Should You Back Up Your Files to a Hard Drive or a Cloud Drive?

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If you’ve been on the internet any time in the past 6 months, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve heard about the cloud.  Almost everywhere you look someone is asking you to back up your files with their cloud storage program.

For some people, using the cloud to back up their files is the best option, while for others backing up to a physical hard drive might be an easier, more practical option. Deciding which backup method to go with can get a little bit confusing, so hopefully this article can help clear things up.

An external hard drive is a simple hard drive that you can connect directly to your computer and back up files straight to it.  A cloud drive is similar to an external hard drive, only the files are uploaded to a hard drive located with the company that is providing the cloud service.

There are pros and cons to either type of drive. For example, an external hard drive is very simple to use; you simply drag your files to your hard drive and they are backed up.  An external hard drive can also be the cheaper option of the two, once you have paid for the hard drive you can use it indefinitely without having to pay a monthly fee.  You’ll also have access to your files even when you don’t have an active internet connection.

While an external hard drive can sometimes be easier to use than a cloud drive, it can also be the less secure option.  After all, you could back up all of your important files to a hard drive only to have the hard drive fail or turn up missing.

A cloud drive has its own list of pros and cons. First, a cloud drive is usually much more limited in space when compared to an external hard drive.  You can buy a 1 terabyte external hard drive for as low as $50, while the same size on a cloud drive could cost $20 a month.  If you’re thinking of uploading a 500 gigabyte music and video collection to a backup drive, the cost of a cloud drive could get pretty steep. While space on a cloud drive can be more expensive, it can also be much more convenient.  After all, if your reason for having a backup is security, a cloud drive can provide a secure location that will remain safe if you were to suffer a flood, fire, or any other type of loss could cause damage to your important files.

Some cloud drive companies also offer automatic backup options that are very easy to set up.  Using an automatic backup program, you could feel safe knowing that each time you add a file to your computer it is automatically backed up in a secure location.

With both types of drives having their own merits, the decision on which type to use really depends on each user’s own preferences and needs.

Before deciding on a cloud drive subscription, be sure to check to compare various plans and models of external drives.

If you have any questions or need help setting up a new external hard drive or cloud drive account, feel free to give us a call; we’re always happy to help.

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