What is it?
A hard drive is the part of a computer’s memory that stores permanent information in the form of files. While all computers come with a built-in or internal hard drive, external hard drives can be added as peripherals in order to increase the computer's memory capacity. Most external hard drives are connected to the computer via a USB cable, while some connect via a FireWire, so make sure your Member’s computer has the necessary port.
And don't forget to ask about which operating system your Member’s computer runs. Some external hard drives only work with certain operating systems.
How much can it hold?
External hard drives come in a wide range of storage capacities – from hundreds of megabytes to 3 or more terabytes. This capacity will continue to increase over time.
How do Members use it?
Because external hard drives are rewritable, meaning any type of digital file can be added and deleted from the drive over and over, your Members may use them to store their music libraries, digital photo collections or important files. They also may want to back up their computers on an external hard drive to prevent losing work in the event their computer crashes or is damaged, stolen or lost.
An external hard drive can be connected to more than one computer, which means that Members can easily transfer or share digital files that are stored on it to another computer.
Be sure to ask your Members how much information they plan to store or back up so you can recommend an external hard drive with enough memory to meet their needs both today and tomorrow.