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9 Different Types of Mobile Device Storage Ideas

A collage of different mobile device storage.

If there’s one thing the digital world has made us so utterly dependent, it’s our mobile phones. It connects us to our work, social and family life so it’s become a storage for a lot of things that’s important for us.

Here we’ve listed down some mobile storage solutions to make sure you’re always connected and on the go.

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Why Is Mobile Storage So Important?

Mobile devices have become a very important part of people’s everyday lives. The average person spends a significant amount of their time on his or her phone and these mobile devices are used to help with many important aspects of life. People use their phones to take cherished pictures of their families in many cases and there is plenty of other important data stored on these devices as well.

Oftentimes, the amount of storage that comes with your mobile device will not be sufficient for your purposes and this forces you to turn to different storage options. There are a plethora of different storage devices that you can make use of to help you with this problem. Knowing your options is going to allow you to make an informed decision on what will work best for you.

What Are the Most Common Storage Methods?

Short Answer:

  • Storage Microchips
  • Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Blu-Ray/DVD Discs
  • SD Card
  • MicroSD Card
  • USB Drive
  • External Hard Drive
  • Charger and Backup Station
  • The Cloud

Read below to learn more about each of these different types of common storage methods.


1. Storage Microchips

Iphone X 64GB.

Source: Bestbuy

Most phones that you buy today will come with what is known as microchip ROM storage. In case you wanted to know, ROM stands for read-only memory. Interestingly, the memory in this chip can be modified through system updates so saying that it is truly read-only would actually be inaccurate.

Regardless, this method of storage is actually very effective. It works very quickly and is going to be able to reliably store all of your data without worries. Some phones will have a multiple microchip setup whereas others will use only one chip.

In the multiple microchip setups, one chip will have a smaller amount of storage and be used only for the most essential files. It will work very quickly and only store system files, cache data, and application data all in different partitions created for efficiency. Then a larger microchip is used to store all of the miscellaneous data so this is where your pictures and other important stuff would be located.

For the one chip setup, it will just have one large storage microchip. Usually, this will be around 16GB or sometimes as large as 32GB. It really just depends on the manufacturer or brand but anyone who has used a phone for long periods of time will tell you that this storage capacity is still inadequate for many users.

2. Internal SSD (Solid State Drive)

Internal solid state drive or SDD.

Source: Overstock

It is important to note that the type of storage that comes stock in most Android mobile devices is solid state drives. These are, essentially, flash memory drives that store all of your data locally. Unlike other types of hard drives, these solid state drives have no moving parts whatsoever.

A normal hard drive will have magnetic discs that spin in order to operate and save your data. Solid state drives don’t need to do this and simply flash the memory to the proper location. They’re designed completely differently but ultimately they provide the same result.

Solid state drives are a convenient way to store all of the typical data that you will need on your mobile device. Most of the mobile devices that you will buy will only have a small amount of storage right out of the box, though. This means that you are going to be likely to run out of storage space before too long.

Thankfully, many phones and tablets are capable of upgrading their storage capabilities in a number of different ways. With Android devices, it is even possible to connect them to a much larger solid state drive externally, which will be covered in more detail later on.

3. Blu-Ray/DVD Discs

Blu-Ray and DVD discs.

Source: Overstock

In the interest of being thorough, you should know that it is possible to back up files by writing them to a blu-ray disc or DVD disc. You could also use a CD-R or CD-RW for these purposes. Most people would use a blu-ray disc in modern times but DVD-R discs are still readily available at department stores as well.

This isn’t the most convenient method for storing files but it is something that can work quite nicely. You will find that it is simple to transport files from a computer and write them to a blu-ray or DVD disc. The discs themselves are easily stored away and you can feel safe knowing that your important pictures or files are tucked away somewhere that you can access them if your devices crash.

Of course, you would have to put the files from your mobile devices on your computer first in order to be able to make use of this method. Your computer would also need to have a DVD-RW drive or a BD-RW drive as well. Many people like the idea of storing important family pictures and other files away from their computers.

In an age when people have concerns about hacking and cyber security, there is some wisdom behind storing files on media that is away from any Internet servers. You should be able to make use of this method rather inexpensively but it is a cumbersome method by modern standards. It is an interesting, out-of-the-box, idea that could help you keep your files safe and away from prying eyes.

4. SD Card

Sandisk SDHC card.Source: Overstock

Some tablets and very few older smartphones will have SD card slots. Most companies have completely switched over to using MicroSD card slots at this point but it is possible that you will have access to an SD card slot. These slots are a convenient way to add storage to any sort of device that needs it.

You can buy SD cards just about anywhere you would go to purchase electronics. They are readily available in large sizes, making them a very good option for providing ample storage. The problem lies with the fact that most modern mobile devices no longer make use of SD cards.

There are many popular devices that do have SD card slots, though. Many cameras and handheld video game devices take these SD cards but a lot of the modern video game consoles have moved towards MicroSD as well. It is still worth noting that you can use an SD card to increase your storage on some mobile devices but you need to know that this method is far less common these days.

5. MicroSD Card

Micro SD card.

Source: Overstock

The MicroSD card is the most common storage option that people turn to in order to upgrade their storage capabilities. It doesn’t take long to fill up the internal storage on a stock mobile device so these SD cards are the most convenient way for the common user to upgrade the storage. They can be purchased just about anywhere and all of the modern mobile devices come with MicroSD card slots.

It is very simple to install a MicroSD card into your phone or tablet. You just need to identify where the MicroSD slot is located on your device. Once you have found it, the card should slide right in without issue and you will have immediate access to increased storage.

The overall convenience of the MicroSD card has made it the most prevalent optional storage device for mobile phones and tablets. However, fans of Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices will be unable to make use of this method. Apple’s mobile devices don’t feature slots that allow them to upgrade their storage in any way.

Apple chooses to provide more internal storage for their customers than most other mobile device manufacturers, though. They also make great use of cloud storage, which is another topic that will be discussed later in this guide. Regardless, the lack of a MicroSD slot is one reason why certain people prefer Android devices.

You will be able to buy MicroSD cards at just about any large department store, electronics store, and all of the major online retailers. They come in smaller storage sizes but you can also get cards that are quite large. The problem is that you can’t actually use many of the larger, high-capacity cards in your mobile devices as they simply aren’t supported.

Many mobile devices will allow for SD storage up to 32GB or 64GB but these numbers are changing all the time. Keep in mind that there is a new iteration of the most popular smartphones every year. With new phones come new innovations so storage capacities do increase over time and standards do change.

6. USB Drive

USB drive.

Source: Overstock

To make use of this solution, you will generally need to connect your phone or tablet to a laptop or desktop PC. You can also use a MacBook, of course. Connecting your phone or tablet to a computer is very simple as the cable that you use to charge your device is USB.

Plug the USB charger into the USB port on your laptop, desktop, or MacBook. Then plug the micro-USB end (or lightning cable if you are an Apple user) into your mobile device. You will be able to open up your phone’s files and store them on a USB drive now.

Simply plug a USB drive into one of the USB slots and transfer the files over. You can buy USB drives that are much larger than the total storage capacity of your phone so it is very simple to back up all of the most important files that you have. If you purchase a fast USB device, such as a USB 3.0 drive, then this process will be very swift.

There are different designations for USB drives. Typical USB drives are the slowest but will be fast enough for the tastes of the average users. USB 2.0 increases the speed and then USB 3.0 drives are the fastest available at the time of writing.

Storage capacities of USB drives can be very large. Some USB drives can be as large as 2TB and you will see them get ever larger as storage capacity needs continue to advance. Getting a USB drive that has 100GB of capacity would be more than enough to back up the information on your mobile devices in most cases and this can be purchased for a very affordable price.

Also, you will want to consider the fact that you can back up your phone data right onto the hard drive of your computer as well. You’re already connected to the computer so dragging your important files into a folder to be stored on your computer’s hard drive is a sensible idea. Storing important files in multiple places is a great way to safeguard against potential data corruption issues when a device is damaged in an accident.

7. External Hard Drive

External hard drive.Source: Overstock

You can decide to purchase a dedicated external hard drive to store backups of your mobile device data. It is very easy to purchase these external hard drives in modern times and they aren’t as expensive as they used to be in the past. You will be able to purchase an external hard drive that has several terabytes of storage capacity for a very reasonable price as long as you look for the best deal.

These external hard drives are convenient to have access to for a number of reasons. You can store massive amounts of data on them and can feel confident that the data has been backed up safely. They’re also fairly small in modern times, making it easy to fit an external hard drive in your pocket if you needed to tote it around for one reason or another.

For some, this won’t be as convenient as simply buying a USB drive. USB drives can provide a similar amount of storage in many cases and the prices are generally going to be lower. The performance of the solid state drive might be superior in some ways but the convenience factor of the USB drive wins out with many consumers.

It really just depends on what your needs are. Knowing that you do have the option to connect your mobile device to an external hard drive gives you the power to choose what will work best for your situation. Keep in mind that this can be used on Apple devices as well so you can back up your photos and other important data on an external hard drive when using those devices.

8. Charger and Backup Station

Charger and backup station.Source: Bestbuy

One interesting product line that is becoming prevalent among iPhone users is charger and backup station units. These devices are capable of charging your phone and creating a backup of your data while it does so. This can be a very convenient way to ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of your phone’s data at all times.

In the event that your phone is irreparably damaged, you will be quite happy to have access to a backup data store. The big convenience with this device is that it will simply create the backup when you are charging your mobile device. Everyone needs to charge his or her device on a daily basis so you could theoretically create a backup of all of your files every night without having to think about it.

This can be more convenient than the other methods because it’s simply an automated process. It will automatically back up your pictures, videos, and contacts list every time that you charge your device. As of now, this convenient device is only compatible with iPhone so it won’t be a solution for Android users or fans of other smartphones.

It is possible that a product with similar functionality will pop up that is compatible with these other types of smartphones in the future. This is also not going to work for your tablets so it is mostly a convenient option for those who just use iPhones for all of their mobile needs. For those users, this is going to be a very beneficial product to own and it comes in several different storage sizes.

You can purchase this type of product with storage capacities of 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB as of the time of writing. This will also include an application that will allow users to easily restore their iPhones with the backed-up files. It’s simple to use and also quite affordable when you consider its functionality.

9. The Cloud

The Cloud Macbook.Source: Apple

Of course, the cloud is the storage option that has completely changed the way everyone looks at storage for mobile devices. Apple, in particular, makes exceptional use of cloud storage in order to help their customers out. They have the iCloud, which automatically creates backups of your files in case of device failure.

This allows users to create frequent backup files of all of their important data. With the iCloud, all of the pertinent data is being backed up as well. With solutions such as the charger and backup station, it will only back up pictures, videos, and your contact list. The iCloud backup system creates a complete system restore point that makes it convenient to get your phone back to the exact state it was in before it was damaged.

To truly understand how remarkable cloud data storage is, you need to get into how it works. Regularly, your data is stored on your internal memory or your installed MicroSD card but cloud storage works differently.

It stores your data in a third-party location. Your information is stored on a remote database and you have constant access to this database through your Internet connection.

There are a significant amount of advantages that cloud storage brings to the table. The easiest to understand is that it gives you access to your data anywhere. You can log into the cloud storage and call up your data no matter what device you are currently using.

This makes transferring your data from your old phone to a new one a whole lot simpler. It also allows you to transfer information between your smartphone and tablet seamlessly. There are a plethora of different applications for cloud storage but the most basic benefit is that it allows you easy access to your data no matter where you are.

You also won’t have to worry about storage capacity when you make use of the cloud. With hard drives, SD cards, and other methods of storage, you have to be concerned with the capacity of those methods. The cloud offers you abundant storage without the need to worry about how much space you have left.

Companies will place some limits on how much data you can store on their cloud servers but it is very generous. For the purposes of backing up your mobile devices, you will never need to be concerned about going over your limit. The cloud is something that all people can make great use of, regardless of what their preferred mobile device brand is.

Some people really don’t like the cloud data storage solution, though. There are some real concerns about cloud data storage that have people really concerned about whether their data is truly safe on these ambiguous cloud servers. You may have read stories about cloud servers being hacked into and the personal information of certain individuals becoming compromised because of this.

Many people choose to store rather sensitive data on their mobile devices. When you have pictures and information that are of a personal nature, you may not feel comfortable having it uploaded to the cloud. Even if your phone provider offers cloud services as a default, it is possible to decline to upload certain things.

Using the cloud to back up important data on your phone is a smart idea but it can also be wise to use other methods to back up your more personal files. In an age where mobile devices have become so prevalent, the security of the information stored on these devices is of great importance. You should consider your options and weigh the convenience of the cloud against potential risks before coming to an ultimate decision.

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