Cloud Storage vs External Hard Drive


Okay, so you have a huge dump of files and you’re looking for an external hard drive to store them. Now you’re weighing your options whether it would be a good idea to go for an external hard drive or a cloud storage service. I’ve been promoting cloud services for a very long time and since you’ve somehow found your way to this site, I think you should definitely check out why I prefer and recommend people to use cloud storage services.

In this article, I’ve focused on the pros and cons of both external hard drives and cloud storage services. Check out which of these suit your needs.

Cloud Storage vs External Hard Drive

From the starting line, external hard drives are clearly ahead by a few steps considering hard drives are very cheap and you can deliberately control anything and everything on this device. But using hard drives only for storing all your data is not safe at all. Hard drives may fail, get stolen and your data will be lost forever. Nope, that’s not what we want.

Advantages of External Hard Drives

Cheap Price

The price of external hard drives is decreasing day by day. In case you need more storage space, you can always buy another external hard drive or replace the one you’re using with a higher capacity model. This is an amazingly flexible solution.

Greater data transfer speed

Thanks to the brand new USB 3.0 technology, data transfer speeds in external hard drives are skyrocketing. Just in a couple of hours, all your HD videos and photo collections will be backed up on the external hard drive. That’s really handy.

One-time investment

Buying an external hard drive is just a one-time investment. You don’t have to keep on paying on a monthly basis. You don’t have to sign up and calculating the total cost is just a piece of cake.

File Security

If security is your highest concern, an external hard drive can keep your data absolutely safe considering that it never crashes, suffers no physical damage and is never attacked by viruses or malware. Experts consider external hard drives to be safe because you are the only one who can access the data stored on the device.

Disadvantages of External Hard Drives

Can be stolen or lost

Losing something so precious like an external hard drive is a very common problem. People have reported losing their hard drives and hard drives have been stolen in many cases, too. It’s important that you handle your hard drive carefully while carrying it around. Another common hard drive issue is disk failure. These drives break easily and data loss might be inevitable.


For using an external hard drive, you have to keep it connected to your device all the time. This becomes very impractical at times when you urgently need an important file and you don’t have the time or the chance to connect your hard drive to your computer.

Advantages of Cloud Storage Services

Access your files anytime from anywhere

Just like a patch of cloud above your head, you can access your data from anywhere using a cloud storage service. You can check out or edit your files using your computer or mobile phone, at the office or chilling at the beach. This is the beauty of cloud storage.

Secured Encryption

Most of the cloud storage services available nowadays offer high grade encryption technology and all your files are secured safely on the cloud. Only authorized users can access these files. You’ll never have to worry about the encryption or data security. Your cloud storage service will do that for you!

Data Sharing with Friends & Family

A cloud storage service like JustCloud or SugarSync allows you to choose the files or folders you wish to share with your friends and family. This is an excellent feature which is not available if you’re using an external hard drive. So basically a cloud storage is not only storage, it also offers cloud sharing.

Cheap Price

When cloud storage services came out for the first time in the market, the cost was an issue. Now the prices have decreased by a great extent and you can have unlimited data storage at a very cheap rate from many cloud services. Here’s a comparison chart showing some of the best cloud services we recommend to new and old users alike.

Disadvantages of Cloud Storage

Slow Transfer Speed

One of the main problems faced by people while using a cloud storage system is the slow transfer speed. Cloud storage is completely dependent on an internet connection. If you don’t have good internet speed, cloud service providers have their hands tied. When you’re on a slow internet connection, it can take ages to upload or backup your contents.

Sign Up and Regular Payment

For using a cloud storage service, you must sign up and create an account for that particular cloud provider. If you’re not using a free package, you’ll have to pay on a monthly or yearly basis. Despite these costs being very low, they must be considered. Learn how you can earn 100 GB free storage on OneDrive!

Put Your Trust on the Service Provider

You must trust the company which will keep hold of your confidential data. For this reason, it’s wise to check out the user reviews and choose the most reputed cloud service in the field. I recommend JustCloud. They have an excellent security system ensuring the highest protection to your data.

Which One Should You Choose?

If I was the one to choose among cloud storage service and hard drives, I would undoubtedly pick up cloud storage service. Hard drives are things of the past. It’s not easy to always carry a portable hard drive wherever I go. But I’ll always be connected to the internet on my computer, smartphone or tablet. That way, I get to access my files on the go and also share them with anyone I want.

The best option is probably to use both. There is no absolute guarantee that your cloud server will never crash and your data will be protected forever. I think everyone should use cloud storage, but also have an external hard drive in their drawers to make sure that life is smooth and an issue like data loss never shows up! What’s your favorite file storage solution? Leave your comment below!