your needs.
As someone who has spent almost 3 decades in the data storage industry, I do not find any reason why you should risk your valuable data by completely depending on your hard drive storage. Hard drives certainly have their own place, but they’re far less reliable than they were a few years ago and are almost certainly incompatible with today’s highly connected business environment.