In this day and age there are so many ways to store data and files securely. Between cloud-based technology and the range of different external storage devices on the market, it can be tricky to know which one is right for you.
In this article, we’ll focus on one particular type of external storage device: the SSD. You may be wondering what does SSD stand for? It’s formally known as a Solid State Drive and in this article, we’ll cover what an SSD is, how it differs from other storage devices and some of the best models on the market.
What is an SSD?
SSDs are a type of storage device and they can be both internal or external to your computer. Most new computers have them built-in internally as their main type of storage, but you can also get SSD external hard drives for extra storage. Regardless of whether your computer has internal SSD or not, external SSD cards can be added into the mix for both PC or MacBooks.
The way an SSD works is it stores your media on flash memory. Flash memory is all electronic, meaning data is written, transferred, and erased electronically and silently rather than using physical moving parts like other storage devices.
This has the benefit of being faster and more reliable (which is arguably the most important thing when you’re storing important files and info!).
What are SSDs used for?
Internal SSD is what most new computers (laptops and desktops alike) use for what is known as “non-volatile data”. In layman’s terms, this just means anything that is not erased when you restart your computer like other temporarily stored information such as RAM.
SSD external hard drives can be used in the same way as any external storage device: to safely store or transfer data from one device to the other.
SSD is commonly used for:
- Business servers that use a lot of data.
- Gaming (more on that later!).
- Laptops, as they require very little charging.
- Digital cameras/ music players.
- Smartphones and tablets.
Should I choose a 1TB SSD or a 2TB SSD?
The key difference between the two is the amount of storage space you require. For personal use, it’s widely accepted that a 1TB SSD would be adequate for most users but if you’re looking for more, the 2TB SSD is a good option. 2TBs are also faster than a 1TB so if you’re highly impatient you may want to go down this path. On the flip side, 2TBs are more expensive than 1TBs, but as they say, “you get what you pay for”.
It’s always a good idea to check what external hard drives your computer will support before investing in either, as some older or more basic models may not support certain capacity SSD cards.
What’s the difference between an SSD vs HDD?
An HDD (Hard Disk Drive) used to be the most popular form of external storage device before SSDs came along. The biggest difference between the two is the type of memory they use. As we mentioned above, SSD uses electronic flash memory whereas HDD uses mechanical moving parts (think spinning disks that make noise when working) to store your data.
HDDs may be older and generally considered inferior to SSDs but they definitely still have their place depending on what your use is. They’re cheaper and in many cases can actually offer a larger storage capacity than an SSD, but they will be slower and potentially less reliable.
How to install SSD?
Ultimately, this will depend on the model and make of your computer but generally speaking the process will differ between a PC and a MacBook. Because of this, it’s best to seek out specific instructions depending on your computer.
If you’re not confident installing a new SSD yourself, you need a Geek! Our SSD Upgrade services – exclusive to Officeworks – will boost your computer’s performance and extend its life. There’s no need to rush out and buy a new machine when we might be able to get it working like new!
What’s the best SSD for gaming?
Most modern games use a heap of storage space and processing power given they are constantly loading and writing new files. That’s why newer gaming consoles, like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, use internal SSDs instead of HDDs.
However, if you’re looking to game on a computer with an HDD, you can boost it with an external SSD. Some of the more popular ones you may want to invest in are: