The Cloud vs. A Large Hard Drive or Server?

by Walter Moore

Many folks often run into storage issues on their personal computers and eventually have to make a decision whether to get a larger internal hard drive, look into an external hard drive or storage server or make the move to cloud storage. There are several pros and cons you should consider when making this decision.

Upgrading your Hard Drive or using a storage server:

When upgrading your hard drive you of course are in control of your own data. No one else can access it unless you send it, it is yours and in your control. Often times you can access your data faster as you do not need any sort of internet connection at all.

The obvious downside to a larger hard drive are the backups of your data must be done by you or if it is lost, well you lose everything. Hard drives eventually do crash and will slow down as they age which is of course inevitable. If you upgrade your internal hard drive, you are also at the mercy of your processor so as you upgrade to a new computer you will need to transfer the data.

Cloud Storage:

Utilizing cloud storage has a huge upside being that it is only limited to your subscription level, with many places such as GMAIL or Microsoft offering free cloud storage up to a certain size. If you are like me and do a lot of photography, one place that has excellent cloud storage is Amazon. Amazon offers free unlimited cloud storage on their photos platform that has no compression even for RAW image files. If you ever need to expand your cloud storage simply purchase a bigger subscription. All backups, security, and maintenance are completed by the service so if your hard drive crashes all your documents are there. You can access your cloud from anywhere in the world and if you upgrade your computer no need to transfer files. If you want to share large files you can of course send an access link.

The only real downside to cloud storage is cost and the need for internet access to access your files.

So if you need more storage look into both cloud and a hard drive upgrade or even both (back up your files to the cloud). If you have more questions feel free to email me walter@msatp.org or call the office.