Cloud vs. External Hard Drive: Which is Cheaper for Backup?

harddriveBoth the consumer and business markets are being urged to switch to the cloud for data backup, since the method is more reliable. External hard drives can be easily lost or damaged, leading to devastating data loss. A lost hard drive also means data could be compromised, especially if the device isn’t encrypted or password-protected.

When it comes to price, though, there are still instances where a hardware-based backup could be less expensive. As long as a business understands the risks and takes measures to safeguard its devices, a hard drive solution could be best in some cases.

A Pricing Study

In a comparison between cloud and hardware for data backup, FindtheBest looked at a variety of hard drive configurations and online backup plans. The company pointed out that hard drive pricing was much more linear than cloud storage, since most backup devices simply charge more for various levels of storage space. With so many cloud providers competing for consumer dollars, features such as security and encryption can play more of a role in price than storage space.

In most categories studied by FindtheBest, cloud storage was the pricing winner. Because there are so many free and inexpensive cloud options available, users can often find the best price by shopping around with various services.

A Hybrid Solution

For those who choose external hard drive solutions, cloud reliability is still an option. Companies like SanDisk are offering software that automatically backs up a user’s external hard drive data to the cloud on an ongoing basis to protect against data loss.

When choosing between a software- or hardware-based storage solution, businesses have to measure their own needs against the price they’re willing to pay to meet those needs. There are many benefits to cloud storage that can’t be found in an external device, but many professionals still prefer the perceived comfort that comes with having files on a piece of hardware.