With many people moving to working from home indefinitely, there are new hurdles to overcome in terms of efficiency and security, especially regarding file sharing for photographers, videographers, and other content creators in general. Working in an office space or other professional environment often included access to a variety of tools one might take for granted, including secure networks and the ability to share files with people locally with little regard to any potential mishaps. With remote work happening now more than ever, a solid resolution for the new year is to take a closer look at how secure and efficient your file and sharing systems are for your own process.
Encrypted External Drive
Beginning with a well-rounded solution, something like G-Technology’s 2TB ArmorLock SSD solves many of the issues with a compact and fast-performing drive. The concept of a sleek, portable SSD isn’t new, but the ArmorLock updates this concept to use the same type of security you use to access your smartphone to also access the drive. In fact, the two concepts are linked, as the ArmorLock functions using Bluetooth and an app on your mobile device to open the drive, and thus the drive essentially uses your Face ID or Touch ID as an extra secure means of keeping your data safe.
More information on the ArmorLock is covered in our hands-on review, but to emphasize one point from that review: The point of this drive is to keep your content safe and secure, and to limit access to who can work with the drive should it go missing. This can be crucial for those working on embargoed jobs or campaigns concerning private content and gives you peace of mind when working with more sensitive information.
Secure External Drive
Along similar lines, but a bit less rigorous in terms of security, is something like Samsung’s 1TB Touch Portable SSD, which features a built-in fingerprint reader to gain access to the drive’s content. While not quite as sophisticated as an app and face detection, the fingerprint scanner is still a useful method of keeping your files safe in most working circumstances and is more convenient than needing to remember and input passwords to access content. Also, this drive is noticeably compact, making it all the more portable for on-the-go and travel-based use.
Tough External Drive
Not everyone needs to protect their content from theft or limit access to the files; some people just need protection against the rigors of everyday carry and the possibility of a drive being dropped or spilled on. Enter the tough external drive, and a good example of this is LaCie’s 1TB Rugged SSD PRO Thunderbolt 3. This drive is compact, making it great for travel use and fitting into a camera or computer bag, and has a durable design to protect against drops from up to 9.8'. It is also IP67-rated for dust and moisture resistance. Beyond just its tough construction, though, it’s a highly capable and fast working drive for professional applications. This specific model is fitted with a Thunderbolt 3 interface, which offers transfer speeds up to 2800 MB/s for playing back 6K, 8K, or super slow motion source files without transcoding. Photo-only or even 4K video users can likely get by with the Rugged USB 3.1-equipped interface SSD drive. In either case, check out our hands-on review for more detail on these fast and durable drives.
Finally, a system all content creators should be working with, especially for your at-home drives, is a RAID array. Check out our article "RAID Arrays for Photography and Pro Video" for more in-depth information on the concepts, but a quick summary is that, through the use of multiple linked drives, a RAID array can offer improved security or speed, or even both, depending on configuration. For high-volume use, a great example of something ready right out of the box is G-Technology’s G-SPEED Shuttle system, which comes with four pre-installed separate drives for high sustained transfer speeds up to 1000MB/s. It is pre-configured in RAID 5, which offers a good balance of speed and data repetition for content creators’ needs but can also be configured to RAID 0 for speed or RAID 1 or RAID 10 for more repetition.
Depending on your file-saving needs, the most important thing is to be aware of is the variety of ways to keep your data safe and secure. If you’re traveling, working on location, or constantly mailing drives, then both physical security and encryption are key assets. If you are working from home, then file security, repetition, and speed are likely what is most important to you. Make sure to identify your needs and back up accordingly.
Do you have any additional file storage tips? Any new storage practices you’re looking to incorporate into your workflow? Let us know, in the Comments below.