In the past, storing data was simple. No such things as cloud storage and network sharing existed. People only had physical storage as the only option. However, with the development of technology, people embraced the web’s power for their security systems. Cloud services like Dropbox have revolutionized storage of data. Saving crucial information on a non-localized server, people can access the data anywhere in the world. All they need is an internet connection. Unfortunately, data security became a sacrifice following the changes. Therefore, individuals and corporations need to evaluate the options carefully. Which data storage method is the best – cloud storage or physical storage?
Storing data on an external hard drive is usually the easiest option. Today’s desktops can store up to 1 TB of a file. Therefore capacity isn’t an issue. With so much storage, people tend to forget that there are other alternatives.
With all this storage, why consider other storage options?
Both Macintosh and Windows operating systems have basic security measures which give confidence to homeowners who install security systems. For instance, someone will need a password to login into a desktop. Also, fingerprint validation technology is becoming more popular. Unfortunately, these security measures can do a lot, but physical storage has some risks.
Pros of Physical Storage
1. Security – physical storage is not vulnerable to hacking. Since it is a physical device, and you are in possession, then you have full control of the security. No one access crucial information recorded by security systems.
2. Affordable – the price of storage devices keep decreasing with new developments. You can get an external drive that can store all your data with less money. You can also add another storage drive when you ran out of storage.
3. Faster transfer – physical storage has superior transfer rate when compared to cloud storage. It is faster even when you have faster internet speeds.
4. One-time Investment – external drives is a one-time investment when you but one that has sufficient space. You can buy a drive without subscribing to a service.
Cons of Physical Storage
1. Vulnerable – a physical device can be damaged, stolen or lost. Power surges can damage those drives that are connected to home network and can't be carried around. Sometimes physical devices fail.
2. Security measures are needed – since you connect your external drive to the computer’s internal hard drive, security and viruses become a concern. It can be a headache if you are not a technical person. An infected computer can transfer the virus to any physical drive connected. Also, a hard drive with sensitive data should be encrypted to keep off unauthorized people.
3. Wi-Fi or physical connection is needed – to use a physical drive, you need to connect it to a computer by firewire cable, wirelessly or USB. It can be impractical when someone carries a laptop to a remote location and forget to take an external drive along.
By hosting home security information on an online server, homeowners can access the information from any device. People on vacation can view data in their security systems even they are far away. Sometimes people lose control of online content loss data as sometimes hackers can intrude.
Cloud storage allows for synchronization of files across several devices, and one can share folders with friends and family through the internet.
Pros of cloud storage
1. Files can be accessed from anywhere – as long as there is an internet connection, data can be accessed from anywhere on your tablet, phone or PC.
2. Secures your data – cloud storage services ensure that your data is safe by employing their security measures. This keeps off third parties, and you won’t have to take security measures.
3. Files can be easily shared – many cloud storage services lets you select folders and files that you want to share with friends and family.
4. Can be cheap – some cloud storage services offer free services and can be useful if you need minimal storage needs.
Cons of Cloud Storage
1. Transfer speeds can be slow – speed of transfer depends on internet connection speed. Uploading files to cloud storage might take a while. You will have to wait for hours to upload videos and other large files.
2. There are subscription and Registration – if you want a large amount of storage, you will have to pay a subscription fee.
3. Security is a concern – cloud storage has strong security measures such as firewalls and encryption. However, there have been security breaches as hackers manage to access your data.
Don’t get rid of your physical storage device as you might need a hybrid solution to get the best of data storage.
For those who need small or moderate storage needs, a physical device is suitable for large and sensitive files. Also, you will need free cloud storage for easy file sharing.
For those with large storage needs, you will need a physical device for quick recoveries and a cloud storage to backup data.
Pinpointing a perfect data management solution can be difficult since different individuals and companies have different needs. However, if file sharing and collaboration is the determining factor, then you will need cloud storage. For those with small needs, then physical storage is recommended