Online Data Storage Vs. Conventional Backup Methods

online data backup vs. conventional backupOver the past 5 years, there has been a shift in how most people store and backup their important files.  A number of conventional methods have been used for years such as burning the data onto DVDs or copying everything to an external hard drive.  There will always be staunch supporters for both online file storage and conventional methods.  The big question is how they stack up in the eyes of the average user.


The first variable to consider is cost.  Online file storage provides the benefit of paying a flat monthly or yearly fee, regardless of how much data is being stored.  This provides users with the stability of knowing exactly what they will pay every month.  An external hard drive will cost $100+.  While it is only a one-time fee, this is a significant upfront investment many people are not willing to make.  Plus, if the hard drive is damaged, it will cost another $100 to replace it (not including the time-cost of re-backing up all of the users data).

Storage Location

One of the biggest drawbacks of conventional storage is they are rarely stored in a secure location. Most people keep them in the same area as their primary files, such as the home or office.  If a natural disaster, fire, or theft occurs there is a good chance the backup will be lost as well.  Online file storage not only provides a remote storage location, but also layers of security for the physical storage device.  Online storage services rely on well-built data centers which feature multiple layers of security.  As an added benefit, online solutions utilize redundant servers.  Even if one server crashes, users will still have access to all of their files because they are stored in multiple locations. Fox 10 put together a good report on this here.


For usability purposes, both options are similar.  People who already use an external hard drive or burn DVDs are familiar with the process.  Plus, the learning curve for this type of technology is minimal.  The same is true for online storage solutions.  If there is a significant difference, it is the automated backups provided by online storage solutions.


dataThe general public rarely uses encryption methods when utilizing an external hard drive.  If their hard drive gets lost or falls into the wrong hands, anyone could potentially access every file.  Online storage options eliminate this issue entirely.  They rely on encryption to ensure every file is completely safe both during transfer and while stored on the server.

As the online storage industry continues to evolve, it will provide additional features and benefits their offline counterparts can’t match.  While both options are viable, only online solutions provide the increased security and usability that the average user desires.  In a head to head comparison, a majority of population doesn’t hesitate to choose the convenience and reliability of online storage solutions.

Here is another view about useful online storage tools and services. Where they believe everyone should consider online storage for photos, files, and documents. This articles was to help educate readers about the benefits of secure cloud storage services.

Also see our best online storage service provider reviews

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Digital Poet at BurnWorld Inc.

I am the Team Leader here at BurnWorld. I am an audio/video enthusiast and have been in this industry for over 10 years. I love testing DVD/Blu-Ray and Video software.

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