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Both cloud storage and external hard drives were each one of a kind technology in their own way. The external hard drive provided its users with almost as much space as a computer’s internal hard disk. What was the extra added benefit? It was portable. No longer would people look for multiple USB flash drives or CDs/DVDs if they wanted to carry their data with them from one place to another.

One external hard drive would be enough. With huge storage capacities, external hard drives made it easier for individuals and companies alike to create a backup in case their systems crashed. Then came cloud hosting which eliminated the need of an external hard drive. Both the technologies have their own pros and cons. So which one was better?

  • Storage Capacity & Cost Effective

If we talk about storage capacity and its associated costs, external hard drives steal the show without fail. Over the years the prices of external hard drives have fallen tremendously. Today if any individual wants an extra space of 1 terabyte, all they have to do is buy a 1TB hard drive. They are cheap and widely available. However if you opt for 1TB storage space on a cloud, you will not only have to buy a subscription but also pay for it monthly. Free cloud storage is only available for up to 25-50GB.

  • Smart Connectivity

If we compare these two technologies on the basis of connectivity, cloud storage definitely wins. Cloud storage users can backup their files from any device that they have access to. This means that users can not only access the cloud from their laptops and desktops, but also via their tablets and smart phones. This connectivity feature is not available in an external hard drive.

  • File and Data Sharing

Since the cloud can be accessed from anywhere via any device, you can easily share files with other people in varying locations. The only thing you need to give is your access code and links. Once people have these, they can access your storage space on a cloud. When using an external hard drive, you can also share your data with other people but you have to physically give them the external hard disk in order to share data. Also when using an external hard drive, you can only create a backup of the data which you have stored on your computer. If you want to store something from the internet, you need to first copy that on your PC and then to your external hard drive. In the case of a cloud, you don’t have to save material on your PC. You can directly store data from the internet on to your storage space in the cloud, thus making cloud storage more versatile.

  • Backup & Security Norms

The only way someone can access your files on your external hard disk is when you physically give somebody your hard drive or if somebody steals it. When people store confidential data on their hard drive, they make sure to keep it in a secure location so that nobody can gain access to it. In a cloud, your information is stored online. To restore or backup any files you have to stream them on the web. This puts companies in a vulnerable position because hackers can gain access to this information. Also if a cloud provider crashes or the government shuts down a certain provider’s service, companies can lose all their information.

external hard drive vs cloud storage

Cloud Storage Vs External Hard Drive- Which Method To Deem?

Before deciding which storage methods best suits you, you need to analyze your storage needs. If you are a company which handles confidential information, then an external hard drive will be sufficient for you. However if you are a huge conglomerate, with huge storage needs, then cloud storage is the solution to opt for. Analyze your business needs and weight the pros and cons of both storage methods before making the final decision.