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  • How Big Does Your Hard Drive Need to Be?
Technology Articles > Hardware > Hard Drives and Burners > How Big Does Your Hard Drive Need to Be?

The very first hard disk was invented by IBM in 1956. It held a grand total of 5 megabytes, which is about a single track of music. Nowadays it isn’t uncommon for a hard drive to have multiple terabytes (bear in mind that 1 TB equals 1024 GB which equals 1048576 MB). Back then it wasn’t really an issue, though. Hard drives have grown with the times in relation to the type of data that we are storing digitally. Consumers now like to keep all their music, pictures and videos on their computer hard drive.
The amount of data you can store on a hard drive is growing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to opt for the largest. How big your hard drive needs to be will depend on what type of computer user you are. For example, if you want to take your movie collection on the go then you will need a sizeable storage drive to cope with this. On the other hand, if all you use your computer for is browsing the internet and the occasional photo then even something like 150 GB is going to be ample space.
You should note that the size of your hard drive will not affect your computer’s performance. A computer with a 100 GB hard drive will run at the same speed as one with a 1 TB drive. And the amount of data stored on your drive won’t slowdown the computer, either.
The good thing about a hard drive is that you can upgrade it if you are running out of space. However, this will involve opening up your computer and changing the drives around. If you are not sure how to do this then it is advisable to get someone who understands to help. Also, remember that you need to transfer all of your data across to the new drive. All your saved data is stored on the hard drive, so just switching out an old one and putting in a new drive will make the computer think you have no personal data saved.
If opening up your computer sounds worrying, don’t worry. You can buy external hard drives that come in high capacities. These just attach to your computer’s USB slot. Although they are a bit more vulnerable out in the open, they are great for instant expansion and offer the ability to easily move your data to another computer. They also act as a good way of backing up your data.
The thing about hard disk drives is that they are constantly getting cheaper. In 1985 a 1 GB hard drive cost $25000. Nowadays you can get a 1 TB drive for less than $75. 1 TB is more than enough for the average consumer. As such, it is worth getting a bigger hard drive than you estimate due to how cheap they are. Having a bigger drive will mean that it will save you upgrading down the line. You will be able to store your data and install programs with no worries to the storage capacity.