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Ethernet External Hard Drive - Comparing Ethernet Hard Drives to Other Storage Interfaces

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Within the most recent several years, the cheapening of computer storage devices as well as the speed-up of hard drives and hard drive connections has made external hard drive storage more and more common. Even though pretty much every computer still has to have an internal hard drive to hold the basic operating system and other files, external hard drives are becoming more common as extra storage devices. In some cases, even the operating system can be moved to an external hard drive, and the computer can be entirely run without using the internal hard drive.

External hard drives provide a number of benefits. Hard drives are generally one of the quickest pieces of computer hardware to die, and so having easy access to the hard drive in order to be able to replace it is important. External hard drives also make an easy way to add storage to a computer. Digital storage technology is progressing incredibly quickly, and hard drives will be much cheaper and bigger just 1 or 2 years after a computer was purchased. Adding an external hard drive is a great way to add lots of storage to an old computer to make it more usable. One popular use of external hard drives is to store certain types of files. For instance, someone who owns a huge music collection may store all of their music on the external hard drive, so it doesn’t clog up their computer’s internal hard drive. This also means that it is easy to port the entire music collection from one computer to another, and it is easier to back it up. In fact, many external hard drives are used as backup solutions for a computer’s hard drive.

Internally, hard drives are usually connected to a computer’s motherboard with a SATA connection. Outside of the computer, there are several different types of connections. USB is probably the most common. USB ports are standard across all computers, and are the default connection type for almost everything. This makes USB hard drives compatible with almost every computer. While USB has its advantages, it is not without disadvantages. USB speeds are generally very slow. USB 2.0 is fast enough for some types of data transfer, but it can be slow for large file transfers. While USB 3.0 is fast enough for even very large file transfers (it is 10 times as fast as USB 2.0), it isn’t used in most computers currently. USB 3.0 will begin to be adopted over the next few years, but by the time it is common enough to really be used universally, average storage capacity of hard drives will have increased so much that it will be slow again.

Another type of external hard drive connects to the computer over a FireWire connection. FireWire, like USB, was designed to be a multi-purpose, universal connection. It was faster than USB and was great for high speed data transfers. However, it was only ever really adopted among Apple computers, and has begun to fade out. There are some FireWire hard drives available, but they are uncommon and aren’t compatible with many computers.

Some external hard drives can use SATA connections. This is a good option for many hard drives, as it offers a standard connection type at a high speed.

Another great connection is over Ethernet cable. Ethernet external hard drives are great choices. Ethernet is high enough speed and a common enough connection type that it is suitable for almost any use case. Ethernet is most commonly used as a network cable. Ethernet hard drives can be plugged straight into a computer, just like any other type of hard drive. It is also commonly used for network drives – drives which are physically separated form a computer, but still on the same physical network (usually in the same building). A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is another common use of Ethernet hard drives. They can be used either to backup computers to a central location on the network or to store files which can be accessed by a number of different computers on the network.

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