For those thinking that saving data to a local hard drive is enough, be prepared for a massive reality check. You don’t want to say goodbye to your files, do you?
Corruption and Hard Drive Failure
File corruption is a serious concern that many users overlook. Computer files can be corrupted in various ways but one of the most common is power outage. While working on a computer, the power suddenly goes out. Once the computer reboots, the file will not open or gives an error. All that hard work for nothing.
Hard drive failure is also a major concern for users. The average life expectancy for a hard drive is about three years, and that is in optimal conditions. While it is true that many hard drives exceed that benchmark, at some point the device will fail and all data will be lost.
If a user were to instead use the cloud to backup their data, they wouldn’t have to worry about the life expectancy of their hard drive. If the drive were to fail, they would have a backup of their data ready to be downloaded at a moments notice.
Viruses and Malware
A primary cause of software related data loss on a hard drive is a virus. Depending on the level of infection, a user may simply be unable to use that data until the system is cleaned. But sometimes even after the system is roto-rooted, the data may be lost forever
The worst part about these types of viruses and malware is that they often target the common places where users store important files. Once infected, a user often will have to pay money in order to fix their computer and gain access – if they’re lucky.
Cloud storage helps to protect users against viruses and malware. Files located on cloud servers are protected by superior antivirus and malware protection. Once they are on the cloud, the files are fully protected.
In addition to viruses and malware, users have to worry about hackers. While viruses and malware are one way hackers can get access to computers, others can exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems or unsecured wireless networks. If a hacker is able to be access to the computer, then all data on the hard drive is accessible including information about the user’s identity.
When best practices are followed using cloud computing, files are protected from hackers seeking to steal data and personal information. Data is encrypted with military grade encryption and accounts are secured with two-tier authentication, preventing anyone except authorized users form logging in. Every provider is different, so make sure to check out various cloud storage reviews on each one before signing up.
While hard drive capacities are steadily increasing, so are program sizes. Back in the 1990’s, one could get away with using a 2 gig drive or smaller. Now it is hard to imagine users getting away with anything smaller than 500 gigs.
High volume users find themselves regularly cleaning their hard drives to make space for new programs and files. This is an inconvenience and slows down productivity. It may also incur additional costs when a larger hard drive becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. How many external hard drives should a person buy before it because inconvenient and redundant.
Space considerations are not an issue on the cloud as users can regularly upgrade or downgrade their plans as they see fit. Only need 200GB? No problem. Need 1TB or more? Just upgrade to a larger account.
Lack of Portability
Data saved on a local hard drive is not very portable, even if saved on a laptop. If other users need access to the data, it must be transferred or uploaded in order to be accessed. This requires access to the computer and hard drive whenever the file is needed. Desktop users have zero portability without using an external drive or storage device. Cloud storage is the most portable form of storage in the world. As long as a user is able to login to the internet, they can access their data from any computer or mobile device.