More than ever our lives revolve around data, making data storage and security a high priority. Everything from important documents and spreadsheets to photos of the family holiday can now be stored digitally, but where and how do you store them?

Deciding which storage solution is best for your personal needs boils down to three simple questions;

How often do you need to access your data?
If you need to access your documents or photos often, or from multiple locations, online storage is probably your best bet. Data in the Cloud means it isn’t tied to any one device, enabling access from home, the office or even abroad – anywhere with an Internet connection. This option is perfect for those who regularly work on the move or from home.

If you don’t want to regularly access your data, but rather just want to make sure it’s safe, secure and that you know where it is, then you can consider physical storage: USB sticks, SD cards or even external hard drives.

How much data do you have?
If you have a large amount of data, then cloud storage is still an option. Although, you may find you have to pay extra for the space, with most providers allowing around 15GB before you have to start paying. If you are looking to back up an entire computer, an external hard drive is probably your best option. Unless you have an exceptionally good Internet connection, transmitting masses of data online can be time consuming and frustrating.

On the other hand, if you just have a few odd documents or photo albums, you’ll likely be able to store it online for free if the accessibility of the Cloud appeals to you. Otherwise, a USB stick or SD card will cover your needs and even allow you a modicum of portability (just don’t lose it).

How much storage do you need?
When choosing where to keep your digital belongings, keep in mind not only how much you have but how much you might accrue in the future: 2GB might seem like enough, but three or four holidays later you might have more photos than you can count. By thinking ahead you can make sure you anticipate your own needs and limit the disruption caused by a wholesale move to another storage medium.

Keeping your data safe and secure is important, but it’s also relatively easy. Whether you are looking for flexible access and data that goes where you go, or you just want to keep everything safely tucked away, there is a storage solution available to suit every shape and size of requirement.