Why Cloud-Based Data Backup is Better than Local Backup

You have no doubt heard that it is important to back up your data. One question that often comes up is exactly which way is the best. There are traditional options for backing up data that include local backups on your computer, an external hard drive, or a server at your business. There are also cloud-based backups that preserve your data using a third-party cloud hosting company with the information kept off-site on servers maintained by the hosting company. Let’s go through the pros and cons of each.

Find out why so many companies prefer the security and peace of mind that cloud storage can offer.

Local Backup

As long as we have had data, we have been looking for ways to store the information and keep it safe. In the days before computers we kept paper copies of files to ensure that we could always go back and look at those records. From the start of the digital age there have been plenty of options for backing up your information locally—that is to say, backing it up to a drive or a file that you have in your possession.


  • Many people are familiar with the tools to backup something to a local drive, such as a computer hard drive, external hard drive, or USB drive
  • You have complete control over that data at all times
  • Your own staff are managing the data and storage


  • Local backup devices can be unreliable—USB drives, external hard drives, and computer drives can fail
  • If the type of drive you are using today becomes obsolete (think floppy disks) you won’t have a way to retrieve that data, or you will need to make copies onto more relevant media in the future
  • You must provide all the IT infrastructure and secure infrastructure to protect your data
  • If something happens to your physical location, from break-ins to natural disasters, you might lose everything

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup isn’t really new—the first time it was used can be traced back to the 1960s when the Department of Defense first created the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the built the earliest iteration of the internet, ARPANET. However, its use has increased significantly in recent years as data volume increases exponentially, the risks to that data increase, and the cost of maintaining your own servers continues to go up.


  • Virtually unlimited capacity for data storage
  • Costs are going down as more vendors provide this service
  • Storage capacity can be quickly scaled up or down based on your needs
  • Backups are simple and automatic
  • Data is available at any time and from anywhere that you have a high-speed internet connection
  • Data is backed up offsite so it’s not at risk when a local disaster hits
  • Cloud storage offers redundant backups (multiple places where your data is stored) to protect against data loss for any reason
  • The cloud storage vendor provides all the personnel and infrastructure to manage your data


  • You have to select the right vendor for your needs; selecting the wrong vendor could become costly or not provide for all your needs
  • There is a slight risk you could lose access to your data for short periods of time if the servers are inaccessible online
  • There is a cost to subscribe to the service, but it’s usually much lower than the price of maintaining your own servers

If it’s time to secure your data, see how Storage Whale’s cloud storage solutions can help you get secure, accessible, simple data storage.