Internal vs. External

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Internal vs. External

If you're thinking about beefing up the storage capacity of your home computer, you've got a bunch of options. Here's a round-up of the options, level of difficulty installing them, and cost/benefit analysis:

* Internal hard drive: Replace your current hard drive or add a second one if you have the space. But unless you really know what you're doing with computer hardware, have someone else do it for you. This can be expensive, if you add in labor.

* External hard drive: If you have the USB or Firewire ports to spare, you can hook up an external hard drive. This is much easier to do, but configuration can be difficult. It's not an instant solution.

* Internal removeable media: You can upgrade or replace your current CD-ROM/DVD to add a faster or more capable unit. But again, unless you're very skilled with hardware, pay someone else to do it.

* External removeable media: You can add a CD-ROM/DVD/Card reader that hooks up through your USB or Firewire ports. This is much more of an instant, hot-swappable solution.

* Online: You can purchase online back-ups from a specialty company that will access your data through a secure Internet conenction and then back it up regularly on their servers. This is more for mission-critical business applications and probably overkill for most home users.



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