Cloud vs External Drives

Discussion in Software PC & Mac started by Peninha • Feb 28, 2014.

  1. AB91000

    AB91000Active Member

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    I personally prefer external drive.

    Mainly because Cloud storage requires an internet connection. That is a very dangerous thing. Especially if you access your files at different locations. The privacy risk are enormous. A hacker can easily intercept your personal information through those networks.

    I prefer eternal drives because i can keep them in my possession at all times. Or i can lock them away for safe keeping. You can even encrypt an external hard drive. If it is stolen the thief will not be able to access any of your private information. External hard drives virtually eliminate privacy concerns. That is why i use them exclusively.
     
  2. Dillon Hinojos

    Dillon HinojosNew Member

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    I have files backed up on the cloud and on an external drive and in my opinion, having the external drive is much more efficient and handy. I carry the drive with me wherever I go, I do not need an internet connection to access the files, and typically, you can transfer files faster due to the lack of internet connectivity with a physical drive. Either way, they both serve the same purpose.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. DreamWave

    DreamWaveNew Member

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    There are more views to the topic than you think.
    1. Speed - you will rarely get the kind of speed you can get from an external hard drive from a cloud service
    2. Availability - you can use external drives anytime, anywhere
    3. Privacy - it is never a good idea to trust your personal files to some company. Even if you have a contract, they can see the files and get the information without your knowledge.
    4. Reliability - you can easily keep your data on two drives. However, cloud services (especially free ones) can easily go down. If you spend some time reading their Terms of Service, you will see they do not take any responsibility in case anything happens to your files.
    5. Ease of access - you can access your files directly with a native protocol if you use an external drive. If you use a cloud service, you will frequently need an emulated drive with limited capabilities (try mapping your cloud files to a local drive and then using File -> Open from PhotoShop to use them - you will spend a reasonable amount of time in waiting)

    Overall cloud services make it easier to share files, mainly small ones, between your devices.
    To my opinion they are not ready to take on large files and be trusted with personal ones yet.
     
  4. eagle22

    eagle22Active Member

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    That's a really tough one. I am going to have to give the advantage to external because I feel like it is a bit safer, but there is no doubt cloud storage is more convenient!
     
  5. Eagle910

    Eagle910Active Member

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    This was my point exactly.

    External drives are far, and away safer than cloud storage. I disagree with your statement that Cloud storage is more convenient also. Personally. I think a flash is far more convenient than cloud storage.

    A flash drive is super small. They are the size of a thumb. You can put a flash in your pocket, or brief case easily. There is no need for cloud storage. In my opinion.
     
  6. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    I think that cloud is more convenient because there is no need to put the flash in the computer, back to the pocket, back to the computer again, carrying it, it's not a big bother, but it's annoying. Sometimes it's not even faster with the flash drive.
     
  7. megshoe

    megshoeMember

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    I was just having this debate myself before I purchased my first external hard drive. Though cloud technology is certainly interesting and useful, in the end I wasn't comfortable putting my data protection into the hands of a third party. For whatever reason, I feel a lot more comfortable having my files physically stored on a drive that I can access with or without internet connection. Perhaps it's silly because the likelihood of damaging a physical drive yourself is probably higher, but as long as I keep it in a safe place, I think I'll be fine and have more peace of mind.
     
  8. Strykstar

    StrykstarActive Member

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    I don't think that's silly at all.
    If you put your file protection in the hands of a third-party, especially one that's not charging you anything for it, it can be a bit dangerous.
    I also think it's safer to keep them in a physical format, even though when it's an important file I'll keep at least a backup.
     
  9. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    I think that as you guys put it, if you have it in your drive you have a feeling that it's really yours, it's right there, you don't need to connect to the net to access it and no one can access it either. It's way safer sure.
     
  10. obliviousme

    obliviousmeActive Member

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    Well, Cloud is really handy and i think it's best storage for small sized files. External drives however is for me, still the best storage device because it has much bigger storage capacity and the files are accessible instantly without downloads needed. To be honest, cloud and external drives are both really useful. :p
     
  11. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    I think that having your own external hard disk drive or even a flash drive or memory card is important just to back up your important files, because you'll never know when their servers would malfunction and possibly losing your data along with it. I'm actually planning to buy an HDD, because the thought of uploading and downloading movies and tv shows again on cloud storage can be time consuming.
     
  12. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    Having an external HDD is something really hand sidney, you won't regret it. I never had problems with my data in the cloud, my main and only issue is the speed of the transmission of the data, but as said above, it will never be as fast as 2 or 3 USB.
     
  13. lordrenly

    lordrenlyActive Member

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    As a person who likes to travel to southern countries with unreliable internet connections and limited access in public places, external hard drive is a must for me. Availability is my number one priority. That's why I also back up some important (but not sensitive) files to the cloud.

    My concern about privacy is there but it isn't that important. There are files that I don't want to upload to the cloud but those files are the files that I don't ever want to upload to the internet anyway. Isn't sending the files with e-mails pretty much contains the same risk as uploading them to the clouds? Basically, my rule of thumb is: if it is okay for me to send that file with e-mails or upload that file to Facebook, then it's okay to put it into the cloud.
     
  14. hellavu

    hellavuActive Member

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    Both. While we may be concerned with the safety and privacy of our files on the cloud, much can be said about the fact that the flipside of "nothing gets erased once on the internet" IS that nothing gets erased, you don't lose anything.

    It requires of course an internet connection; and an external drive is great for privacy, as well as for being able to access anywhere, as long as you have the drive.

    That said, better not put your eggs in the same basket. External hard drives can have mechanical fails; without that you do anything wrong, they can stop working from one day to the next and your data is lost. This has no chance of happening on the cloud.

    So make both, really, at least for documents you would not want to lose -- or if you are that concerned with privacy, make physical copies and put them somewhere different. You can never realize the importance of extra backups before you truly need them.
     
  15. owesem75

    owesem75Active Member

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    FREE CLOUD is a good alternative for a USB drive to transport files or keep them in one place and so you can work anywhere... HOWEVER, you have to keep in mind that possibility that one day these companies offering "FREE" cloud spaces/services would held all your data "hostage" and that you will need to pay them to have it release or allow you access to it again.

    So if you intend to use it, use it in moderation. Continue to rely on external drive and make a back up of your data as much as possible - especially the photos because once its lost, you cannot replace it again.. MOMENTS are priceless you know..
     
  16. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

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    It's definitely worth it to keep an external drive. Cloud storage has its perks and it's done wonders for me. However, you cannot really hope to store your personal files in there and risk getting hacked. Besides, if you don't have internet connection, cloud storage is pretty much useless. Keeping an external drive would be an advantage as it gives you the opportunity to use your files even when you're in transit and in a place devoid of a connection.
     
  17. krazyman

    krazymanMember

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    I'm going to join the chorus of other posts - having the external drive is very important because you are always in control of what is on the device. When you are working in the cloud you have the convenience of working from anywhere - however - you are not in control of the data that you are storing - someone else is.
    If you have a series of documents that you need access to on a consistent basis then I would say store them in the cloud. Things like bank information receipts, insurance forms and stuff that may have information about your identity (e.g. Social Security Number) never store that in a cloud interface.

    Good Luck!
     
  18. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    I needed to free up some space on my computer so I put some of the files on a hard drive, some in dropbox and some on Google Drive just to clean up some space on this old computer until I purchase a new one. This is the first time I have used Google Drive to store documents, I still need to store my music on the hard drive.
     
  19. Radix24

    Radix24Active Member

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    It is still worth it to have an external hard drive. There is still merit in having a copy on a tangible object. The external drive can also be accessed anytime. You do not need to have internet in order to get the data you need.

    One thing that worries me about cloud services is the potential for data hacking. The leaked nudes incident was proof that a weak or infiltrated cloud site can have bad effects on your data.
     
  20. Peninha

    PeninhaWell-Known Member

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    I feel that in what concerns big files the cloud isn't very friendly, but for day-to-day files, small ones, that we are permanently changing, in those cases yes it's helpful and fast to sync.
     
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