The fact is that technology and the Internet have revolutionized practically everything about how we exist as a society, from storing data, to research, to even watching films. And while the external hard drive may never become obsolete like the floppy disc has, the ever-increasing need for storage has made life for the hard drive, well, a little bit difficult.
So what did companies like Iomega, Western Digital and Seagate do, when online backup and cloud storage flooded the market? They hustled to find ways to compete of course. Working hard to increase the capacity for digital storage, they upped the density and byte sector sizes of external drives to hold up to 3, in some cases, 4 terabytes worth of data—a reasonable increase from the previous top external drives, which could hold only 2 TB.
Their quick actions were impressive. In fact, some pretty powerhouse models have recently been released, like the Seagate 3 TB Free Agent Go Flex Desk, not by any means a wallflower amongst external drives. Yet at the same time, Seagate pulled a very strange move. They began verging into the cloud storage market; by doing so, it seemed they were making an almost admittance of defeat, or an acceptance of the inevitable.
Though no one knows where the fate of external hard drives truly lies—there are those of course who still prefer holding something material in their hands, who will tell you they want to see it themselves, rather than think of their data being stored in a vacuous cloud of cyberspace. One thing does remain certain: to compete in the market, these external drive companies will need to continue upping the ante.
New improvements do seem promising, like the recently released solid state drives, with no moving parts—created in an effort to deter breakdown and replacement and allow for easier access to stored data. But in the end, will external hard drives still be able to hold their own and remain cost-effective? The answer remains to be seen.
About the Author:
Dave Bower is a writer and editor and bonafide techie. FileStorageOnline.net regularly reviews and researches the best cloud storage options for users. http://filestorageonline.net/