Which is better cloud storage or external hard drive?

Which is better cloud storage or external hard drive?

Which is better cloud storage or external hard drive?

According to Eileen Winston, Everyone must know why backup data is so important, to avoid unavoidable circumstances of data loss, if you weren’t aware but for many people, how to backup their files isn’t nearly as clear. There are two methods for storing digital data – external hard drive and cloud storage.

You want to make sure that all your photos, music and videos you’ve collected for so long are there for the future. You also want to make sure none of your work documents disappear. Both options have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

A hard drive is essentially insurance that you can hold in the palm of your hand. While the concept may seem outdated, especially with the rise of cloud storage, there is no way to deny that an external device is a smart move.

Much like an old car that your parents encouraged you to buy because it was sturdy and reliable, albeit “old school,” having an external hard drive is effective in providing users with the peace of mind they seek.

Online cloud storage is the newer model of trusted backup services, and with it comes a number of features that can change the entire experience of backing up your data. Because it is done online, the systems are lightweight and adaptable to the specific needs of users and whatever files or information they’re looking to preserve.

Users will enjoy better file encryption as well as the ability to revisit backups from any point, whether it was files from two hours or two months prior. Also, there is live help available 24/7 for cloud users from knowledgeable customer service representatives.

Nick Cleary said:

It depends. Cloud storage is usually more costly for bulk volumes, as you have to pay a monthly fee. However, it is available anywhere from any internet connected device. However, you need internet to access it, and it’s generally slower to access your files, unless you have an incredibly fast internet connection. At the same time, the company, such as Google, garrentees that your files will be safe and accessable when you need them.

External storage is faster and cheeper per byte, but it can be a hassle to carry it around, as its one more thing to carry.

All in all either will work. It’s a matter of personal preference for you.

Odysseus Hoang said:

Generally speaking, both of them have pros and cons. There is no totally right answer and it depends on your actual needs. Here I list some pros and cons of cloud storage and external hard drive.

Advantages of external hard drive:

Sufficient storage and less cost
Fast speed
Disadvantages of external hard drive:

High risk of data loss
Advantages of could drive:

Access anywhere and anytime
Sharing and collaboration
Disadvantages of could drive:

Must be online and limited transfer speed
Potential risk of hacking
For more security, it is highly advisable to backup data to both external hard drive and cloud storage.

More details can be referred to this post:

Backup Comparison: External Hard Drive vs Cloud Storage

Hope it help!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

John Parker said:

This all preference, and both would work fine.

I personally prefer an external hard drive, and here are my reasons.

Its a one time purchase.
I don’t need an internet connection to access it.
Its easy to transfer files between computers.
Cloud storage has advantages too, such as

It is an offsite backup. So if you were to spill coffee on your computer, you could access the files from somewhere else. If you damage the hard drive, then the files are gone, unless you have another copy of it, which wouldn’t make sense.
Hope this helped

Backup Options: Cloud Storage vs External Hard Drive

Backup is important because of the consequence of data loss to businesses. But it can be challenging to select the right backup solution for your business. Hard drives have long been used for data backup but cloud storage is fast gaining ground as a storage option among business owners.

To store data on an external hard drive, you connect a drive to your PC via USB cable, then manually select files and copy those files to your external drive. You can also use backup software with an external hard drive in order to help assist with backing up your files.

Cloud storage involves copying your local files over a network to a storage space on the internet.

This article shares the advantages and disadvantages of cloud and hard drive options so you can determine which is the most suitable fit for your business needs.

Cloud: Advantages
Save and Access Everywhere

In the cloud option, files from all your devices can be configured to back up to your cloud storage space. Not only that, you can access your stored file from anywhere. Any staff with necessary credentials can access saved data to enable them to work remotely. This can be done via your cloud services app or a browser with an internet connection.


Cloud storage allows you to store as much and as little data as you have. In addition, you only pay for the storage space you use. As your business grows, a cloud service will accommodate your data storage needs with no effort on your part, just extra payment for the storage used.

Auto Sync

With cloud technology, you can set some folders or all files to automatically backup to your cloud space. When new files are created on your PC or device, they are saved to the cloud without your intervention. Also, if you need to access old backups, it is as easy as searching and downloading it.

Disaster Recovery

Cloud storage is immune from disasters that affect specific businesses. This makes it the ideal option for disaster recovery. When you need to get online after a disaster, a cloud service allows you to access your files from other working devices.

Sharing and Collaboration

It is easy to share cloud-based files among colleagues. You don’t need to make new copies every time another person requests the file. The file is backed up once, then you can give access to those who need it.

Cloud: Disadvantages

Depending on which provider you use, your cloud data can be vulnerable to attacks. It’s best to do the research first about which cloud service provider to choose before uploading any valuable information to the cloud.


Data stored on third-party cloud storage is out of your control. This can be problematic for businesses dealing with sensitive data. Moreover, regulatory requirements may prohibit some businesses from storing their data in the public cloud.


Some cloud services are free for limited storage and access. But businesses with large data must pay. Since cloud services mostly operate on a subscription model, you will need to be prepared to pay either a monthly or yearly fee.

External Hard Drive: Advantages

External hard drives are affordable and they involve a one-time upfront cost.


When you successfully back up your data to a hard drive your data is as secure as possible. Only through physical access to the drive can your data be accessed or tampered with.


It is quick to transfer data to an external drive. USB 2.0 and the 3.0 technology have made data transfer faster.

External Hard Drive: Disadvantages

An external hard drive can break at any time without prior warning. If this happens you will lose access to all your data.


External hard drives can be carried around. This poses a risk of loss, theft or accidental destruction.


You are responsible for your hard drive security. When you have other pressing issues at hand, you may forget to backup or update important files. Also, using the security features of an external hard drive such as encryption may be challenging or inconvenient for some business owners.

In Conclusion
External hard drive and Cloud services have their advantages and disadvantages. Your business needs will determine which one is the best for you. If you own one or two computers or process sensitive data that must not be transferred to third parties, then external hard drive backup may be the best option. Additionally, businesses with multiple computers and devices which require data to be backed up and accessed from multiple locations will find cloud storage a better option. To learn more about which backup option is best for you, please feel free to contact one of our team members, we’d be happy to speak with you.