External Storage


CLOUD STORAGE

One of the safest backup options (both remote and redundant), cloud services have become increasingly easy to use. Here are a few of the most popular cloud-based storage solutions.

Bitcasa. If capacity is your primary concern—you have a lot of photos to archive—Bitcasa is an incredible value. The free account offers a competitive 10 GB, but the real deal is infinite storage for $99 per year, pretty much blowing all the competition away. There are also companion apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices.
Free Storage: 10 GB
Paid Plan: $99/year (unlimited capacity)

Dropbox. Although pricier than other options (about double Google Drive if you choose to pay monthly), the way Dropbox works is an argument in its favor: It establishes its own folder on your computer, and whatever you put there is automatically synced to the cloud and all of your computers, and accessible from your mobile devices. You also can share files easily via download links. Add the optional Packrat service for $39 a year, and you’ll have unlimited ability to restore any file ever added to Dropbox, even if you’ve deleted it.
Free Storage: 2 GB (up to 18 GB through referrals)
Paid Plans: $99/year (100 GB); $199/year (200 GB); $499/year (500 GB)

Google Drive. A decent value and a natural choice for those already entrenched in the universe of Google services—you already have 15 GB of Google Drive space if you have a Gmail account. One nice feature for photographers is that files smaller than 2048×2048 pixels uploaded to Google+ Photos don’t count against your storage capacity. And capacity options range up to a staggering 16 terabytes, albeit for an equally massive fee per month.
Free Storage: 15 GB
Paid Plans: From $4.99/month (100 GB) to $799/month (16 TB)

Microsoft SkyDrive. Not just for Windows users, SkyDrive client software is available for Macs and Windows 8, 7 and Vista (SkyDrive is automatically enabled on Windows 8 and RT devices). The desktop app helps you manage and sync what you’re storing in the Sky. You can automatically sync all files on the SkyDrive with the local folder on your computer, or you can select specific folders. If you don’t have a large photo library, SkyDrive may be an inexpensive option.
Free Storage: 7 GB
Paid Plans: $20/year (27 GB); $25/year (57 GB); $50/year (107 GB)

INTERFACE TRANSFER RATES*

USB 2.0
FireWire 800
USB 3.0
Thunderbolt
60 MB/s
100 MB/s
600 MB/s
1025 MB/s
*Approximate maximum speeds. Actual transfer rates vary depending on the devices used.

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