Network Storage Is the Only Safe Way to Store Your Pictures
Okay, so I know a lot of readers may disagree with me on this and have different opinions. My writing here isn't intended to cause any offence, but more to offer an opinion and start a discussion on the matter. My evidence here is based on having worked in the IT industry for over 30 years and working in the photographic industry with creatives. Hopefully, after reading this you'll come up with an understanding which may help your next (or first) c
omputer storage purchase.
The Cheapest Way
The cheapest and most convenient (but least reliable) way to store your images is on the internal drive of the computer you are editing on. There's no need to buy any extra equipment and you might think that this is a good place to start. On import from a camera or memory card, an editing program such as Adobe's Lightroom copies it to a location on your hard drive. This is an incredibly bad way to store your images so I'm now going to set out my reasons why.
Your internal drive contains the files needed to run your operating system and the programs you use on this hard drive. An internal hard drive will slow down as it gets filled with more data and as such slow your computer's access to the files it needs. Think of the files being like books in a library. Isn't it easier to find the book you want in a smaller library than in a library with a million books? Ideally, you shouldn't be filling your computer more than half full of data.
Access to the files. Unless you're using a remote access program such as Teamviewer or Google remote desktop or a cloud-based archive system like Dropbox or Google Drive, you aren't going to be able to access the contents of the computer whilst away from the office, home, or place of work. Getting access to these files can be problematic sometimes and you'd normally have to log on to your computer to access files on your desktop.
Failure of the computer system. If you have a problem with the computer system. Unless it's a catastrophic hard drive failure. Getting the files back can be a pain but generally, it can be done. It might mean taking the hard drive out of the computer and inserting it in a caddy or another computer or getting the computer repaired first.
Archiving the files. Storing the files on the internal drive doesn't really give you the option to archive the files and store them for future reference in an alternate location.
The Most Expensive Way (Long Term)
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