Whether one is a computer whiz, enthusiastic tech-reader, business magnet, sales pro or an average home-maker, there’s one thing that’s common between all of us – our love for photos. It wouldn’t be entirely wrong to say that every person who owns a digital device has a personal collection of photos.
With time, as our collection grows, so does our need for storage and it is
then that we look beyond our digital device to explore other trusty and
pocket-friendly external storage options. Moreover, since we so cherish
the precious shots we click, we go to great lengths to keep them
safe from unexpected disasters or Photo Loss.
As such we frequently need to pick recovery methods if something
unanticipated happens to our device or to our external storage.
Keeping in sync with those thoughts, this article lists down some of the
best photo storage and recovery options you should keep an open eye for in 2016.
What kind of external storage should I go for?
If on thinking of external storage all you can come up with are external hard drives or USB sticks, you need to expand your area of thought. In addition to those, you have other great choices in the form of Cloud storage, Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Hybrid Storage (combination of hard drives and Cloud). Let’s explore each option briefly.
Hard drives and USB sticks
Most modern laptops come with superior internal hard drives capable of storing terabytes of data, and when you need more storage, a couple of USBs or external hard drives serve the purpose just fine. External hard drives and USBs offer several benefits: they’re quite secure since they’re not constantly connected to any network, they’re usually reasonable, provide good amount of storage, and provide fast data transfer thanks to high-speed USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports.
Cloud storage is on a different plane altogether. Uploading files to the cloud offers the benefits of the being off-site so that your files are secure regardless of what happens to your home or office. Plus, cloud service typically mirror files on several dispersed drives across different physical locations, so you can be sure at least one copy of your data will always be safe. And you can’t beat the omnipresence that cloud services offer – once uploaded, you can access your files from anywhere and any device; all you need is an Internet connection. Another significant advantage most modern Cloud services offer is the ability to share your photos online directly through the service thus giving you a chance to show-off your work.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
NAS solutions connect to a switch or a router and provide storage space and services to all devices on a network. As such this option is optimal for a group of devices, typically in an organization or a personal shared network. It’s safe, reasonable and can offer plenty of storage.
Hybrid storage or do-it-yourself (DIY) cloud storage is a system reflecting a great combination of hard drive and cloud services. These are essentially hard drive systems that connect to a router so you can access their contents from Smartphone apps or Web browsers. These DIY clouds offer the easy accessibility of cloud services without any subscription fees.
By now you would probably have picked your choice of storage option. Great! Now let’s move to a more specific choice, i.e, which device or service to go for.
External Hard Drives
In a market practically overloaded with great choices, here are our picks that make for some of the most brilliant external hard drives:
1. WD My Passport Ultra
Offers up-to 3TB of storage, fast data transfer, works right out of the box and comes in exciting color options. Although the drive comes with a downside of not offering backup of the entire system as an image, its reasonable price of $200 for 3TB and lower than that for lower space makes it one of the most desirable portable drives in the market.
2. LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
This drive sets a benchmark in terms of portable drive design and performance. With a double layer of casing to provide better damage protection and a well-hidden Thunderbolt cable, the Solid State Drive (SSD) version of this drive is probably the fastest drive available in the market. Though at $300 for 2TB, it is a costlier option and its USB 3.0 performance is not the best, this drive is your best bet if you want to keep your data safe.
There are a variety of choices in this section too and they include both, services that serve the sole purpose of bulk storage and services that allow you to show off your portfolio.
SmugMug is a great online platform for sharing personal as well as business photos. It supports dozens of designs and mobile friendly layouts to create stunning photo websites and galleries. An excellent choice if you want to show off your portfolio, SmugMug backs up all files with Amazon Web Services thus offering a safe haven for your pictures and allow you to watermark your photos in order to control privacy. You can choose subscriptions among $60 per year for Power; $150 per year for Portfolio and $300 per year for Business.
Slightly less priced than SmugMug, Zenfolio makes for another great option for photographers to store, display and profit from their work. In addition to features like watermarking, unlimited photo storage and custom branding, the service offers several add-on features depending on the subscription you choose. The available choices are $120 per year for Premium; $250 per year for Premium Business.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Our top pick for this category is Synology DiskStation DS1513+. Easily one of the best multiple-bay NAS servers to date, this option offers a massive dynamically scalable storage space, stellar performance, and a robust Web interface. Though new users might have a tough time setting up the server’s advanced features, it performs superbly both as an advanced storage server and as the central host for a long list of home entertainment and business uses.
Its WD again! Western Digital My Cloud connects to your home Internet router via Ethernet. From there, you configure the drive using a Web-based setup, download the free My Cloud app to any mobile device you own (iOS and Android), and you’ve built a cloud. Reasonably priced at $150 for 2 TB; $179 for 3 TB is undoubtedly one of the best hybrid storage options available in the market.
To sum it up
So there you have it. A complete list of great storage options in you can go for in 2016. And if by chance you end up with data loss even after opting for any of these otherwise robust plans, you can always count on trustworthy and efficient photo recovery software Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery to reclaim lost, damaged or inaccessible photos.
Sumona is a technical blogger and writer. She has over 1 year experience in Photo Recovery technology.
On her free time she writes about technical