PST Files: are They Good or Bad Choice for Data Storage?


When it comes to .pst files, most of the users cannot answer the simple question – what is the purpose of this format? What is the content of files of .pst format? And that is because of one thing – due to the numerous technical issues associated with this format it remains to be very unpopular among common users and professionals.

Actually, the pst format was developed by Microsoft to store the personal information – email, phone numbers, addresses and others – and if you do not have the corresponding Microsoft Office tool (and you likely do not have it) you may need a special pst file opener to check the file content or a converter to make it possible to open at least in Excel.


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Disadvantages of PST File Extension

Some like the PST files because they can be protected by the password. The theory says that this measure prevents unauthorized access and allows users to hide the secrets in reliable “hollow”. Alas, utilities for the breaking of PST passwords exist for many years, and fast search allows to find many opportunities to surpass the protection easily. Besides, the PST file can be opened by any MAPI client. In the PST file, there is no mechanism forbidding an access for everyone except the owner or a certain mailbox owner. In a word, give me the PST file, and I will open it and I will show contents to all and everyone in several seconds. Well, maybe, in a minute.

The initial format of the PST files with ANSI encoding has been limited with a capacity of 2 Gbytes and was subject to destruction when file sizes approached this limit. The Microsoft company has solved a problem more than ten years ago, having updated a format of files to Unicode encoding. In the Outlook 2013 application restriction, the PST files size makes 50 Gb, and this value seems too big. The problem of destruction of the PST files, certainly, is not actual now, but it still happens and when there is a damage to the PST file it becomes a huge trouble to restore it. And it is only possible if you provide constant backups which are rarely done thus in most of the occasions it is impossible to restore data lost.


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To bypass a problem, administrators often place the PST files on the general network disks. At first, this idea seems quite good. Users, as before, can continue to use PST files, and administrators will take care of backup copies. Though the Microsoft company never supported the placement of the PST, OST files or autonomous telephone books on the shared network folders, such practice still exists. Despite the lack of support, everything works.

However, it is a bad idea due to the lack of optimization of this format and thus you need more space to use this format. Thus, it is really better to use specialized cloud services then outdated Microsoft solution.


However, if you still need to use or to open .pst file extension it is better to use specialized tools to open it, however, once you have an opportunity to work in another format you need to choose more stable and predictive Google services.

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