|Weighing the options: Pros and cons|
|Capacities||Price Range/Per GB||Pros||Cons||Best uses|
|Two internal drives in a RAID 1 array||500GB to 3TB||$60 - $400 for second drive, depending on capacity/$0.13 -$0.17 per GB||Fastest; can buy a PC preconfigured this way; no software is required; backups are immediate and automatic; large capacity; prevents data loss from a single drive failure.||Susceptible to malware, home theft, or disaster; one entire drive is dedicated solely to backup; can't recover accidentally deleted or overwritten files.||Immediate, automatic, hassle-free backups.|
|External Hard Drives||500GB - 3TB (single drive)||$85 - $400/$0.13 - $0.17||Fastest for large capacities; inexpensive; connects via USB, firewire or eSATA; smaller models may require no external power.||Susceptible to malware, home theft, or disaster; must configure and run backup software.||Primary storage of large amounts of data.|
|Network Attached Storage||1TB to 80TB+||$100 - $2000+||Fast for large capacities; no software is required; backups are immediate and automatic; extremely large capacity; prevents data loss from a single drive failure. inexpensive; connects via Ethernet to be accessed shared by more then one computer. can be accessed from remote locations for field workers. Data backed up across multiple drives for backup.||Susceptible to malware, theft, or disaster; At least one entire drive is dedicated solely to backup; Maybe able to recover accidentally deleted or overwritten files. Can be accessed/hacked from remote locations across the internet if not properly secured.||Primary storage of large amounts of data. Immediate, automatic, hassle-free backups.|
|Flash Drives||8GB -128GB||$15 - $220||Small; portable; connects via USB; requires no external power.||Easy to lose; size makes labeling difficult; must configure and run backup software for easy successive, incremental backups.||Limited storage; secondary backup.|
|Optical Media||700MB (CD) - 50GB||$0.22 (CD-R) - $50 (Blu-Ray double-sided DVD)||With the exception of Blu-Ray, discs are very inexpensive; most computers have players/burners; easy to use.||Slow; limited capacity; susceptible to scratches and physical damage; discs can't be read by all drive types; incremental backups require special software.||Archiving songs, video, and photos for use on consumer electronics devices.|
|Online Backup Services||250MB - unlimited||Free - $64.95 per month||Unlimited storage potential; most secure; nothing to break; safer from theft than local backup; remote file sharing is possible.||Slowest; monthly fees can be high; requires fast, reliable Internet connection; must trust site's security, longevity.|
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