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March 15, 2023

Cloud Storage Vs. Local File Storage - Which is Better?

Local file storage is a tried and true way of saving your data, but cloud storage has benefits of its own to protect your files. Which one is right for you?

In the internet age, there are many options for storing your files and data securely. Cloud storage has become more sophisticated and versatile in recent years, making it a great option for those looking for flexible, secure data storage.

Of course, there are some downsides to cloud storage and many people still prefer local storage options for a variety of reasons. So which is best?

The Difference Between Local and Cloud Storage

Local storage is the traditional form of file or document storage. This is often the process of storing files on a computer’s internal hard drive or an external hard drive that can be connected to a computer. However, USB, micro-SD cards, and DVD or CD discs are all forms of local storage.

Cloud storage, by contrast, is a form of storage that uses the internet to transfer files to remote servers that act as a host for data. These servers can be dedicated to one individual or company with massive storage needs, or be split between multiple users with smaller storage needs. This is often more cost-effective than upgrading hardware to meet your storage needs.

Local Vs. Cloud Storage Which is Better?

The simple answer is that cloud and local storage are best for different situations and people. There is no single option that is best in every situation, but there are unique benefits and drawbacks to consider with both local and cloud storage options.

The Pros and Cons of Local Storage

Local storage is the kind of storage that almost everyone is familiar with. If you have an electronic device like a laptop or phone, you have used local storage methods. The first benefit of local storage is ease; it’s intuitive and familiar to most people, which is why so many feel comfortable with it.

Other benefits include:

  • Speed
  • Control of where and how your data is stored
  • No need for internet to access your files

The drawbacks of local storage are:

  • Inflexibility
  • Costly to scale-up storage capacity
  • Manual back-up required (especially if you have an external hard drive)
  • You have to have your device with you to access your files

The Pros and Cons of Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is becoming more and more popular, especially among the internet-savvy population. This is because of the numerous benefits associated with cloud storage. These include:

  • Access your files anywhere with internet
  • Share access for collaborative work
  • Less chance of file loss due to frequent backups
  • Cost effective scalability
  • Lower energy consumption (for businesses that switch to cloud storage)

There are some challenges to consider, however. The main challenges associated with cloud storage include:

  • Lack of control over your files, as a result of handing them over to a third party for storage
  • Potential security issues if the cloud storage provider does not regularly update their protocols
  • No internet means no access to your files

4 Best Cloud Storage Services for Beginners

There are many different cloud storage providers across the world. Finding the right one for you is a matter of considering your needs, your budget, and the reputation of providers you are considering. If you don’t know where to start, consider this list of the best cloud storage companies of 2023:

1. Dropbox (News - Alert)

Dropbox is one of the most recognizable and well-known cloud storage services in the world today. They have a free account with a reasonable 2GB of storage, the ability to upgrade easily, and a good reputation for security and customer service. Whether you are a private individual looking for a basic service or a small business owner in need of more robust cloud storage services, Dropbox is a good option.

2. OneDrive

If you have a device that uses a newer Microsoft (News - Alert) operating system, you likely already have access to OneDrive. OneDrive is owned by Microsoft and so benefits from their processes (and their reputation). Quick and reliable, it is a good choice for students and professionals, but falls short in terms of privacy, because it lacks zero-knowledge encryption.

3. iDrive

If you need lots of storage, iDrive could well be the best cloud storage option for you. Their baseline storage package offers more space than the average person will need at a reasonable cost. Their fee is certainly lower than comparable services you might find elsewhere. They also have great security and full encryption. One downside is that they do not have a free account option at the moment.

4. Google (News - Alert) Drive

As an extension of the Google brand, Google Drive is directly connected to the Google Docs service, but isn’t limited to it. You can upload images, files, and videos as well. It is very easy to use, reliable, and has a good security record, but there are small security issues that mean it’s not the best for highly sensitive data.

These are just some of the cloud storage services you can choose from, so don’t be afraid to shop around.

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