Are you juggling huge volumes of important files and stressing out about how to keep them organised and backed up? These four products will make life easier.
Now that working from home and schooling in the bedroom are the status quo, moving and protecting all that irreplaceable data is no longer the problem of someone else's IT department. Sure, many of us are working remotely, and we might have off-site server access, but the risks of crashes, network dropouts and file corruptions are huge. The simple solution is to keep local backups of your files – so what are the most pain-free options for moving and storing all that sensitive data?
SATA RAID enclosure
RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) enclosures are the holy grail of continuous data backups. Choose between high-performance or mirroring modes, depending on your needs, and a RAID setup will provide your files with dual protection against hardware failure, malware and other potentially irreversible problems. Check availability.
‣ Why we're fans: Includes both striping and mirroring options, as well as a spanning mode that allows you to combine two hard drives into a continuous volume. With a screaming fast 5Gbps max transfer rate and USB 3.0 interface, it's also got an onboard cooling fan, 2 SATA ports, easily removable HDD trays, and supports up to 8TB storage.
‣ When it'll save the day: Whenever you need the ultimate solution for redundant backups. Just plug and play at the end of the day, run your system saver, and you'll never need to worry about what might happen if your SSD melts, or your child manages to drown their laptop in fruit juice.
Dual HD dock with one-touch cloning
Have you decided to speed up an older lappie with solid state storage? Got a pile of HDDs full of archived work files that you suddenly need to access? This dual dock with SATA ports is one of the quickest and easiest ways to copy files between two drives. Check availability.
‣ Why we're fans: It lets you clone one drive to another at the touch of a button, with LEDs to show progress. Plus, USB 3.0 connectivity and up to 5Gbps transfer make this dock a fast and easy option for hot-swapping through legacy drives to dig up data you need to recover.
‣ When it'll save the day: Making a clone of your entire system, along with the boot sector and all the trimmings, is a rock-solid solution – even if latent malware forces you to reformat your entire drive. It's also an easier, potentially more reliable and often cheaper method to upgrade an HDD to SSD than by using premium cloning software.
64GB class 10 MicroSDXC card
Along with USB flash drives, MicroSD cards represent the cornerstone of removable storage – especially for recording and playback of media files. From dash cams and security cams, to media players, projectors, even digital turntables, they are the go-to solution for recording and moving video and audio (as well as other formats, too). Check availability.
‣ Why we're fans: As a Class 10 device, it effortlessly supports full high-definition (1080p) video recording, with guaranteed read and write speeds of at least 10MBps. The MicroSD to SD adaptor will let you plug it straight into any SD port on a laptop, boom box, camera… you name it.
‣ When it'll save the day: If your child is filming something for school on a mini camera, you can pluck this straight out of it and into their computer. Or, keep a music library on this and listen to it using a boom box, media player, or even mounted in your headphones – no smartphone needed.
32GB USB 3.0 flash drive
USB flash drives are the gold standard for portable, low-volume data storage, and a 32GB unit will let you store and move even very large files between machines with ease. Whether you need to take a document to your printer, or back up a whole folder of work files, this has USB 3.0 for fast transfer. Check availability.
‣ Why we're fans: At this price, a solid 32GB of storage space is an awesome deal. Plus the retractable design keeps the connector protected, so you can throw it straight in your pocket, and there's no cap to lose.
‣ When it'll save the day: It's often a lot less hassle for transferring data from one end of your home network to another: your partner won't tell you off for crashing her videoconference by hogging the Wi-Fi. Plus, backing up all the kids' homework on it means they will have no excuse for ‘accidentally' deleting that assignment they've been working on.