Computer users know very well how frustrating it can be to deal with data loss. You can lose almost all the data saved on your PC in a snap. That means you have no choice but to say goodbye to all the photos stored in there; not to mention the videos, songs etc. you have painstakingly downloaded only to disappear without any trace. This data is a part of who you are, a virtual remembrance for the virtual life you have lived so far. But thanks to the many vulnerabilities of a regular computer, you can never tell when your hard drive will give up on you.

To save your data (and your memories as well as your sanity), make sure you have a backup plan in place in the form of an external hard drive to ensure no data is lost forever. Yes, you don’t need a genius solution to this age-old data loss dilemma. All you need is just a conventional technology and some common sense to foresee that such a disaster may strike (because your computer isn’t a super machine), so you need to prepare for it beforehand.

Whether it’s for backing up your entire computer or giving yourself some extra file space to work with, everyone needs an external hard drive. But with so many models on the market to choose from, which ones are worth getting? There are many factors to consider here, but the primary ones are storage space, speed, portability, and reliability. With that many factors, it’s impossible to definitively call one external drive the “best,” but it is possible to find five drives that, collectively, will fit the needs of anyone.


Even though external hard drives have been around the market for quite a while now, many computer users actually admit that not all of them own one yet even though they know the importance and benefits of having a backup storage. Aside from the usual threats of hard drive failure issues you face and cybercrimes like ransomware can also take you by surprise. Cyber crooks can take all your files from you without warning. Even paying the ransom in bitcoins is not an assurance that you can really get your data back. So, it’s just common sense to buy an external hard drive and save yourself from all the hassles brought about by unforeseen data loss. After all, there are cheaper brands in the market and you can choose the size you want depending on your data storage requirements.

But I found a site, or forum – I can’t remember which – where someone was selling Bitcoin. I think I paid well above the quasi-official exchange rate for the coins; who really cares about the difference between 1.2 cents and 1.5 cents when you’re only spending $25? I’d read something fun about them, probably in Wired, and wanted to understand them better, so I bought some.

Eventually, I had the Bitcoin sitting in a cold storage wallet. An offline file, outside of any online bank or exchange or digital storage facility. A text file, basically, with a long string of cryptographic hash that represented an encryption key. I didn’t trust any online service not to crash and lose my investment.

I put it on a hard drive.

I used the hard drive for a whole bunch of things. Storing pirated music and movies and TV series, a portfolio of my best tech writing work, all my uni assignments, photos of friends and family and the couple of holidays that I’d taken. I took the hard drive with me when I moved out of home with my long-term girlfriend, and used it for all the things you use a portable hard drive for.

In the year or so that followed, we broke up, and I moved back home. As I was moving out I used the opportunity to clean up some of the accumulated tech detritus that comes with being a technology journalist. USB sticks, 3D glasses, USB cables, PC components. All that sort of literal junk. A pile of junk that went into a skip. That hard drive was in the pile, and it had that damn annoying click. I had better portable hard drives.

I didn’t need, or care about, anything on it. The photos were backed up to another portable drive, my writing was in Google Drive, the music was on my desktop PC.

So I threw it away.


Bitcoins are a really big thing these days. Although many people are still clueless about it, it is the perfect digital currency for cyber criminals who engage in crimes like ransomware. The article above can be really quite funny or annoying considering how much the bitcoin currency’s value has soared over the years. A $25 investment could well be worth around a million dollars in value in current time.

The major drawback to bitcoin use is that its value constantly fluctuates. No need to worry, though, if you don’t own one today because many computer users actually don’t. Meanwhile, a major problem you can relate to and probably have experienced once or twice in your lifetime (or even more) is damaging your hard drive. And since you often ask an expert computer technician to work on your damaged hard drive, it helps to check out the variety of data recovery services available, so you don’t get ripped off by unscrupulous computer pros.