In this day and age so much of our lives are stored digitally. Important documents such as tax information, family photos, resumes, contracts, and many more are all at the mercy of your computer's health and well-being. When the unexpected happens and your files risk being gone forever don't you think you'll wish you did something to protect yourself from this situation? Below I have compiled 7 legitimate reasons why you should invest your money in an external hard drive before you get into one of the awful situations where you wish you did.
1. In the event your computer crashes or hard drive dies
This is typically one of the most common occurrence that people face that warrants investing in an external hard drive to avoid a horrible situation. If your computer crashes and the hard drive is healthy it is still possible to recover your important files, but usually at the expense of hiring a computer technician to retrieve them for you. This can range from $25-$500.
Since the typical hard drive is mechanical (excluding solid state drives) it does contain moving parts that have a limited lifespan meaning the hard drive will out and stop working over time. In this situation, your files are usually gone for good and without having done some sort of backup you will be left with nothing. This situation can cost you a great deal of time, money, and inconvenience that can easily be avoided if you choose to invest in an external hard drive ahead of time.
2. An important file gets accidentally erased, corrupt, or overwritten
I'm sure most of you have had this type of situation happen at least one time in your life. You have some critical file related to your business, schoolwork such as important thesis paper, or family photos that are very important to you. One way or another these files mysteriously get deleted, overwritten with a new file, or corrupt to the point where you cannot open them anymore. If you had taken the time to backup the file onto an external hard drive you would be able to avoid the upset and simply restore the file to it's normal state quickly and easily.
3. Your computer gets lost or stolen
In the unfortunate event your precious computer gets lost or stolen you aren't faced with just the loss of your physical computer, but if you did not back up your also now without any of your data or files. If your computer was used for schoolwork or business this could mean that the data you lost was potentially worth more than the whole computer itself. Buy a hard drive and back your files up weekly to avoid ever having to deal with this mess.
4. You get a new computer
Buying a new computer is always a fun and exciting experience. Though it can be a painfully long process to transfer all your important files from your old computer to your new one. Considering I currently have over 100GBs of personal photos, 45GBs of music, and 50GBs of video footage saved on my PC it would be a huge headache to try and transfer all my stuff over to a new PC without the use of an external hard drive. Since I indeed own several, it is an easy and carefree process that doesn't leave me pulling my hair out.
5. Your computer becomes slow and sluggish
Typically after using your computer for regular use over the course of a few years the computer may start to take a serious decline in performance and feel sort of “bogged down”. When easy fixes such as clearing unnecessary files, performing system maintenance, and rebooting the computer don't help, you'll likely want to wipe the computer and start with a fresh installation of the operating system. In order to do this you will need to have a safe place to back up all your important files and then retrieve them once the new OS is installed.
6. Your computer gets infected with malware or a virus
This is another common case where maybe you clicked an email link or accidentally downloaded a file that infects your computer and renders it virtually unusable. Trying to get files off your corrupt hard drive can be difficult especially if your important files have been infected with the virus. Backing up your files regularly will help avoid this dilemma, keep your stuff safe and secure, and give you piece of mind when the unexpected happens.
7. Cloud services such as Dropbox or Box can't always be trusted
Now I'm aware of the use of cloud services for backing up files and I personally use them myself. I think they are a great way to add some security to the loss of my files and are definitely beneficial. They are not however guaranteed to be a trusted resource as they can go out of business, have mechanical failures leading to the loss of files, or get in legal trouble like in the case of MegaUpload. In that particular event, thousands and thousands of users lost critical files for good after the DOJ secured the MegaUpload servers and refused to allow anyone access to their files. I'm not telling you not to use these cloud services, but instead use them in conjunction with a physical external hard drive in order to help eliminate any possible problems in the future.
Now after all this, I hope you're convinced that an external hard drive is a great investment for you! The next step requires you to go ahead and purchase one. Stay tuned to our personal buyer's guide on how to choose the right external hard drive for your own needs which will be posted within the next few days!
Photo Credit: Percy
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.