Explanation: types of storage devices available and how they work


There are many types of data storage device options available today. These devices vary from large networks which are great for multi-user environments to smaller drives designed for portable and mobile devices. Data storage concepts also include Wi-Fi drives and those with cloud drive functionality.
Data and information management is very important, so it is crucial for you to select the best possible data storage device. The perfect device should not only store your data, but should be able to distribute it as well. Here are some of the things you should consider before finalizing on a storage device. Let’s discuss the types of data storage devices available in the market
Internal storage
Internal storage options primarily include primary storage devices. Internal storage consists of parts that are typically found in the chassis of a system. It is usually found inside your PC and laptop.
Internal storage capacity can range from 500GB to 1TB for laptops, while it can go up to 6TB for PCs. There are two advantages to internal storage: it can often be large, and it is accessible almost always (if you don’t have issues with the hardware).
Types of internal storage
Hard disks (HDD)
The hard drive (commonly known as a hard drive) is one of the first data storage devices to be invented. These devices are made up of mechanical components that use electromagnetism to store data. It was first unveiled in the 1950s with IBM’s 305 RAMAC computer. It was the very first magnetic hard drive that surprised the world as it gave users instant access to their saved data.
These hard drives are more prone to physical defects as they come with mechanical components. They do not hold up well to damage from sudden movement or falling. There is a physical limitation to the speed at which data can be moved or viewed, as it has to spin very quickly. Despite all these drawbacks, hard drives are still used as a popular option for their decent overall performance.
Users can add more hard drives to their desktop PC to increase storage capacity. This will only be possible if the PC case, power supply and connectors on the motherboard allow it to be added. Nevertheless, you will have to work with the same internal hard drive that was pre-installed in the laptop.
Hard drive form factors
Data drives are available in two formats, namely 2.5 inch drive and 3.5 inch drive. Spinning metal disks in hard disks are used to store data, so more disks are needed for better data capacity. This is the reason why the form factor of the drive on a desktop computer is 3.5 inches with a maximum capacity of 12TB. On the other hand, the form factor of the hard drive of a laptop is 2.5 inches and has a maximum capacity of 5TB.
If you are considering replacing the laptop drive, always remember that thickness is a crucial factor. Thinner laptops can fit 2.5-inch drives up to 7mm thick, while larger laptops need 9.5mm drives. It is important to know the thickness that your laptop supports before trying to replace it.
Solid-State Drives
These drives were developed with two important goals in mind: to be faster and to increase reliability. SSDs are powered by electronic circuitry and have no moving parts that help them operate efficiently. They are also equipped with flash memory chips (replacement of the spinning disk in hard drives), a flash controller (a version that functions as the magnetic actuation arm of the hard drive) and some of the main parts that the mainly found on printed circuit boards.
This format ensures the quality and design of each printed circuit board, resulting in faster speed and reliability. SSD is much faster in writing and restoring data compared to hard drive. It is also quieter, lighter, and requires less power because it has no moving parts. The only downside to SSDs is the limited capacity, but there is a fix for that.
SSD form factors
SSDs have evolved over the years as hard drives which also include the form factor. Basic consumer SSDs come in a desktop hard drive type chassis. It is lighter, smaller, and typically has a size of 2.5 inches. The mSATA and M.2 form factors come in an even smaller, lighter package that also improves performance.
Most ultrabook style laptops come with either mSATA or M.2 form factor solid state drives. They are usually placed in a drive bay which are stick shaped devices that are plugged into the motherboard. These laptops cannot be upgraded without drive bays. Instead, you should look for external storage solutions in such situations.
Hybrid semiconductor hard drives (SSHD)
SSHD is a type of hard drive that includes both parts of a typical 2.5 inch hard drive and also the circuit board of a small SSD. Hybrid hard drives have a small SSD (8 GB, for example) to speed up common applications and operating systems you use. There is a limit to the SSD space on the SSHD, so make sure the specs of the device before purchasing it.
On the contrary, the hard drive works as a virtual storage space for still files like music, pictures and videos. However, things do load or copy themselves a bit slowly on this side. The advantage of a hard drive is that it can be huge (like 1TB or more) while still providing some of the features found in an SSD. Another thing to note about SSHDs is that you will not be able to control the storage location of certain files or programs.
External storage
This secondary storage option includes devices with their own chassis. External data storage devices can be connected to a desktop, laptop, or motherboard via USB, eSATA, Thunderbolt, or Firewire cable. These external hard drives also need a wall adapter for power. They come in different sizes and storage capacities that vary from 1TB to 8TB and above, depending on the physical size and that particular model.
External storage is the easiest and most user-friendly way to add storage to your computer. It doesn’t require any installation, just plug it in and let the system detect it. You can connect an external drive via USB to any computer, as well as other supported devices like TVs and set-top boxes.


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