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Official! Dear hard drive, we still love you

An external hard disk
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The past few years have seen an exponential rise in storage demands, a thirst fuelled on one hand by the meteoric growth in smartphone adoption and on the other, by the growing number of companies embracing Big Data.

Techradar recently carried out a survey that shows how our readers store their files and bytes with nearly two thousand validated responses. About 40% of our audience use an external storage drive, either a USB drive, an external hard drive or a direct attached storage on a daily basis.

This compares to about 22% who rely on so-called public cloud solutions (Onedrive, Amazon, iCloud, Dropbox), many of which come by default with consumer devices (Microsoft gives 5GB free while Google doles out 15GB to new users).

External hard drives are also your biggest storage solution with about half of the respondents claiming that their portable HDDs have the largest capacity of all the storage solutions they possess.

Given how cheap they have become (you can get an external 4TB drive for £80 (around $120, AUD165), it is not surprising that the total storage capacity of those who answered the survey is high with nearly half saying that it is between 1TB and 4TB. Surprisingly, about 10% of you say that they don't actually know how much storage capacity they have.

As for data safeguarding, about 17% say that they don't do backups with 15% trusting the cloud for backups and about the same percentage, rely on an application to do it for them. Better be safe then despite the fact that about three-fifths of the respondents never experienced any data loss.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.