One of the biggest knocks on the small and portable laptops and devices has been their limited storage space.
Well, imagine if you could a paper thin laptop without having to worry about heavy storage requirements. The rise of cloud computing has resulted in the rise of futuristic designs, where your device has minimum storage that it needs to operate and the rest is all cloud-based.
But how efficient is cloud-based storage? Is it better than an external hard drive, often used today for storage? Let’s look at the possibilities of cloud computing.
Cloud storage certainly increases the functionality of access by syncing your data across multiple devices. This way you can access your data from your computer, tablets and even your phone without having to physically copy paste or attach an external hard disc every time.
Cloud storage makes sure your data follows you wherever you go. You can even access your data from remote computers and share data online directly by allowing selective access to your data.
On the other hand, the rise of solid state drives, or SSD, has provided another alternative that’s growing in popularity – these external drives have the advantage of being faster than any other drive options, which is a big plus for storage computer components.
Is it Reliable?
With online data comes the question of reliability.
A cloud service getting hacked will give the law-breakers access to thousands of people’s valuable data. You may have heard of Dropbox and iCloud getting hacked to leak sensitive data on the Internet. This, added with the ever so curious eyes of the NSA and other security agencies, leaves us with one question – is our online data completely safe?
While all cloud storage providers swear by their state of the art security and encryption systems, the continuous successful hacks prove that at least until we can ensure that our files are safe in cloud storage, external hard drives will be a necessity.
Online services are great when you need to access data remotely – but is it the appropriate service for backing up your whole computer? What about for storing movies?
The average cost for a 100 GB data cloud costs anywhere between $70-100 a year – the equivalent of buying a new 1 TB hard disk every year. Although cloud services offer massive functionality, they remain a relatively expensive proposition, at least today.
Of course, with new cloud storage providers popping up every day, it’s only a matter of time until they can start competing on price, but until then, some people will probably simply decide that cloud storage is not worth it, at least as a main storage solution.
Cloud as an Augmented Service
Having your data on the cloud has its pros and cons, and so does storing your data on an external hard disk.
The idea that hard disks will soon die is perhaps blown out of proportion by cloud services looking to sell their product. In fact, cloud services augment local hard disk storage – they work hand in hand, complementing each other, rather than competing.
All your heavy data can go into the ever so reliable hard disk, while data that you need to access from multiple devices or frequently share with people can go on your cloud account. This is the option that is currently the most popular – while cloud storage has been growing in popularity, most people still use it as a free or low-cost option to store data that they need available on the go.
While it remains to be seen how the future of cloud computing will pan out, it’s safe to say, at least for now, that cloud computing and external hard drives will continue to work together for the functional benefit of all computer users across the world.