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Cloud services have become part of everyone’s life. You might not realise it, but even if you open a PowerPoint presentation which was sent to you via email (or Dropbox), you’ve used the cloud.
Go for Cloud storage if you want:
It’s simple – cloud storage is stored “in the cloud”, or in other words on your the respective provider’s server. You can literally access it from anywhere in the world, at anytime, and from pretty much any modern device with an operating system. Your Android phone, your iPhone, tablet, PC, Mac – you name it. This is a convenience that can’t be overlooked.
Yes, cloud storage is always in danger of cyber attacks, but (touch wood), these are very rare. Furthermore, the targets of such attacks are often big corporations, and not the average consumer. In other words – we wouldn’t worry about that.
Consider a physical SSD/HDD if you value:
Right off the bat, accessing data stored on local storage will always be quicker than uploading and downloading it to and from the cloud. It’s not rocket science. While cloud storage is brilliant for sharing files with people from across the world, it doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to speed and efficiency for actual read and write speeds. Note that an SSD will always be faster than an HDD.
Without getting too technical, what this means for you is that actually working with files and manipulating them in any way is done quicker when they are stored locally on your PC (whether that’s on your built-in SSD or an external one). This brings us to the next point…
A professional workflow
Certain professions require certain workflows, and cloud storage just isn’t an option for people who work with “seriously demanding files”. Of course, we mean programmers, video editors, audio engineers, music producers, or generally anyone who needs to work with big files that need fast read and write speeds.
While it is perfectly capable of serving someone who needs to complete a school project or a less-demanding business task, it is simply not on par with professional software like Final Cut, or Adobe Premiere.
Verdict: Which one is for you
It’s all going to depend on a few factors such as:
- What do you need the storage for:
A) personal/casual use
B) business/pro use
- The main device you’re going to use the storage with:
A) a smartphone/tablet
B) a computer
B) you take care of them
If the “A” category describes you best, then you’re probably a casual user, who looks to find a place for their family photos/videos; you are a student; you run a business that requires a lot, but less demanding admin work; you are creative and like to edit your photos (and you have many of them), videos, or even podcast on the fly.
However, if you fall into the “B” bracket, then you’re probably a professional who needs to work with large video, audio, or other media files. As mentioned earlier, these people need fast storage speeds, which can help them get things done. Cloud storage is great if you need to share files, and even video editing libraries, but it won’t let you edit directly on the cloud.
What else is out there
Flash drives are also cheap and portable. Of course, speeds won’t be SSD-like, but they are great for storing files just for the sake of storing them. You probably won’t be doing any “pro” editing work on a flash drive.
Remember that the read/write speeds of your device are also crucial! Even the fastest SSD won’t perform to its best capacity, if it’s plugged into a port that isn’t capable of keeping up with the read/write speeds.