When Less Data Storage Is A Good Thing

When Less Data Storage Is A Good Thing

In general we’re always looking for ways to get more data storage. That might mean getting more backup space in a Dropbox account or tracking down a new giant hard drive on the cheap. However, tech blogger Adrian Short suggests that a lower threshold for data backup is actually a good thing.

Photo by Justin Ruckman.

Short suggests that instead of always shooting for more space for backups to hold your digital junk, you should find a threshold that you can easily maintain. He explains:

Rather than trying to accommodate what we’ve got, we should work the other way. Find the threshold that makes sense for you, that you’ve got the time to maintain, that you can afford and that creates an acceptable amount of work and complication for you.

Then work down towards that level. Less is always an advantage.

It’s an interesting way of doing things that ends up making your data more shareable, easier to maintain, and better catered to what you actually like instead of just being everything you own. It’s also a good way to clean out all that digital clutter hogging up space on your computers and external hard drives. What do you think? Do you prefer to keep everything you create and purchase, or do you like the idea of an easier-to-maintain backup?

Less is always an advantage [Adrian Short via Minimal Mac]


  • depends what you need backed up. I’ve got a few TBs of recorded TV that i feel it’s not worth keeping a backup for but my GBs of photos is another story.

  • While I agree with the principle here – that more storage for the sake of it is pointless – for my situation I actually need moar space! I have TBs of music and video (almost all of which has been ripped from CDs and DVDs that I own), not to mention a huge collection of photos and a big ol’ Steam folder. By comparison, my irreplaceable documents and other files take up very little space!

  • Yeah this only really applies to some cases.
    I work in multimedia and I constantly need more space to backup projects, working files and master files. Space especially becomes an issue when dealing with HD video content. Also to be safe I need more than just one backup of each file. I’ll take as many TB as I can afford.

  • I agree very much with this. Last year I switched my primary computer to a Macbook Air with a 128gb SSD. I found the smaller size liberating. No longer did I need to think about what to keep on the computer – I keep things here which I need to have on it, right now, and when I’m done with them I delete them or put them on to a networked drive at home. I have my home computer connected to the web with it’s own domain name so I can always get something from home in a pinch. Having a clean, tidy, small internal drive with only what you need and nothing you don’t is like having a clean desk. It feels calm, ordered, and leaves me more focused on the things I really care about.

  • Bugger that. My desktop PC has 5 * 2TB, and a 3TB drive (as well as a 640GB VR for sabnzbd and 120SSD for os). I have identical (albeit the cheaper versions of, e.g. green, sata2 instead of black sata3) drives of the same size which go into a USB3.0 HDD dock for backup, using robocopy to mirror any changes in no time at all.

    Basically I’m just popping in the drive to the dock, clicking my robocopy batch, and it’s done.

    My important docs are in a dropbox folder on one of these drives for instant backup.

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