Whilst the price of USB Memory Sticks continues to fall, the larger 16GB and 32GB versions are still pretty expensive. Whilst the more affordable 8GB memory sticks offer a reasonable amount of storage for many its not enough to act as a true back up solution. Lets face it today many people are downloading or copying music file, movies, photo’s, games and the occasional work file. All of this should be backed up and stored safely and USB Memory sticks just aren’t man enough for the job.
For some people backing up files is not enough because they need the data to be portable, so large back up hard drive solutions from companies like Maxtor, Lacie and Freecom that require a mains power unit are not really suitable. These products are excellent if they can positioned next to the PC you are backing the data up from but they’re really designed to stay in one place. Their size, weight and need for external power makes them unsuitable as a portable backup solution.
A more affordable and truly portable solution that does not compromise on quality or storage capacity is to use a 2.5” hard drive enclosure and a 2.5” (laptop sized) Hard Disk.
2.5" hard drive enclosure
A new 320GB 2.5” hard disk won’t costs a fortune and when combined with a laptop hard drive enclosure will give you a high capacity portable storage solution. But, the real cost saving opportunity is using an enclosure with a hard disk recovered from an old, discarded laptop – even if the hard disk you recover is only 80GB you’ll still end up with a back-up solution for the cost of an 8GB Memory stick!
Taking the hard drive out of the laptop is relatively easy providing you’re handy with a screwdriver and inserting it into a hard drive enclosure is equally easy – the connectors on the end of the hard drive just push into the interface inside the enclosure and typically a couple of screws hold it all in place.
If you’re using a new hard disk drive then it will need formatting before it can be used to store data on. Recovered hard disks typically just plug and play but make sure if the drive has jumper settings that its set to “master”.
hard drive enclosure
Good quality enclosures for 2.5” disks will be manufactured from aluminium (to aid heat dissipation), they’ll come with leather carrying case (to protect the case and contents) and all the necessary cables you need. The beauty of these smaller cases is that they don’t need a power “brick” to run. They draw all the power they need from the USB lead that connects them to the PC.
There are branded bundles available to buy off the shelf but building your own is easy, it’s not intimidating, it’ll save you money and you have the chance to recycle an old hard disk