As time passes by and with the introduction of newer technologies there seems to be an ever-increasing need for more storage space to allocate data and to tackle this there exists various storage options, one of which is cloud storage. But is it worth the hype? Let’s find out.
To begin with, let’s define in brief what cloud storage means. In layman’s terms, cloud storage basically stores files on a remote server, which one can access with the help of the internet this storage space is owned by a different hosting company, and you are just borrowing some amount of storage. Cloud storage is developing at a rapid pace and offers exceptional backup facilities, security from corruption, and also transferability of data.
The prime rival of cloud storage: The local storage drives
The local storage drives (namely SSDs and HDDs) are the arch nemesis of the cloud storage drives as these local drives provide superior writing and reading speeds as compared to cloud storage. These drives don’t require any form of internet connection and have superior speeds as compared to cloud drives in developing countries wherein there is limited availability of internet speeds. However, they too possess many drawbacks as compared to cloud storage which this article will explain in the coming sections.
The advantages and disadvantages of the cloud:
- Files stored on the cloud are secured and encrypted using the latest methods that are adopted by the host.
- Files stored here are accessible and synchronized and can be modified by anyone who has an internet connection and has access to the borrowed space.
- The cost of borrowing the space is relatively much lower than the equivalent space offered by the local drives.
- Cloud storage doesn’t occupy any amount of space on the system of the user as all the data is stored on the servers of the host and thereby is also a space-effective solution.
- It is very easy to preserve your data on the cloud as you can schedule automatic backups which will keep your files secure without you worrying about creating backups from time to time.
- You are limited by the availability and non-availability of the internet to access your files. If there is a slow internet connection or completely no connection, then you’ll be barred from accessing your files
- There exists some amount of risk in storing files on the cloud in terms of security from online attacks if the host doesn’t update the security patch from time to time. Newer attacks emerge every day and one can never predict when and where the next attack will be
- Even though the cloud is cheap, it acts like a subscription that will eventually cross the cost of owning an actual local drive which is a one-time purchase. So, it is better to weigh out the costs and security of both before opting for one
- The storage space is only borrowed by you and you are not the actual owner, thus if the host decides to vanish one day, the entire load of the storage will vanish along with the host. This too poses a serious risk from unverified cloud hosts
- The servers to play a vital role in supplying the data to you. If the servers of the host are down, then there’s nothing you can do to retrieve your data before the servers come back
The advantages and disadvantages of local drives:
- The files on the local drive are stored within your setup (namely PC or Laptop) and thereby don’t need an internet connection to be accessed by you
- The local drives offer far greater read and write speeds as compared to cloud storage in many developing countries due to the internet speeds being the limiting factor for cloud
- The local drives are plug-and-play devices that can be interchanged between setups in just a minute
- These drives are safer from online attacks as compared to the cloud storage as these files are based in your system itself and the chances of your setup being penetrated by an unknown identity are relatively less
- These drives offer far more customization capabilities than that in the cloud. You can partition and configure your drives to your will.
- Local drives are prone to damage from electricity and also get corrupted from time to time if proper care is not taken, thus there is a risk of data loss
- The one-time purchase of local drives may appear costly initially as they cost significantly more than that the subscription to cloud storage
- They take up much space in the system and also contribute to the system being heavier.
Cloud or Local? Which one to choose?
Choosing between both comes down to the needs and uses of the client. If enormous storage capacity and accessibility in different setups aren’t the determining factors then opting for a local drive may be the better choice. it is preferable to opt for the cloud storage option in large offices wherein transferability plays in an important role. The combination of both is also preferred in many environments today.
All in all, it comes down to the user or client and how he/she/they wish to allocate their data to the various storage options available.
Read More-Benefits of Cloud-based Accounting