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The best digital storage options for 2022

It’s never too late to back up your important files and other data.

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Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

When’s the last time you remembered to back up your digital devices? No, we don’t mean that automatic backup to Google Photos or iCloud. We’re talking actual, manually-triggered backup to a digital storage device.

Losing your data is no fun, with irreplaceable memories, important documents, and other data gone in a flash. Don’t fret if you aren’t diligent about data backup, it’s never too late to start a backup routine.

Except if you’re reading this after your device has already died, in which case it’s still never too late as you’ll want to start as soon as you get your replacement device.

Let’s put it another way. Hardware is getting cheaper. Your data is irreplaceable. If you’re not backing up your devices, it’s time to start.

Whether that’s automatic cloud backup or backup to physical devices, it’s never too late to start. Unless your device has already broken, then there’s a good chance your data is gone.

The best digital storage options available today

If you have been slacking on backing up your valuable data, now’s the perfect time to start. We’ve rounded up some of the very best options available.

Seagate Exos X20

seagate exos x20 digital storage hard drive on purple background
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Let us start with the type of backup most people would think of. The humble hard drive, inside a NAS. You’re basically building a second computer, which you transfer your precious data onto. That provides another copy of your data if something happens to your primary device.

Seagate’s Exos drives are enterprise quality, so they’re designed for always-on, data-critical use. They’re also available in a wide range of capacities, with this 20TB drive being the largest currently available. Your backup doesn’t need to be always online. It’s just easier to backup without having to remember to switch it on.

This is the NAS I’m currently using, with six bays, cache options, 10Gbe ethernet, and expandable memory. You might not need that much space at first. Synology makes it easy to transfer your drives into another, larger unit when you find you need it.


SanDisk Professional Pro-Dock

sandisk pro 4 bay reader on purple background
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I do a ton of photo transferring from the two SDcards that my Fuji XT-3 camera holds. Those are set up to record the same images as a first backup stage. Yes, good-quality SDcards are built to last, but the market has been plagued by fakes.

Anyway, the whole point here is that you can load two (or up to four), multi-card readers, into this dock, and pull data off those SDcards at the same time. That saves time, making your backup stages easier. If you’ve got other types of cards in your camera, SanDisk probably has a module that fits this thing.


Crucial X8

crucial x8 external ssd on purple background
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You can never have too many external drives. Ones that fit in your pocket, like this Crucial X8, means your backup method is always on you. Great for photo backup without having to pay for cloud storage or data plans. With read speeds up to 1050MB/s, restoring from your backups is speedy.


Kingston XS2000

kingston xs2000 portable ssd
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Kingston’s XS2000 is also supremely pocketable, but it ups the speeds to a max of 2,000MB/s on both reads and writes. You can get one in up to a 2TB size, which is perfect for backing up your smartphone or laptop. You could even use it for full system images of your laptop or Mac, so you’re never caught short if the unthinkable happens to your device.


WD My Book

wd mybook external backup drive on purple background
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WD makes some of the best consumer-facing backup solutions, and the My Book is great. Available in single and two drive configurations, and up to 36TB of storage, they’re password-protected and come with auto backup software. They’re Time Machine compatible as well, perfect for your Apple devices. They’re also pretty stylish, so don’t look like a boring brick on your desk.


WD Drive for Chromebook

wd drive backup for chromebook on purple background
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Chromebooks need backing up sometimes, even if most of your documents live in the cloud. Make sure you buy an external drive that’s certified to work, because you don’t want to take chances with your data. At $50 for 2TB, you can’t go wrong with this drive from WD.


Seagate Beskar Ingot Drive

seagate beskar special edition drive on purple background
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This themed external SSD from Seagate is a perfect blend of two precious things – Beskar, and your data. You might have noticed Beskar in The Mandalorian, where it’s one of the most precious things in the galaxy. Well, your personal data is no less precious, so why not put it on a Beskar ingot? 2TB of speedy SSD storage, in a collectible Star Wars drive with customizable RGB lighting – as Mando would say, this is the way.


SanDisk Pro 12TB G-Drive

sandisk pro 12tb external drive backup on purple background
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Sometimes you want a single desktop drive to use for video editing or storing finished projects. SanDisk has you covered, with its G-Drive range. Up to 18TB of storage in a single, stylish aluminum enclosure can be had. The best part? It’s plug-and-play so no annoying setup or necessary software. Oh, and USB power delivery, so it can recharge your compatible laptop or MacBook while you transfer data.


Samsung Portable SSD T7 USB 3.2

samsung t7 portable digital storage ssd on purple background
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Samsung has a host of external SSDs for those backup jobs that don’t fit onto a flash drive. The T7 uses the latest USB 3.2 standard, so you’ll be able to transfer your documents at the full speed of your USB ports. That’s up to 1,050MB/s read, and 1,000MB/s to write data to the drive. Pretty speedy for an external drive, and you also get a nice aluminum unibody chassis.

You can get 500GB storage capacity for $99.991TB storage capacity for $159.99, and 2TB storage capacity for $329.99,


Samsung Portable SSD X5 Thunderbolt 3

samsung x5 portable ssd
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External storage doesn’t have to be slow these days. The X5 Thunderbolt 3 portable SSD is based on NVMe. Yes, that’s the speedy stuff that makes your computer or console fly. You can transfer data at up to 40Gbps when using Thunderbolt 3, which will take the wait out of backing up your camera roll.

You can get 500GB for $169.991TB for $349.99, and 2TB for $599.99. That’s a lot of speedy storage for your most precious files.

It’s never too late to back up your devices with digital storage

It’s not too late to get a backup solution in place for your digital data. We’re just here to gently remind you that even the most carefully cared-for device can malfunction. When it does, you’ll be glad you had a backup copy of any data contained on it.

Whether it’s your family photos or the critical infrastructure of your business, backing them up is the smart thing to do.

Remember that it’s also good practice to have two backups, one local and one in another location. That could be as simple as having a flash drive with your photos at another family member’s house, or regularly scheduled backups to a cloud storage provider.

Data loss could happen to anyone, either through accident, hardware failure, or even ransomware. Don’t let an incident destroy all of your important files. Back it up with some digital storage.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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