Beside the hard drives of desktop and laptop, manufacturers offer other models that can be very practical as multimedia hard drives, network drives, those with flash memory or online storage spaces and solutions cloud.
The multimedia hard drives
They allow viewing photos or videos directly on a TV, or listen to music on a stereo. The computer does not need to read these files. Most are also equipped with a remote control, very convenient to launch a movie or slide show without leaving the sofa. Some wi-fi models can even wirelessly transfer files from a computer hard disk.
Network hard drives
Simply connect these models "NAS" (Network Access Storage) box to its Internet service provider to be able to transfer files or access the content from any computer connected to the home network. Thanks to them, it is also possible to view your photos or listen to the songs in his nightclub from any computer with an Internet connection, without having to take the drive with you!
Flash memory drives
These devices called SSD (Solid State Disk) are primarily designed to better withstand shocks than conventional models. They also have the advantage of offering shorter access times and lower power consumption. In contrast, the number of disk writes is limited (a few hundred thousand anyway) and their capacity is limited to 256 GB. They are also a little more expensive to purchase.
Online storage spaces
Many websites offer space online storage that can save files (videos, photos, documents ...) and then access them from any computer connected to the Internet. The basic package, usually limited to 1GB is often free. It must however pay to get more storage space and / or additional services.
In recent years, hard drive manufacturers have stronger competition online storage solutions (Dropbox, Skydrive, etc.). The cloud is now democratized. To stay in the race, so some clouds offer "personal" (Western Digital My Cloud, Seagate Central). These hard drives of large capacity enough (2, 3, 4 TB), which connects to the Internet via the box of the home. One can store their documents, photos, films or music and view them remotely from a computer, a touch pad or a smartphone . Everything is recorded at home, not on servers located enigmatic nowhere on the planet. The downside: saving files is your responsibility, and if you lose the disk (during a burglary, for example), you lose your data.
FAT32 vs NTFS
Hard drives are formatted by default in either FAT32 formats (File Allocation Table: file allocation table) or NTFS (New Technology Filing Systems: native file system). FAT 32 is suitable for all computers (Windows, Apple, Linux), but the size of the files copied to the disk can not exceed 4 GB. For larger files, you must reformat the disc (operation that erases data) NTFS. But then you can not use your disk with a Windows PC. On a Mac, you can read files, not add. Be aware that it is often possible to allocate space to each format on one disc.
To reformat the drive, two solutions: use the software provided by the manufacturer, who will guide you, or directly from Windows. Access the disc options (right click when the disc is selected) and click "Format Disc". Attention This deletes all data on the disk.