Why You Need a Terabyte Hard Drive

C|Net reports that terabyte (that’s 1,000 gigabytes) hard drives will likely be available by the end of the year.

The article goes on to say:

Granted, few people really need 1 terabyte of storage. But it sounds cool–sort of like you could be running a ballistic missile tracking site in your den. Besides, humans continue to show that they can come up with ways to gobble up hard drive space.

I can think of a lot of people who need that much storage, even if they don’t know it.

1) People (like me) who have years of raw and edited video footage they want to keep accessible for later use. I eventually burn my home video onto a DVD, but I like the redundancy of having it on my computer as well. Plus, having it on my computer allows me to more easily grab clips for later projects.

2) People (like me) who make music. I have tons of music tracks and many versions of a lot of my songs. Sure I could put them on DVDs and lose them, but why do that when storage is so cheap.

3) People who use their computers to record television shows and movies.

4) Families (like mine) who aspire to have central data storage for security and backup purposes. Everyone needs at least 250 gigabytes of storage and 1,000 divided by 4 is 250.

And most importantly…

5) People who want to create and administer a backup system that works. Every single one of the backup products out there is at least three times more complicated than it needs to be- which is why most people do not back up their data sufficiently. I decided a long time ago to forgo the brain damage of trying to create backup sets (and then to have to access and install them after a drive failure). Backups are like parachutes- there’s no way to test them until its too late.

It is much easier to have an extra hard drive, either in your computer or on your network, and simply copy all of your data to that drive, in its natural, uncompressed form. In fact, it is easier to clone your entire hard drive than it is to set up most backup programs. And if you have a drive failure, all you have to do is replace the bad drive with the backup drive and you’re off to the races.

I have over a terabyte of storage on the computer I am using right now- in a RAID array and in 2 other permanent and 2 other removable drives. It’s not easy to get that many drives to co-exist peacefully in one machine.

If I could have one terabyte drive in my computer and another on my network for backup, I would be in hard drive heaven.

So would you, even if you don’t know it yet.

UPDATE: Mike Miller points out in a Comment that Best Buy is selling a terabyte external hard drive right now. It’s not clear to me if that enclosure contains a single drive or multiple ones. My hunch is that is contains multiple drives, and thus the RAID configuration reference in the specifications.

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