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Face Off: Cloud Storage vs. External Hard Drives

Posting Date: 12/17/2015  |   Filed Under: Data Back-up  |   No Comments

Data can be stored in a number of different ways, but what’s most important is that it’s safe, quick, reliable, and affordable – if of course you need a lot of space. The cloud is revolutionizing the way data is stored and backed up, but there is still controversy as to whether it’s as affordable as an external hard drive.

External Hard Drive Benefits

cloud storage versus hard drive image

The external hard drive is a separate device that plugs directly into your PC or Mac, and stores copies of your files in one location. The beauty of the external hard drive is that they’re transportable, and in the event of your computer or network crashing, your information is safe.

As more solutions move towards cloud-based applications, the external hard drive may be seen as a dinosaur, but they’re far from it. External hard drives are durable, reliable, and a way of essentially ensuring your precious data while holding it in the palm of your hand.

Another benefit of the external hard drive is the associated costs. As a general rule – the more storage you require, the more money you’ll pay. External hard drive users pay between 10 and 50 cents per gigabyte of storage, but exceptions are determined based on the manufacturer and other outliers.

To improve the overall speed and performance of your PC or Mac, backing up your data to an external hard drive will prolong the life of your laptop or desktop computer. By backing up your data to an external hard drive, you’ll prevent a potential mental meltdown if your computer unexpectedly reaches the end of its life. When a laptop or desktop computer crashes, gets stolen, or lost in a potential house fire, all of the internal data will be lost forever.

Cloud Storage Benefits

Cloud storage is a revolutionizing how data is stored online because it allows users to become more versatile on how they backup and access their data. Through the cloud, users can also access their data across multiple devices and virtually anywhere they have an internet connection.

Benefits of the cloud include better file encryption, meaning users have the ability to pull data from any point in time, whether it is from one week or one year ago. As a perk, cloud storage services also provide 24/7 live customer service support representatives in case you’re ever in a bind.

When it comes to cost, cloud services are going to be a bit more expensive than an external hard drive. Prices for cloud storage range from one cent to $10 per gigabyte of storage depending on the type of security, storage plan, and the level of support desired. Amazon is currently running a promotion on their Cloud Drive for unlimited online storage for one year for only $5.00 USD. Through Amazon Cloud Drive you’ll have unlimited storage for photos, documents, and other files, along with free apps for your mobile and desktop. Note that, after one year the Amazon list price of $59.99 per year will take full effect.

Your Best Bet

The cloud offers a range of plans to meet the needs of any user looking to backup a vast amount of data, so it is easily retrievable anywhere or anytime. External hard drives may seem like they’re going extinct, but that’s far from the truth. To ensure your data is fully protected, utilizing both storage methods is recommended. Having a plan, A and a plan B provides more security for your data because technology can fail. Using an external hard drive and cloud storage simultaneously is the best insurance for your data.

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