Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

What is a virtual hard drive?


Author's Note

As someone who's had a hard drive crash and completely and utterly die in the middle of a 300-page copyediting project -- losing a hundred pages of work for a deadline, not to mention everything else I've ever done -- I'm a pretty big supporter of backing up files. But with the ease of virtual storage and drives comes a price: Your documents are no longer yours but squatters on a server. While virtual hard drives have many advantages, be savvy about how you use them -- and what you use them for.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Fleishman, Glenn. "Online Storage Face-Off: Google Drive vs. Dropbox." Macworld.com. July 3, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://www.macworld.com/article/1167461/online_storage_face_off_google_drive_vs_dropbox.html
  • Holman, Tyler. "Microsoft responds to SkyDrive privacy concerns." Neowin.net. July 22, 2012. (Aug 10, 2012) http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-responds-to-skydrive-privacy-concerns
  • Hyde, Randall. "Write Great Code: Volume 1: Understanding the Machine." No Starch Press. Nov. 1, 2004. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://books.google.com/books?id=tfP4UND566AC&pg=PA352&lpg=PA352&dq=cost+of+floppy+disks+in+1982&source=bl&ots=SnU9uovzeh&sig=7wRhKsjKZjIGP6W50hOXrB6Eo2Q&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LJkhUKSTMMPKqgH-7oGADg&ved=0CEgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=cost%20of%20floppy%20disks%20in%201982&f=false
  • LaMonica, Martin. "Amazon Cloud Drive gains desktop app." CNET. May 2, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57426340-93/amazon-cloud-drive-gains-desktop-app/
  • Londis, Dino. "Google Drive: Half-Baked Cloud, With Scary License." Byte. April 27, 2012. http://www.informationweek.com/byte/reviews/personal-tech/storage-memory/232901102
  • Myers, Adam. "Creating a virtual hard drive with Windows 7." Howinthetech.com. March 29, 2010. (Aug 10, 2012) http://www.howinthetech.com/creating-a-virtual-hard-drive-with-windows-7/
  • Needleman, Rafe. "Google Drive is not for everyone, so try these alternatives." CNET. April 24, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57419587-93/google-drive-is-not-for-everyone-so-try-these-alternatives/
  • Needleman, Rafe. "The Google Drive FAQ." CNET. April 24, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57420402-93/the-google-drive-faq/
  • Overidon.com. "Evolution of External Hard Drives." June 21, 2011. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://www.overidon.com/2011/06/evolution-hard-drives-externa/
  • Patel, Nilay. "Is Google Drive worse for privacy than iCloud, Skydrive, and Dropbox?" The Verge. April 25, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/25/2973849/google-drive-terms-privacy-data-skydrive-dropbox-icloud
  • Shankland, Stephan. "Google Drive: It's slick, integrated ... and not exactly free." CNET. April 24, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57419024-93/google-drive-its-slick-integrated...and-not-exactly-free/
  • SkyDrive. "Compare." Microsoft. 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/skydrive/compare
  • Tweney, Dylan. "Google about to make Google Docs into a virtual hard drive called Google Drive." Venture Beat. Sept. 25, 2011. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://venturebeat.com/2011/09/25/google-docs-google-drive/

More to Explore