Alternative Storage Solutions

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Better Known AS

  • Floppy Disks
  • Zip Disks
  • CD and DVD-ROMs
  • Flash USB Drives
  • External Hard Drives
  • Network Attached Storage

Floppy Disks
Often referred to as a diskette, the floppy has been around since the beginning of the computer age. Very convenient way to store small amounts (1.44mb) data will fit in your shirt pocket. Comes in two sizes 5.25 inches and the more popular 3.5 inch disk.


Zip Disks
Created by Iomega, the zip disk is basically the next generation of floppy (type) diskette. Uses a small device known as a Zip Drive that fits inside or attaches to your computer. Comes in two sizes zip 100mb and zip 250mb. One zip 100mb disk has the capacity of one hundred 3.5 inch diskettes.


The CD-ROM (Compact Disc-Read Only Memory) has revolutionized storage. Today, many computers have special drives allowing people to play CD-ROMs. A CD-ROM can hold obscene amounts of data, a whole volume of encyclopedias can easily fit on one disc.  Technology has advance to the point that people can create their own CD-ROMs (called CD-R’s and CD-RW’s).


Flash USB DrivesPNY P-FD8GB/MINI-EF Mini Attache Flash Drive - 8GB, USB 2.0
USB flash drive or any other flash memory drive is basically an EEPROM that means “Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory”.  USB flash memory sticks are nothing but an assembly of EEPROM, a controller with a RISC microprocessor, RAM and ROM. All of this interacts with a computer using a USB controller and connector.

Because USB sticks are EEPROM these can hold data for as long as 10 years. As these memory modules are shock proof and as these don’t have a volatile memory are good enough to sustain shock and humidity to some extend that is casual abuse that includes run through a washing machine, or even dropped in coffee.


Extenal Hard Drivesseagate-go-flex
An external hard drive is basically an internal hard drive, just like the one that fits in your computer. The only difference is that it has been placed in an enclosure, fitted with a cable and an adapter.  By doing this the drive is made portable, it can now be transported and can be atached to your computer or someone elses computer.

The adapter interfaces are usually a:

  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) (most popular)
  • IEEE394
  • E-SATA

External hard disk drives are available in two main sizes (physical size), 2.5″ and 3.5″ with the 2.5 version being samller and easier to transport. External hard drives are very inexpensive and make great second or backup drives. Many of the external hard drives come with their own software that is easier to use, has more features, and allows easy and selective data backup scheduling.

Note: Universal Serial Bus or USB as it is commonly referred as is the latest version of port interface that is commonly used to connect:

  • Extenal Hard Drives
  • Printers
  • Digital Cameras
  • Scanners
  • Optical mouse…and other peripherals


Network Attached StorageSeagate STAU12000100 BlackArmor NAS 440 12TB Network Storage Server - 12TB, 4x Bays, USB 2.0
Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems are rapidly becoming the ideal, cost-effective back-up solution. NAS devices are independent, complete back up or storage systems that connect directly to your network.  Locating a NAS system in your office and backing up your data over the network provides a fast, automated remote backup.

In the event of a disaster, the backup system is immediately ready to step in for rapid recovery and business continuity. Many businesses are implementing a staged approach, where an onsite NAS provides fast backups and restores for servers and workstations.


(Back to Hard Drives)

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