External storage systems are devices that are not permanently fixed inside the computer but can store files for later use. They are designed to be plugged in or inserted into the computer to function. Some examples of external storage devices are CD, flash drives, and external hard disk drives.
For a more elaborate explanation of the types of external storage devices, take a quick look on the following items:
External Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
External hard disk drives are portable, removable drives that you can carry along with you to store files or transfer files from one computer to another. They are often designed with a USB port where one end of a USB cable is to be plugged in, while the other end is to be connected to the computer.
Advantages: They are portable and usually come in large memory size.
Disadvantages: They are generally costly and are big enough not to fit into small pockets.
USB Flash Drive
USB flash drives are small storage devices that you plug into a computer’s USB port to function. After that, you can easily store and transfer files from and to the computer. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are available in Apple stores.
Advantages: They are very portable that you can keep it inside your pocket, and are generally affordable.
Disadvantages: Most USB flash drives can only hold up to 8GB of data files. With their small size, they can easily be misplaced.
Zip drives are disk drives that make use of removable Zip disks in storing large sizes of data. They look like a floppy disk drive, but what you insert is a zip disk and not a floppy disk. Zip disks are thicker and heavier than floppy disks.
Advantages: They offer a wide range of storage options and include backup options. They are portable, as well.
Disadvantages: They are generally costly and require investment, both in the hardware and the zip disks.
CD-RW and CD-RW Drive
A CR-RW is a readable and writable compact disc. By writable, it means that data can be stored through it through the process called “data burning”. To be able to burn data into a CD, a CD-RW drive is required.
Advantages: CD-RW disks can be used repeatedly, meaning you can use just one disk and overwrite data in it. They are relatively inexpensive and very portable.
Disadvantages: Most CD-RW disks can hold up to 700MB of data only. Moreover, to be able to store data in a CD-RW disk, your computer must have a compatible drive first.
DVD-RW and DVD-RW Drive
DVD-RW works the same as CD-RWs, where data can be stored and burned through DVDs using a DVD-RW drive. DVD-RW disks, however, can carry larger amount of data and produce greater quality.
Advantages: They offer more flexibility as they burn twice as fast and as efficient as CD burners. They store up to a few MB of data. Finally, they are also portable and easy to use.
Disadvantages: You can only burn data in a DVD-RW if your computer comes with a DVD-RW drive.
You actually have a lot of choices when it comes to external storage devices. While each has its own advantages and disadvantages, you are sure that one or two can actually provide you with your digital storage needs. Purchase one at your favorite Apple store or computer shop and start organizing your digital stuffs!