Cloud Versus External Hard Drive

If you are at the fence and thinking about cloud or external hard disk as the right option for your data storage needs then this post might be of some help to you.

Let me begin with cloud.

As a student who receives most notes on WhatsApp, I find cloud to be of good use. I use a 4.7 inch smartphone and I find it difficult to read PDF and other documents on my phone, so I add them to cloud and later access it on my big screen laptop. Some time back, when I was not using cloud I used to email individual documents to myself and read the documents on a bigger screen device. To segregate the important documents I used to mark them as starred, so that I can distinguish between important stuff and other useless junk.

Moving on, I drop files into the cloud and later segregate them based on the subject on my laptop. As of now I use cloud just for my notes and other basic stuff.

Another benefit of cloud is realised during exams. I usually stick to presentations and PDFs from teachers as the main source of info. If you too have a similar habit then cloud can come in handy because you can take a lighter device like tablet for those last moment revisions on the exam days.

When it comes to notes, some of my classmates run to the Xerox shop with the notes of topper, on the day prior to the exam and once the exam is done, all that notes goes to the bin. When the volume of notes is high the money spent on Xerox too goes bullish. In such situations cloud can come in handy. And this is how it helps, these days there are really good scanning apps on smartphones and the scanned data can be saved as PDF. Suppose the important info is of 50 pages, and there are five friends, then each of them can scan 10 pages and send it on WhatsApp to the common study group. If the data has to be merged, then even that could be done. Once this is done, the data could be dropped on the cloud and be accessed on their study devices.

Well, that was from student perspective. Moving on to work, as a blogger I find cloud to be useful in the following way. I use my mobile to edit photos and I add the photos to the cloud. I do the writing part on my laptop and I also publish posts from my laptop. While posting I have all the data on a single device and this is possible due to cloud. And yes, it doesn’t require dongle, data cable etc.

Privacy, this can be a little awry when it comes to cloud. And the reason is, all of us mayn’t be knowing where the data is getting stored. If you have habit of reading newspaper then you probably know those data leaks that made it to the front page. This is where an external hard disk comes as a saviour. If you are one of those who has extremely critical data then you should stick to an external solid state drive.

Pricing, external drives are one time investment (provided you do not lose them / damage them). Whereas, in cloud the pricing is on monthly basis. And both has its merits and demerits.

Final Verdict : The definition of privacy varies from person to person. Because there are plenty of people out there who have a public social media account and post every detail and happenings of their life on social media and then there are those who read terms and conditions, privacy policy etc. before using an application.

Most devices these days come with decent memory and as people grow old their mental maturity increases and also the selfie frequency reduces. So before buying a device if people pick the device based on their usage pattern they mayn’t need additional storage space. Also media consumption these days is mainly restricted to streaming and very less people really download stuff. Therefore, there is tonnes of storage space left free to use.

The role of cloud makes your life simpler, especially if you are one who uses devices that run on different operating system. An external hard disk backs up data but if you forget to carry it with you in case of an emergency you will miss out on data and also if you lose it you will miss out on data.

My favourite permutation is cloud for the regular data and external hard disk for intrinsic and critical data.

Disclaimer : Views expressed here are personal. doesn’t hold any liability to the loss or gain to the readers of this post.