Whenever I hear an argument about Cloud backup versus localized storage, I think of the old adage that a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. Sure, you can have both, but I'd much rather transport my images on a small hard drive or flash drive than be dependent on accessing a fast broadband connection in the field.
My latest obsession is SanDisk's new Extreme 900 Portable SSD. The rugged drive offers transfer speeds of 850MB/s, which SanDisk claims are nine times faster than portable HDDs. Better yet, it comes with both USB Type-C and Type-A cables, which is great news for photographers who picked up a MacBook despite its single Type-C port. It's cross-platform compatible right out of the box and measures a compact 2.98 x 2.98 x 0.42 inches. This little square drive is available in 480GB, 960GB and 1.92TB capacities (MSRPs of $400, $600 and $1,000, respectively) and comes with a 3-year warranty.
If you're willing to trade off some features—including capacity and speed—to save a bundle of cash, check out SanDisk's Extreme 500 Portable SSD. Transfer speeds drop to 415MB/s (read) and 340MB/s (write) and the drives maxes out at 480GB, but the cost savings are tremendous with the 120GB, 240GB and 480GB, priced (MSRP) at $100, $150 and $240, respectively.
If flash drives are more to your liking and packing style, SanDisk's new 256GB Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive's claim to fame is its 256GB—SanDisk’s first-ever USB device at such capacity. Not surprisingly, the flash drive's 100MG/s transfer speed can't compete with those of the new SSDs, but this drive is sufficiently fast for images (although 4K video shooters need to go with the SSD). It's a little pricey with an MSRP of $200, but street pricing will be less.
SanDisk's Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash Drive takes the idea of diminutive to a whole new level. The company upped the capacity of this award-winning, smaller-than-a-dime USB flash drive to a maximum of 128GB. With transfer rates of up to 130MB/s, this Lilliputian device is really fast for its size. You can pick one up for an MSRP of $120. Just don't drop it; it's so tiny, you may never find it again.