Storing and Backing Up Data from Laptops

by on August 1, 2007

Q: Is it reasonable to expect to be able to get as much storage in a laptop computer as in a desktop computer without having to spend a lot of extra money for the upgrade? If I cannot get the same amount of storage in a laptop, then what are my other options to be able to store more data?

A: Hard Drive space in laptops can be quite expensive but newer laptops are coming with much larger hard drives or options for multiple hard drives. There are several good laptops from reputable companies like HP, Toshiba, and Apple that come with hard drives between 80 and 200gb. Many of their laptops are under $1000. There is also an option to add a second hard drive to your MacBook Pro or G4 PowerBook but this will result in an increased battery drain.

If you need additional data storage or a place to back up your hard drive data then there are a few ways to accomplish this. The easiest and most cost effective way to expand your storage would be to purchase an external USB hard drive. The MyBook Line of external hard drives from Western Digital is extremely easy to use, affordable, and offers storage solutions up to 2 Terabytes in size. Simply shop around online and find the size drive you want for the price you can afford. When you get the drive setting it up is as easy as plugging it into its power supply and then connecting it to your laptop via a USB cable. These external drives are relatively small so it should not be a problem to take them on the road with you.

If you need to backup data from multiple laptops to one location then you can construct a small network at home. If you have an existing desktop with a large amount of storage (or that you can install an additional hard drive on), you can create a Windows Workgroup; add your laptops to the Workgroup, and share printers and files over the network. If you have a broadband connection and a broadband router, once you connect all of your laptops and desktops to the ports on this router, the process for setting up a Workgroup is relatively easy. Follows the steps in this article to create the Workgroup.

After you have created your Workgroup and joined all of your PCs to it, you can create file shares on the Desktop and copy data there from the laptops. There should be no need to purchase a dedicated server unless you are working with very large quantities of data and need a lot of processing power.