When it comes to creating a secure backup of your files, you have two options: local or cloud storage. But which is better in this cloud storage vs local storage showdown? Click here to find out.
Loss of data is every business’ nightmare. Did you know, for example, that in 2016, security breaches affected 60% of companies?
That’s quite a significant number. With that comes the worry that data may be at risk.
But you need to have storage of some sort.
We save a lot of information on our computers and devices. In fact, the files from an average 1TB disk drive would be enough to fill an airplane.
These days, companies have more choices. While a lot of people are still happy to have local hard drives, more businesses are turning to cloud storage as a convenient alternative.
Today I’m going to be looking at cloud storage vs. local storage. With this information, you’ll be able to decide for yourself which is the best for you and your business.
Advantages of Cloud Storage
One of the main benefits of using cloud storage is convenience.
Because we’re all connected to the internet (many of us 24/7), people are finding that they need access to data from anywhere in the world at any time. This is where cloud storage wins out over local storage.
If you have a cloud account, you don’t need to worry about how you’re going to gain access to your files. Wherever you log in (and from whichever device), your data will be there waiting for you.
Some websites will even give you up to 15GB for free, which means you can potentially cut down on storage costs.
Don’t think that sounds like a lot? When you consider that just 1GB of storage is equal to around 75,000 pages of documents, it forms an idea of just how generous 15GB is (you do the math).
One of the other advantages of cloud storage is the ability to recover data.
I’ve already mentioned the benefit of being able to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection. But it goes beyond mere convenience.
How many times has a laptop or tablet become corrupted and unusable? What happens to all that data that’s stored on there?
Chances are it’s lost forever. But with cloud storage, your files will still be there ready for you to access from another computer.
Pro tip: Now is probably a good time to say that even if you use cloud storage, it’s still highly recommended that you implement some sort of backup plan in case of any mishaps. It’s always best to be safe than sorry.
Disadvantages of Cloud Storage
No storage type is going to be completely perfect. Cloud storage will still have some drawbacks which businesses need to be aware of.
One of the major pitfalls is speed. Because your files are being stored online, you need a way to connect to it.
If your bandwidth is not up to par, or is having a bit of a bad day, gaining access to your cloud account can be a little sluggish.
It’s also worth pointing out that while cloud storage is safe, you are still sending your data over the internet. Security measures are being implemented and improved upon all the time, but you still run a minor risk whenever you login.
Advantages of Local Storage
Of course you can always stick with local storage if you prefer. Many people do and there are reasons why.
While a lot of businesses are now happy to use cloud storage, having a physical storage device can still prove useful.
One of the major advantages to using local storage is the range of sizes you can get. While 15GB is definitely a good amount for cloud storage, some people prefer the enormity of, say, a 2TB hard drive.
This usually means that you can use less hard drives for many more files. However, hard drive storage doesn’t last forever (more on that shortly).
Local storage is also not dependent on internet technology. Once you save something locally and you need access to it, boom, you’re right there.
If everything is saved offline, then no amount of internet downtime can stop you from gaining access to your data.
Disadvantages of Local Storage
It goes without saying that if you’re reading this, you can probably guess one of the biggest disadvantages to offline storage: accessibility.
Yes, you can always purchase external hard drives, but when it comes to having access to your data, this is where local storage falls down.
If you’re in a meeting, but you’ve brought a different laptop or you’re using a third party computer, how will you get a hold of your files if they’re stored elsewhere?
One of the disadvantages is that you can easily forget a hard drive, whereas you can’t forget to bring your cloud account to a meeting, unless there is no internet available.
There’s also the question of cost. Hard drives can run into the hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars the more you acquire.
Depending on your business needs, you might not even need multiple 3TB hard drives. That’s money that might be going to waste.
But let’s say you’re happy to pay for extra storage. You still have the inconvenience of having to upgrade your hard drives from time to time.
The costs will add up, not to mention the physical space you need to store them (especially if you have a server).
Cloud websites can easily arrange for additional storage for a fee without you having to lug a lot of hardware around.
Cloud Storage vs. Local Storage: The Fight for Supremacy
Now that we’ve looked at the advantages and disadvantages, it’s easy to see why cloud storage vs. local storage is such a hot topic.
I personally lean more towards cloud storage. The reasons listed above being why.
If you run any type of company, you need to have internet access. If a lot of business is conducted online, then it makes sense that having important documents that are safely stored and accessible from anywhere in the world would be the better option.