Digital & portable storage

Remember the days when you stored data in floppy discs and felt mighty pleased at your tech awareness? Take a look at some of what’s available today.

Ajay Singh | Print Edition: April 3, 2008

Remember the days when you stored data in floppy discs and felt mighty pleased at your tech awareness? These days, PCs rarely even include a floppy drive, that’s how useful they are. But that’s simply because the need for high-capacity data storage has gone up and a device that can store 1.44 MB is quite literally a joke. Apart from high-capacity storage devices, the World Wide Web offers you virtually unlimited storage space online—albeit at a cost.Take a look at some of what’s available today.

Physical storage

Pen drives: Ubiquitous in any office today, these small devices (2.5”x 0.6” x 0.3”) are the best way to transfer and share data.These drives come in several sizes, from 1 GB to 16 GB, and need no special software or installation. Simply plug and play.
Price: Rs 250-1,500


SD card: Not as popular as the pen drive, the SD card that comes in cameras can be used as a data storage device.The capacity ranges from 128 MB to 32 GB and data transfer is quick. However, you will also need a card reader that’s compatible with the card and your PC.
Price: Rs 300-5,000 (depends on capacity)


MP3 players: Your classic 20 GB iPod or other MP3 player need not be a repository of only your favourite music.You can use the player as a data storage device as well.
Price: Rs 5,000 up





External hard drive: These high-speed, USB-interface drives are immensely useful if you have to store or move large amounts of data.The 160 GB versions are sleek and light and need no external power source.The 500 GB drives are clunky, need an external power source and are not as portable.
Price: Rs 3,000-6,000


DVD writer: When you have loads of data to be archived, DVDs are your best bet.A standard DVD-R can store up to 4.7 GB, while a dual-layer DVD-R can store almost double that.
Price: Rs 1,500


Online Storage

Xdrive: This is a service offered by AOL and allows users to back up their files on the Internet.You get 5 GB storage space for free, and 50 GB space for a monthly fee of $9.95.There’s also a drag-anddrop and auto-backup feature.

DropBoks: You get 1 GB free storage space per account, but each file that’s uploaded or downloaded cannot exceed 50 MB.The security offered by this site is an added advantage: log in, and DropBoks switches to HTTPS, so your files are encrypted, authenticated and secure.

YouSendIt: This site allows you to create a personal address book and you can send files as large as 200 MB for free, via e-mail.The uploaded documents are stored in the site’s servers for seven days.

Google Docs: A free Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application from Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.

RapidShare: This simple, no-frills, free site lets you upload as many files as you want, each as large as 100 MB, and send the link to any number of recipients.The files can be downloaded an unlimited number of times, and they remain on the server as long as they're downloaded at least once every 90 days.A premium account (55 euro a year) allows support for download accelerators and unlimited parallel downloads.

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