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Depending on the Cloud

Q:

What is the best way to store a large number of photos without relying on cloud systems?

A:

If you have more photographs (or any other large files) than you would like to store on your computer’s hard disk, but don’t care to use cloud storage, the best option is an external hard disk.

Some of these are networkable, which means you can connect them to your home network and access the photos via Wi-Fi from multiple PCs, Macs and other devices. This is called Network Attached Storage.

Q:

I’m a senior in high school preparing for college this fall. The shared family computer contains a lot of stuff that is mine, including music, Word documents and photos. What would be the best way to transfer these to the laptop I end up getting? Would a service such as iCloud (since it is an iMac) work best for music and then transfer Word docs and photos through a flash drive?

A:

That would work, especially if your photos and documents amount to a relatively small amount of data. But, if your laptop is a Mac, there is an alternative.

Apple builds in a utility that appears during setup and will migrate data files, settings and apps from an older Mac, either over a cable or a wireless network.

This might be faster and more complete, especially if your stuff is the bulk of what’s on the iMac. After migration, you could always delete anything you didn’t want.

Email your technology questions to Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


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