Since the first computer was invented to recent years, developers have strived to fit more information in a smaller amount of space. This is evident in smaller laptop and PDAs. Hard drives seemed to double in storage capacity almost yearly; there was 10 gigabytes, then 50, then 100 and now you can purchase media center with a 1.5 terabyte (1500 gigabytes) hard drive.

However, a new trend is on the horizon; a trend that will perhaps extinct giant hard drives. People are turning to the Internet to store their important files including documents, audio, video, picture files and more.

Online storage services are becoming less expensive. To date, MediaMax, one of the leading online storage services, offers 100 gigabytes of storage for only $4.95 a month and you can get a 25 gigabyte account free.

The price of online storage continues to drop, especially with rumors of the gdrive. This is Google s version of online storage that would provide its users with unlimited storage space - similar to gmail, but you could save any type of file instead of just email.

The development of flash drive use in desktop and laptop computers will also push the trend towards smaller hard drives and the use of online storage. Flash drives are popular in small mp3 players and thumb drives. These gadgets take advantage of the small size, skip resistant and durability of flash drive technology.

The one disadvantage to a flash drive, at this time, is its inability to store large amounts of information. Nevertheless, a large amount of internal storage isn t necessary if all your data is online. Furthermore, software is slowly being replaced by online services.

You can purchase a lot of essential software online through subscriptions or services. For example, you can download security suites from the web and pay a yearly subscription fee. Another example is the use of web applications to design websites and blogs instead of purchasing and installing software. Using a web application ensures the program will always be up to date and saves hard drive space.

There are some benefits to using online storage versus storing your data on a traditional hard drive. Some advantages to online storage include:

  • You are able to access your information from any computer connected to the Internet.

  • It s easy to transfer files to a new computer.

  • There is no need to save files on disks, external hard drive, or flash drive.

  • You can share files with friends and family by emailing the files directly to the person, or assign the files a website address so people can go to the address to access the files.

  • Files are secure online. You don t have to worry about losing the files or damage by a natural disaster or virus.

  • You can access your files with a mobile device like a PDA or smartphone.

Though there are many advantages to online storage, it will still take time for people to get used to storing files somewhere else, other than on their computer.

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