Digital scrapbooking files and photos take up a lot of memory on your computer, and one of the easiest ways to make sure you don’t run out of space, as well as make sure you always have a backup is to get an external hard drive. Protecting your photographs and digiscrap stash from a computer failure is always a good idea! In this post we’ll talk about what an external hard drive is, how to choose the right type, as well as some recommendations on ones we’ve personally used.
So what is an external hard drive? Well, it’s basically just like the hard drive inside your computer, except this one plugs in to your computer and sits on your desk (or lap if you get a portable one for a laptop). They range in styles and types, so it’s important that before buying one you think carefully about your needs.
USB vs. External Power Cord
The biggest difference between the two types of hard drives out there is how it is powered. Some simply need to be hooked up to your computer by USB, others need to be hooked up both by USB and by an external power supply. USB only models are more portable and lightweight – but they don’t always offer as much space for storing all of your digital files such as photographs and digital scrapbooking papers and embellishments.
How Much Space Do You Need?
The amount of space on an external hard drive you need will greatly depend on how many photographs you take and your level of digital scrapbooking addiction. For example, Scrapvine has over 30 GB of downloadable files – fortunately our members can download the kits as needed anytime so you don’t have to worry about storing or backing them up! Most high resolution photographs are usually 6-7 MB each photo, so it quickly adds up – a single photoshoot for me might take up 7-8 GB easily!
Depending on how many photos you take and need to backup, you should at least get 100GB hard drive or more. If you don’t mind sacrificing portability, you can get hard drives that will far exceed the amount of storage space you need in the 2 terabyte range (that’s over 2000 gigabytes of storage!).
How Many Hard Drives Do You Need?
In a perfect world, hard drives would never fail and our digital files would be safely stored forever. Unfortunately, even external hard drives can fail at times, so you may want to invest in two to make sure you have all of your files backed up. I personally use two – one that stores all the projects I’m currently working on, and another that serves as the backup. Of course, if you’re going to have two external drives, you need to remember to make the backups!
Where to Buy an External Hard Drive
You can buy an external hard drive at any type of computer store, though selection may be limited. We’ve found Amazon to offer a nice selection of hard drives with our favorite pick being the one below:
Western Digital My Passport 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
For avid scrappers and photographers, this portable USB powered device by one of the most trusted names in external storage will be plenty enough space to back everything up or use as a main hard drive for storing all those digital files. Available at Amazon, Click Here to Read Reviews on the Western Digital My Passport 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
Do you have any tips or suggestions on buying an external hard drive? Any questions about finding the right type for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!