USB sticks are growing in popularity and are beginning to replace CD’s and DVD’s as a means of data storage, but is the rabidly growing area of free web storage set to change this? According to DiskBank , USB sticks may just have a little life left in them.
Free web storage is a rapidly growing area of the online world. Sites such as Mozy.com offer users 2GB of online back up, which is simple to use and secure.
Now, 2GB is quite a large bank of memory, however, USB sticks come in sizes up to 32GB, a fact which has recenlty prompted sites like Mozy.com to charge a monthly rate (as little as US$4.34) for unlimited online back. This is a good price, but still not as cheap as buying a 32GB stick and using it for years.
Another important issue free web storage outlets are facing is data transfer speed. Users who want to transfer and backup audio and video files using web storage will be limited by the upload speed of their internet service provider.
In Australia ADSL 2 is around 500 kbps. USB drives however can write at about 15 mbps and read at around double that. This is a significant difference and worth thinking about when comparing options.
For those who have been provided with a USB stick by their employer, it most likely came pre-loaded with data necessary for the job. While many corporate web sites have downloadable documents available both within their public spaces as well as their intranets and extranets, the advantage of providing pre-prepared, data-loaded USB sticks is that employees do not have to go searching for it and the information is only one click away.
DiskBank's investigation shows that USB drives may have a little life left in them yet, however the Australian government initiative to roll out broadband to all states and territories over the next 6 years will see 90% of Australians running 100mbps via cable, and the remaining regional areas with 12mbps via satellite.
This, combined with the dropping price of server and hard drive space, will allow sites like Mozy.com to up their free data allocation enticing more online data storage.