Both external hard drives and cloud storage services are distinctive technologies on their own and both have advantages and disadvantages as well. Let us first discuss about everything you should know about external hard drives and why you might consider using those rather than cloud storage services. External hard drives are far-flung: The price of storage is decreasing at a faster rate and due to this you will be able to get external hard drives at a relatively cheaper price. External hard drives are hasty: With the emergence of new technologies, the transfer speed with external hard drives has seen a considerable increase. External hard drives are more secure: If your major concern is about securing your files, then external hard drives provide you all the flexibility you would require to encrypt your files and store them with ultimate level of security. External hard drives are affordable: Investing in an external hard drive is a wise decision, especially when your financial situation is tight. External hard drives can be stolen or lost: It is extremely easy to lose your external hard drive as you do with your wallet or sunglass. External hard drives require manual connection: Whenever you want to use your external hard drive, you will have to connect it to your system manually.
Accessibility: With a cloud storage service, you can access your data or files from anywhere in the world on any device, may it be your laptop, tablet or smartphone, with just an internet connection, which is not possible with external hard drives. Space savings: Internal or external hard drives, both take up space in your home or office. Redundancy: The providers of cloud storage services usually make use of a technology called RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) in addition to automated backups to secure your data or files against unexpected user error, drive failures, and other natural disasters. Maintenance: If an external hard drive runs out of space or fails, you will have to buy a new one to replace it and copy all the data again, which is a tedious and lengthy process.
Security: Almost all cloud storage services have encryption technology to secure your data and files from third parties. Sharing made easy: Cloud storage services make it easy for you to share selected files or folders with your friends, family members, or colleagues, no matter where they are located around the world. The one major disadvantage of cloud storage is that you will need to sign up for a subscription package and pay regularly on a monthly or yearly basis.
Before you actually decide which of these two methods you should use to store your data, you must first analyze your storage needs. Enter your email below to get exclusive access to our best articles and tips before everybody else. You’ll run out of free iCloud space especially quickly if you have multiple iOS devices. Open the Settings app, tap iCloud, and tap Storage & Backup to view how much space you have left in your iCloud account. To use less space for backups, look at the apps in the list under Next Backup Size and disable apps you don’t think need to be backed up. If you have an old device you no longer use and it appears in this list, you can tap it and tap Delete Backup to delete the entire backup. Install another app like Google+, Dropbox, or Flickr that can automatically back up your photos and have the app start backing up your photos. You may also want to disable Camera Roll backups if you do this, as your photos are being backed up to a different service anyway. Tap an app under Documents & Data on the Manage Storage screen to view the files taking up space. I ignored the omission in that related "No iCloud isn't backing them up" article, but this article is brand new. DID YOU KNOW?Thanks to a little bit of mathematical serendipity, -40 on the Fahrenheit scale is equivalent to -40 on the Celsius scale–though we hardly need to agree on temperature scales to agree that -40 on either is rather chilly. Disclaimer: Most of the pages on the internet include affiliate links, including some on this site. Chances are, you have too many digital photos on your computer, and the thought of managing, or even organizing them, seems daunting to impossible.
Obviously, it is a good idea to take a few steps to organize your photos when you first import the digital files from your camera or smartphone onto your computer.
When naming files, try to keep naming conventions consistent and stick to naming folders and images in a way that will make sense years from now. Tags come in handy when categorizing photos by specific holidays, vacation spots, people, events, seasons, months, and years. When naming files, it’s important to remember that filenames on Windows and Mac have to be less than 260 characters, which includes file extensions that are automatically applied to files such as JPG and RAW. Tagging smartphone photos can also be helpful if you don’t find that organizing them by date makes much sense.
Just keep in mind that when you save smartphone photos, they should make sense within your entire photo collection. When importing photos into iPhoto, the program will automatically organize each shot with geo-tags, facial recognition, dates, events, and more.
Microsoft’s native photo program is Windows Photo Gallery, which lets users automatically import and organize their photos. Windows Photo Gallery also features Photo Fuse, which lets users take multiple shots in quick succession and combine them so that everyone looks their best.
Users can automatically upload photos from Windows Photo Gallery to social networking sites such as Facebook or YouTube, and other services can be added with available plug-ins. Google purchased Picasa back in 2004 and began offering the program for free, and it is compatible with both Windows and Mac. Picasa includes most of the same features offered by iPhoto and Photo Gallery, such as importing, tagging, geo-tagging, facial recognition, and the ability to create collections or albums. Users can also set up Picasa Web Albums, a feature that allows users to create and share albums with family and friends.
Backing up photos is crucial, since there won’t be film to work from if files get destroyed.
Another option is cloud storage, which is less likely to get corrupted than an external drive. Photo Stream only stores the most recent 1,000 photos taken across a user’s iOS devices, and while it is compatible with RAW files, it will not work with videos. As a backup to Photo Stream, users can set iPhoto to sync and save every photo uploaded to My Photo Stream. Android and iOS users alike can opt to use Google Drive to store and automatically back up smartphone photos. Under settings, users can opt to have the full size photos upload or have photos upload as standard size, which means they are resized to a smaller and more web-friendly format. Storing photos on a Google+ account is similar to storing photos on Facebook, which also allows for unlimited storage. Google Drive is a good option for Android users and anyone who wants to ensure their mobile photos are backed up. These are just some of the basic ways casual photographers can make sure their photos are organized and secure. All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.
I was disappointed to see that most of the advice concerns things to do when one first downloads photos.
Whether for work or personal reasons, there are times when you don't want other people to be able to see what you've been doing, especially related to your web surfing activities with the Safari browser on your iPhone or iPad. With Safari now so closely integrated with iCloud, if you want to keep things private, you'll need to do much more than just erase the app's History folder. When it comes to covering your web surfing tracks, before you start using Safari, you'll want to adjust a handful of the options available from within Settings.
From the iCloud Control Panel menu within Settings (shown in Figure 1), turn off the virtual switches associated with Safari and Keychain. Tap the Block Cookies option, and from the Block Cookies submenu, select the Never option, which will prevent Safari from storing any preferences related to websites you visit.
After you do this, if you or anyone else uses the Search field within Safari on your mobile device, listings for past web searches and details pertaining to websites you've previously visited will no longer be displayed. These steps will prevent most people who might pick up your iPhone or iPad and use it to surf the web from discovering what you've done online in the past. However, additional steps that can help cover your tracks include taping on the Clear History and Clear Cookies and Data options, which are also displayed as part of the Safari submenu within Settings. Tapping the Clear History option will delete everything that's currently stored within Safari's History folder; the Clear Cookies and Data option will delete all data currently saved within the Cookies folder of Safari, including information that's relevant to websites you've visited in the past. Safari also has the ability to access (and potentially share) your current location as you're using an iPhone or iPad.
To prevent this for Safari and other apps, from the main Settings menu, tap the Privacy option. From the Location Services submenu, you can leave the virtual switch associated with the main Location Services option turned on, but then scroll down and turn off the virtual switch associated with Safari, as well as any specific social media apps installed on your device. In the future, if you access a website that requires your current location, you will need to enter it manually.
Yet another thing you can do to prevent unauthorized people from accessing your iPhone or iPad is to turn on its Passcode Lock feature. From the Passcode Lock submenu, tap the Turn Passcode On option, and when prompted, select and then re-enter a four-digit passcode of your choosing.

Once activated, this four-digit passcode will be required any time the iPhone or iPad is turned on or awakes from Sleep mode. Instead of using a four-digit passcode, you can opt to use a longer alphanumeric password to keep people from accessing your iOS mobile device. To use a password, from the General menu within Settings, tap the Passcode Lock option and then tap the Turn Passcode On option. To do this, not only should you make sure that the privacy measures for Safari that have been outlined thus far are not used, you should also activate the Restrictions option on the mobile device your child is using. Depending on how the Restrictions options are set up, they will prevent users (aside from you and anyone else with the override passcode) from altering the device's Settings, accessing certain types of online or purchasable content, installing or deleting apps, making in-app purchases, and using certain functionality built into the device. It is absolutely essential that you remember this passcode, or else you could wind up locking yourself, as well as your kids, out of the device or prevent various features and functions from being used in the future. Scroll down within the Restrictions submenu to control the content someone will have access to, based on age appropriateness, content ratings related to Music & Podcasts, Movies, TV Shows, Books, Apps, Siri, and Websites.
Continue scrolling down to add more restrictions related to specific features and apps that come bundled with iOS 7, such as Location Services, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Photos.
If your children can access their email account, for example, from their mobile device, as the parent, be sure to check all the individual accounts listed within the Mail, Contacts, and Calendars submenu within Settings to make sure that your child has not secretly created one or more accounts that you don't know about. One thing you can do to prevent this is to adjust the options found under the Accounts option (accessible from the Restrictions submenu within Settings). Keep in mind that your child is probably rather technology savvy, so either on their own, or with the help of their friends, they may try to devise ways to keep their online activities a secret. By checking your child's Safari History folder, you'll be able to see exactly which websites have been accessed (see Figure 5). Whether you want to maintain your own privacy when using your iPhone or iPad, or need to track what your kids are doing on their devices, understanding how to customize the appropriate options within Settings will prove highly beneficial.
The majority of the features and options discussed need to be set only once, and will work indefinitely until a setting or option is manually changed. Siri can help you in so many ways, yet if you're not careful, your digital assistant can help others to snoop on you.
When someone sends you a text message, by default a preview of the contents of the message pops up on your screen for all to see. Ever get an email from a familiar-looking service warning that you’re overdue on a payment or need to tend to your account?
It’s common for one person to manage dozens of online accounts for everything from banking to social media to online shopping, and it’s tempting to reuse passwords to make life easier.
Remember a couple of years ago when hackers posted nude photos of celebrities stored in iCloud? Apple created a feature that erases all data on your phone after 10 failed passcode attempts. The external hard drive offered enough storage space to its users as would an internal hard disk of a computer. If you need more storage space for your additional files, you can simply buy another external hard drive or just replace your old one with a one with more storage space.
Regardless of whether you want to backup your extremely large photo library or your high definition movie collection, everything can be transferred to your external hard drive within hours. Also, unlike cloud storage, you would be the only person with access to your files stored in the external hard drive. With external hard drives, you do not have to sign up for a subscription that requires you to pay a monthly or annual charge and hence, all you do is a single investment and enjoy comprehensive benefits.
Since it is just another physical device, it can be easily misplaced and with people waiting to get their hands on your sensitive data, it is very much important that you carry your external hard drive carefully.
This makes this device impractical in the long run, especially during times in which you need a data quickly and cannot waste time connecting the device. With cloud storage, all your files are saved on the internet, leaving back less clutter in your office. Also, when cloud storage is used in combination with local storage, it provides you a second and offsite copy of all your files, thus providing an additional insurance against software and hardware deformities.
But with cloud storage, the storage providers have systems to maintain their equipment in good working condition and up to date with changing technologies, relieving you from that burden. This makes it extremely easy to update changes on a presentation, or send your vacation photos to your mom before you actually reach home. If you own a business and want to store your confidential business information, then an external hard drive would do you good.
Device backups, photos, documents, iCloud email, and other bits of data all share that space.
For example, you might disable backups for apps like Pocket, Twitter, and Evernote because those apps automatically sync their data online anyway. By default, iOS 7 uses both Photo Stream to sync the most 1000 recent photos between all your devices and also backs up your device’s Camera Roll, which contains any photos stored locally.
It will back up your photos to a separate pool of storage — your Google Drive, Dropbox, or Flickr storage.
They count toward your iCloud storage, so you may want to delete any files you don’t care about. If it’s not set up, you can visit the iCloud website, open the Mail app in your browser, and delete emails with the web interface.
Apple currently offers three paid plans — an additional 10 GB for $20 per year, 20 GB for $40 per year, or 50 GB for $100 per year. At TechnologyGuide, we say “nonsense!” There are plenty of easy tips and tricks for managing, organizing, and even touching up your massive digital pic collection, which the experts here are willing to share.
During the initial import, take some time to ensure photos have tags, consistent naming conventions, and even ratings. For instance, if you import photos from a birthday party, include the date and event in the file names.
When naming folders or files with dates, starting with the year first can help keep files organized when sorting. When you import the photos, normally you will be prompted to choose the photos you want to upload, along with other options.
Most of us use smartphones to capture moments as we go throughout the day, and chances are you don’t sit down to upload and catalog images daily.
Try tagging smartphone images by the subject of the photo, since you may not want to create an entire event for just one or two shots you took that day. For example, the date might not say much about a photo you took of your dog playing in the park, but it will ensure that the shots fall into chronological order at a glance.
The good news is that your computer, whether Mac or Windows, probably already has a useful program built in to keep your photo collections organized. You can alter the import settings so that only the categories you choose will be applied to photos.
This feature is useful but it can bog older machines down while the program works to catalog all the faces.
Recently, Apple also announced they will be offering the entire iLife suite for free to any users that purchase a new iOS device moving forward.
The software also includes editing features such as red-eye reduction, crop, straighten, retouch, color balance, exposure, and more. For example, it can swap a head from one photo into another if the subject happened to be blinking while the rest were at their smiling best. Photo Gallery does not use facial recognition, but you manually tag photos with a “people tag”, so they can be sorted by person. Windows users will get the most out of Picasa, but it’s a great choice for those who work on both platforms, since it features integration with iPhoto on OSX. Users are also able to edit photos with basic enhancement features such as cropping, red-eye reduction, and color adjustment. Those with a Google+ account can store unlimited photos, similar to Facebook, as long as they are around 4.2-megapixels or less.
An external hard drive will work, of course, but even those can become corrupt or destroyed. However, when storing large RAW files or 1080p videos, users will find they quickly run out of allotted storage, since most services only offer a limited amount of gigabytes for free. Photo Stream is a good way to ensure photos from your iOS device are backed up, as long as you remember to save the photos in a more permanent way before you max out the 1,000 photo limit. This can serve as backup if you don’t remember to manually save photos before it’s too late, and you can rest easy knowing your pictures will be automatically backed up to your computer. Users get 15 GB of free space, and files will sync between the mobile apps as well as the desktop application. Full resolution photos will count against your Google Drive storage limits, but the standard sized photos can be uploaded to a Google+ account without any limitations on storage. The caveat is that the loss in image quality will be apparent if you go to save or print out these web-friendly images.
Saving photos in full size means that you will have to remember to empty your Drive account and move the photos to a more permanent location. You won’t have to invest much in protecting your images as long as you stay organized and rely on a combination of cloud storage and external backup methods for all of your digital photos. Rich discusses ways to keep your web surfing history and activities private when using the Safari browser on your iOS mobile device.

This will prevent your iPhone or iPad from remembering usernames, passwords, and credit card payment details related to the websites you visit. Turn off the virtual switches that are associated with the Search Engine Suggestions and Preload Top Hits options. Safari, along with many social media apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc.) has the capability to access Location Services-related data.
To do this, from the main Settings menu, tap the General option and then tap the Passcode Lock option (see Figure 3). If you're using an iPhone 5S, you have the option to activate the Touch ID sensor, so only recognized fingerprints (or the use of a four-digit passcode) will unlock the smartphone. Also from the Passcode Lock submenu, turn off the virtual switch that's associated with the Simple Passcode feature and make sure the Require Passcode option is set to Immediately. However, you'll also want to manually check all their accounts associated with Facebook, Twitter, and any other social networking services and apps being used.
Also, for the security of your child, turn off Location Services functionality related to Safari, Mail, and all social networking apps to prevent other people from tracking their whereabouts based online activities. It can be pretty alarming to learn the variety of personal information anyone can access from your lock screen via Siri, including your home address and calendar appointments.
Careful, that could be a phishing scam. Before you panic and click any links in emails or download attachments, instead, open a browser and visit the site independently. The only catch is, you must have enabled Find My iPhone in your iCloud settings before you misplace your phone in order for it to work.
Yet Safari tracks what you search, offering up suggestions based on past searches and showing a list of recently visited sites in Safari under the Bookmarks folder.
It defends your device against brute force attacks, where software rapidly guesses passwords until it guesses the right one and breaks in. After a stint as a newspaper reporter, she became web editor at iPhone Life, where she continues to pair her penchant for storytelling with her love of Apple products. In addition, external hard drives also get broken easily, which may lead to losing your valuable data that are irretrievable.
With cloud storage services, unlike external hard drives, you do not have to worry about the encryption and security of your files, as the cloud storage provider will take care of it for you. However, if your storage needs are huge, then you should probably consider using a cloud storage service.
You may disable Camera Roll backups if you’re using another method to back up your photos. This is a confusing system, which is why Apple has announced they’re simplifying things with a single iCloud Photo Library that contains all your photos in iOS 8.
You’ll have a backup copy of your photos stored online, but you get to keep all that precious iCloud storage for other functions. Be careful when doing this, as you could delete important documents and other files you might want to keep. This is in addition to your 5 GB of free space, so the plans actually give you 15, 25, and 55 GB of storage space. For anybody with a Windows PC (which is a lot of people) it's a no-brainer since the synced photos just show up on your PC without automatically eating your disk space. Going a step further and taking a couple minutes to delete the junk will save on disk space.
It might make sense at the time of import to label an album “Brian’s 15th Birthday”, but years later the year and date will probably make more sense. This is a great place to apply tags, name each folder, and choose a naming convention for files. If you aren’t a professional photographer and you don’t do much to your photos besides boost the color and fix red-eye, then you really won’t need more than the following basic programs. It is also available as an app for iOS devices, which allows users to edit and sync photos to the desktop application. Users can also automatically upload photos to Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, as well share photos with other computers on the same network.
There are preset buttons that users can opt for if they don’t want to manually toggle the color temperature, tint, and saturation.
Google also allows users to store videos that are 15 minutes or less without counting them against the 1GB of free storage, and anything longer than 15 minutes will take up storage space.
A safe bet is backing up digital photos to CDs and DVDs by burning images to the discs and labeling them with as much information as possible to ensure memories stay intact, even if your hard drive does not. This means storing photos in the cloud could come at a price, but it does give users access to photos across devices while on the go. Once a photo is kicked out of the Photo Stream, it will still be available on the device as long as you haven’t deleted the photo. If Google Drive runs out of space, then it will automatically revert to saving photos in standard size to your Google+ account.
This is easy to do with the Google Drive desktop application, since users can go in and quickly drag photos out and store them on their hard drive. Just remember to create a system where you take time to organize photos when importing and then back those images up in a reliable format in case of a hard drive crash.
Meanwhile, you can reverse some of the information offered within this article to keep close tabs on the web surfing activities of your kids. From the Safari submenu within Settings, scroll down to the Privacy & Security heading and turn on the virtual switch associated with the Do Not Track option. Once you've enabled Touch ID, your device still gives you the option to enter your passcode, so if it's easy to crack, you're not any better off for having Touch ID. If you’d rather not allow strangers to ask Siri for directions to your house among other things, just go to Settings, Touch ID & Passcode, and after entering your passcode, scroll down to Allow Access When Locked, and toggle off Siri. Thanks to password managers like 1Password and iCloud Keychain, you can be both lazy AND secure. Whenever you try to sign in on a new device, a six-digit code will be sent to a device you set up to be trusted.
That’s where Restrictions come in handy, allowing you to block access to entire apps or types of content. This is a setting I’d recommend enabling with two big qualifiers—that you don't have kids and that you back up your phone regularly.
Donna holds a masters degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication.
When you disable backups for an app, the data will be deleted from your iCloud storage online and won’t be part of future backups.
Yes, this can all be a minor hassle, but it will undoubtedly save headaches down the road when you are searching for specific pics. Save the specifics for tags, for example, Brian, Birthday, 2013, and September will make far better search terms than filenames.
Later when you want to make a photo board to display at Brian’s high school graduation party, you can quickly search through each year to find a photo of him from every birthday. This can come in handy for at bringing up photos from a certain location, and especially helpful for dealing with vacation or photos of a night out on the town. If you connect your Facebook account, you can manage all of your albums on the social networking site, even if they were uploaded outside of iPhoto. It’s a simple and easy to use program that is free for Windows users, and it also features integration with Microsoft Sky Drive. Another option would be to increase your amount of Drive storage, which comes at a yearly fee. This will prevent Safari from creating and updating a History folder, and storing information about webpages you access or view in the future.
Just remember your one master password and let the password manager do the work of generating complex passwords and storing them for you in one secure vault. From there you’ll be able to play a sound on the device, lock your phone remotely, or as a last resort, erase your data and brick the device so the thief won’t be able to use it. Here, you can also choose not to upload certain photos as well as whether or not you wish to delete the photos from your device after importing.
But here's where Touch ID can give you a big security boost: if you set a custom alphanumeric passcode on your phone (which is the toughest to hack), you don’t have to worry—since you use Touch ID, you’ll rarely have to enter it. If you back up your device each night, however, you’ll be able to restore the data on your device without too much trouble. However, then emerged cloud storage which instantly eliminated the requirement of an external hard drive. Make sure this is different than your iPhone passcode to minimize the chance of your child memorizing it.
To set your iPhone to erase all data after 10 failed passcode attempts, open your Settings app. As both these technologies have pros and cons, we are forced to differentiate between the two and choose the best possible one.

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