Portable Hard Drives vs. Cloud Storage
With increasing loss in valuable personal and business data due to various factors like natural disasters, theft and human errors, you must now be aware of the importance of having you back up your important files, photos, documents and videos. Portable hard drives and cloud storage are the two most widely used approaches for data storage.
Portable Hard Drives
Portable hard drives, also known as external hard drives or USB hard drives are popular among users mainly for their portability and low price. These hard drives are usually used for presentations, data transfers, and movement of data sets from one PC to another or probably to a different building. This aspect of flexibility should also be accompanied by very strong encryption as the datasets stored are usually valuable and sensitive information of a business or an individual and hard drives are usually very easy to lose. Some of the major drawbacks of portable hard drives include the following:
- General lack of support for encryption
- Exposed to failure and normally do not hold any type of internal redundancy
- Lack of proper physical security (easy to steal)
- Can be connected only to a single computer
To attend to the pervasive needs for data sharing and easy accessibility and availability of data anywhere and anytime and on any device, several companies started offering cloud storage. In reality, the storage solutions that are cloud-based are solely internet-accessible servers offering large amounts of data storage. Cloud storage solutions are usually developed by vendors in such a way that they support clients for multiple platforms so that a user can access the same document from different sites. For instance: a laptop at home, a smart phone on the go, a workstation at work or even on a tablet. The primary benefit of using online or cloud storage is the ability of the users to access their stored data from virtually any place and to share the same with any number of other users.
In addition, there are quite a few risks and disadvantages for a business using an external cloud storage solution in comparison with implementing an in-house solution. The first issue is about complying with the rules and laws controlling access to and the use of various types of information, such as important business strategies. Hence, vendors and businesses must assure this compliance before permitting general usage of cloud storage. Secondly and most importantly, there might be costs associated with the subscription, support, storage space, internet bandwidth, etc.
Portable Hard Drive vs. Cloud Storage: Which is the best?
Before deciding the storage services that might suit you best, you must first analyze your storage needs. If you are looking for a storage option for personal use, then portable hard drive would be sufficient for you. However, if you are a business owner looking for a way to store and share your confidential information and files, then cloud storage is the best solution you should opt for. Therefore, analyze your needs before choosing a storage service.