Drive or Cloud Storage; What Works for You?

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably aware that there’s value in protecting and preserving your precious data.

What you may be less sure about is how to do it. Ever since it became an option to upload your data to the cloud, people have been debating the merits of physical and online storage systems.

Each system definitely has its advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a quick rundown of factors you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding which works best for you:

hard driveHard Drives

1. They’re offline.

One of the biggest advantages of using a hard drive to store your data is that you don’t need to connect to the internet to access it. Cloud services require internet access, meaning that explorers and plane passengers might have to wait until they get back on the beaten path before they can see their files.

2. They offer plenty of storage.

You can get a TB (1000 GB) of storage for less than $60 if you know where to look. That’s plenty of space for most digital packrats, and for less than what it would cost to have that much cloud storage space for a year (we’re assuming the 1 TB drive lasts at least a year).

3. They’re relatively secure.

Cloud storage involves keeping your data online where hackers could potentially steal it. Hard drives, on the other hand, don’t keep your information on the internet. That means no one can steal your information out of your hard drive unless you upload that information onto your computer or online or someone actually physically steals your hard drive.

4. They make for an easier backup.

Hard drives tend to come with software that allows them to perform scheduled or one-click file backups. Some cloud services may offer scheduled backups, but they tend to take longer.

cloudThe Cloud

1. It offers offsite protection.

If your house burns down and your computer and external hard drive are both destroyed, you didn’t really do yourself any favors by backing up your data. Backing up your information to the cloud allows you to avoid this problem.

2. It offers global access.

The cloud allows you to access your data from anywhere in the world, and on any device. That’s a very helpful trait for travelers and business men and women that need to be able to work and edit not he go.

3. It makes sharing way easier.

With the cloud, you don’t have to upload pictures or files onto an email. Instead you can just send people links to the downloadable data. This will make sending attachments back and forth a much speedier and more painless process.

4. It allows for real-time teamwork.

If a document is saved in the cloud and access is given to multiple members, those members can then work on that document together simultaneously from different corners of the globe.

5. There are free options.

Want 15 GB of free space? All you have to do is open a gmail account. Want 60 GB or free space? Open four gmail accounts. It’s really as easy as that.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, both options have a lot to offer in terms of data security. If you have some really important data that’s integral to your career or emotional wellbeing, you should probably use a combination of both. My personal advice? Have an off- and on-site hard drive that holds your most important and sensitive information, but keep less sensitive and more useful information in the cloud so that you can easily access it from any device.