We live in the time of information. Information is growing more precious and more bulky. Very often the loss of data stored on the computer may lead to considerable money losses and even bring the whole company to a financial ruin. This finale is less probable for ordinary PC users, but still it is no pleasant thing to lose you work or personal information you have gathered over years all because your hard disk fails.
Of course, storage devices manufacturers are constantly improving the reliability of their products – drives and media, but the users can’t influence this process in any way. What you can do is choose the most reliable storage equipment you can find, if you really care about your data. However, this is not the only way-out. There is a second way to improve your data security: data backup. There are a lot of ready backup solutions sharpened for this specific task and providing easy operation, adequate performance and price.
Besides the necessity to choose the most optimal drive and medium to store your data, there is another task you encounter every day: data transfer between two computers. From your office PC to the home one and back again. That’s not as dramatic as the first task we have mentioned, but it is often even more urgent. And once again, if you don’t choose the right and most optimal device for your specific needs, you will have problems using it.
So what are we leading to? We all meet these problems every day, but sometimes it’s not so easy to make the choice in favor of one or another solution you see in the stores. Today we are going to throw all popular portable storage devices into one heap and see how well each of them suits for frequent (read: daily) data copying and data transportation from one PC to another.
Our ideal portable device (medium) must be miniature, very fast, reliable and inexpensive. As our imperfect world leaves no place for ideals, we will try to see which device or medium is closer to perfection.
The good old 3.5” floppy is gone now (by the way, they have never been the top of reliability). Data amounts are growing up and the lower acceptable limit for a storage device today is a few dozens of megabytes. The number 700MB is a reference point for many users as this is the capacity of compact discs used for storing MPEG-4 movies, games and audio. You want to have a portable device with a similar capacity? Then you are reading the right stuff: go on!
We don’t claim this review to be fully comprehensive. We just cannot put into a single article all available devices and examine and benchmark all of them. So, we included media and drives, most characteristic in their categories, to determine their read and write time parameters. Thus, we will be able to compare the devices among themselves. Now, let’s get acquainted with them.