SSDs or solid-state drives are becoming popular data storage options for computers. But before you make the switch to this new storage trend, you have to know the details. What is it exactly? How different is it from other storage options that already came before? We’ll give you a detailed breakdown below.
What is a Solid-State Drive?
To better describe what a solid-state drive is, allow us to compare it with an HDD.
An HDD offers a non-volatile storage that is based on movement and magnetism. It is literally a disk that spins around and writes codes into a magnetic device that keeps the data. It was the most popular storage drive in the past few years because it was easy to use and safe, until the SSD was introduced.
The SSD, on the other hand, uses a flash memory, which we’ve all been using for years. Unlike an HDD, it does not write code and data on a magnetic device. Rather, it writes them on memory chips that have semiconductors that flip arrays of data into various electric charge states. Because nothing moves inside, it’s been called a solid-state drive.
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How Safe is SSD Compared to HDD?
Because most computers already come with SSDs, it’s probably safe to assume that they’re better than HDDs. Here are some reasons why an SSD is safer than an HDD:
- It does not have any moving parts.
The problem with having moving parts in a storage drive is that they always wear out in the end. Worse, they wear out when you badly need them. This vulnerability is why the product designers of SSDs decided to get rid of the moving parts. But then again, this does not mean that solid-state drives will last forever; they also have their own lifespans. It’s just that they are more durable and reliable because there are no parts prone to breaking.
- It works faster.
Electricity travels fast. And because SSDs rely so much on electricity, they can read and write data at unbelievable speeds compared to HDDs.
- It is portable and slim.
SSDs are lighter and smaller than HDDs, which make them ideal for today’s ultra-thin devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and even tablets.
- It has a lower failure rate.
When SSDs were first introduced, there were concerns about device failure bugs. The truth is, SSDs malfunction less often compared to HDDs. The reason is that SSDs are designed with quality materials and have features like ECC or error-correcting code, which keep them working properly.
- It comes in varying shapes and designs.
Depending on the number of chips used and how they are arranged, an SSD can come in varying sizes and shapes.
- It makes lesser to no noise.
Even the quietest HDD will still create noise when in use because the read arm will always move back and forth. This is especially true if it has been incorrectly installed in an all-metal system. In contrast, SSDs don’t make any noise at all because they are non-mechanical.
- It does not require too much power.
One of the best advantages of an SSD is the fact that it does not need too much power. All the energy consumed by the drive is not wasted, making it very efficient.
SSD Security Issues
Because SSDs are new, problems and errors are quite common. But when we talk about SSDs as the future standard storage media, the most obvious disadvantage is data security.
HDD uses magnetic storage media that relies on the alignment of magnetism on the surface of a platter. When in a process, it passes over a read/write head to a platter to create a magnetic field. This magnetic field can impact the data that are currently being recorded in one operation.
An SSD, on the other hand, uses flash media that have transistors to store data. These transistors are grouped together and have different states. They can either be in “empty” or “erased” state, or “programmed” or “written” state.
In an SSD, before a group of transistors is reset to “written” state to be able to start storing data, each of them has to be reset to an “erased” state first. Having said that, although writing to an empty storage space only needs a single operation, overwriting is still impossible. Any data in the storage space where new data have to be written should be erased in a separate operation. Since it will be writing data that is already stored on the storage media, data security emerges as the primary issue with SSDs.
Whereas in an HDD, data are secure because the magnetic media writes the new data over the old data. The older unencrypted copy will be destroyed by the process of writing a new encrypted copy to the disk.
How Secure Is It to Swap to an SSD?
Of course, HDDs are likely to fail after many years of usage. So, if you’ve been using an HDD for more than a decade now, it is worth switching to an SSD.
SSDs are way faster. They boot your computers in seconds. Programs and apps also become more responsive because they load straight from an SSD. They need not wait for the HDD to spin up.
In addition, they don’t have moving parts, so they are not vulnerable to shocks that can cause damage to the drive when a computer is bumped or dropped.
Lastly, they don’t consume so much power, thus helping prolong your device’s battery life.
The only possible reason that could keep you from swapping to an SSD is its price. For the amount of storage space it offers, it’s still quite costlier than HDDs.
It’s All Up to You
Until recently, users had lesser options on which kind of storage to get for a desktop or a laptop. If you purchased an ultraportable laptop, you’d probably have an SSD as your primary drive. If you bought a desktop, you’d have an HDD.
Today, you can configure your system to have both. But how do you choose? Which is the best choice? With the facts stated above, you should be able to decide what is best for you and your needs. What matters is how you take good care of your device.
One of the best ways to keep your computers running fast, regardless if it uses an SSD or HDD, is to install Outbyte PC Repair. While it has nothing to do with your storage drives, it can help you identify and clear out those junk and cache files that are eating up your memory storage. With a clean storage space, it is guaranteed that your computer will perform at its best without any lag at all.
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