Bottomless Pit for School Data
The one constant about school computers is that no matter how big a hard drive you buy, it will sooner or later fill up. Sooner or later, even a 500GB or terabyte (TB) drive will at some point not have another byte of spare space for a class project, test or video. That’s where an external USB hard drive fits in. The current drives are easy to install, are responsive and provide up to 4TB of extra space for the flotsam and jetsam of school life. Here’re three of my favorites that can easily fit into any classroom or school office.
If getting maximum raw storage space is what you’re after, it’s hard to beat LaCie’s 2big Quadra, which offers room for a pair of hard drives and can hold up to 4TB of data. It can connect with a PC or Mac with either an eSATA, FireWire 800 and 400 or USB 2.0 connection and comes with back-up software. If that’s not enough room, you can stack them and connect several together for a nearly unlimited storage system. A 4TB version of the 2big drive costs $660.
Western Digital’s 2TB My Book Mirror Edition external drive has enough room for half a million photos, 150 hours of video or a bazillion classroom lesson plans and assignments. It can connect with any computer that has a USB slot and comes with back-up software. At $329, it’s about the price of a netbook but worth it for anybody with a computer whose drive is filling up.
Looking for something a little smaller, lighter and cheaper? Toshiba’s 500GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive uses smaller 2.5-inch notebook drives, costs less than $150 and works with both PCs and Macs. At 6 ounces it’s portable enough to fit into a pocket or the inside pound of a briefcase and go from computer to computer.