Local or Cloud Storage? Which is Safer?

You may be wondering why cloud storage is so popular these days. After all, your computer is a relatively safe place to store your information. Only you have physical access to it, and you can disconnect it from the internet if you want to. So why is cloud storage so popular and is it truly better? Let's break it down and find out.

The unfortunate reality is that all the info you put on the cloud is just as vulnerable to hackers as your own computer. Cloud storage has the same weaknesses, their servers can be damaged, suffer a power failure, and hacked by malicious third parties just as your own PC could. Even worse, cloud providers rarely explain just how they protect your data from all of that while promising that your personal information is safe thanks to their strict rules and top of the line encryption algorithms. We should analyze them and see which fits your needs better.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is a godsend for businesses, which need to store loads of data. There are a lot of benefits to storing or backing up data in the cloud. It's much cheaper for starters, you don't need to buy or maintain servers, you don't need to update and upgrade the machines, and you don't need to have an IT guy to look after them.

Another bonus is that you can always increase the memory space if you need to by contacting your cloud provider, no need to buy it yourself. Also, you can ensure your data is safe from accidents and disasters by backing it up on the cloud.

The ability to access your data anywhere at any time through any device is also an incredible plus and huge time-saver in many cases.

Sounds nice, but there's also a big disadvantage with cloud storage - speed. If your internet isn't the best (which applies to many places in the USA with old infrastructure), it can be difficult to access the right files if you have a lot of stored information. Another disadvantage is that you may not feel safe storing your sensitive information on a public cloud. There are private ones, but they cost more.

Local Storage

Conversely, speed is one of the biggest advantages local storage has. Saving your data on external hard drives is considerably faster than uploading to a cloud provider. And just as I said before, you may not feel safe if your data is stored on a public cloud, but with local storage, you have full control of who can access it, and you can always disconnect it from the internet if you feel there's a threat.

The major downsides to local storage are two - cost and vulnerability. Creating and maintaining a server base for a large business can be incredibly expensive and even small businesses would need to spend thousands of dollars on the proper hardware. Maintaining it is another money issue.

The other downside is that your information will be vulnerable to the whims of fate. An accident or natural disaster can wipe out your computers and external hard drives in one swoop. Without backups stored on the cloud, you could lose potentially years worth of valuable information.

Which option you choose depends entirely on you and your needs.

June 27, 2018

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