Cloud backup and local backup are popular forms of data backup. That’s why companies often face the dilemma while choosing between these backup methods.
While data backup has become a standard practice for businesses, various types of backup have emerged to assist companies with quick disaster recovery and business continuity.
Cloud and local data backup make sure your data stays safe and available for immediate data recovery during any event of a disaster. This article will dive deep into the pros and cons of both backup types so you can make an informed decision.
What Is Cloud Backup?
As you might know already, cloud storage refers to the data storage model that relies on remote cloud servers using the internet. Similarly, in cloud backup, the company data and applications are backed up on a cloud server situated in a remote location.
Also known as online backup, this service is offered by third-party vendors, who keep a copy of your data on a remote server. Thus, users can access their data on-demand any time they want.
What Are the Advantages of Cloud Backup?
Here are some top benefits of cloud backup:
1. Less Expensive
You can also consider it the prime reason behind the success of cloud storage. As a business owner, all you have to do is pay a monthly or annual fee to the cloud backup service provider. It involves no other upfront investment or management cost.
Businesses with growth potential choose cloud backup because these storages are highly scalable. You can back up data according to your requirement. Depending on the scaling up or down of your business, you can also increase and decrease the amount of data backup.
3. 24/7 Accessibility
Since the data backed up in the cloud is accessible through the internet, you can easily avail the data from any device and from anywhere. This data availability on the go is mandatory for a business, especially if it caters to a global customer base.
4. Disaster Recovery
The reason organizations opt for data backup is to get it back during data loss, data theft, and natural disaster. Cloud backup keeps your data safe from any on-site catastrophe by offering a remote backup solution.
Recovering data from cloud backup storage is quick and easy as it does not involve any physical equipment. Thus, your company can get back on track at the fastest possible time.
5. Seamless Management
Though certain things may vary depending on the needs and size of your organization, managing cloud backup is generally effortless. You need to spend less labor and time managing your data as the service provider can handle it on your behalf.
6. Advanced Security
Cloud backup service providers use state-of-the-art measures to ensure data security and compliance. Therefore, data stored here get better protection against local backup.
Cloud data backup security employs various security protocols like end-to-end encryption, at rest encryption, complex access control mechanisms, physical security of data centers, real-time video monitoring, and so on.
Now that we know the benefits of online backup, let’s check out its disadvantages.
What Are the Disadvantages of Cloud Backup?
On the flip side, there are some cons of cloud backup that you cannot ignore.
1. Slow Backup
If you need to fully backup a large amount of data from your computer or local server, the cloud backup provider might take a long time to perform the backup. Internet speed and limited bandwidth are responsible for slow data backup that will result in high electricity consumption.
2. Slow and Costly Restoration
While data backup might seem a constant and effortless process, restoring the backup data from the cloud can be challenging. Depending on the amount of data you need to restore, the process can be slow and time-taking. Also, the restoration process can be costly as well for some companies.
3. Security Flaws
Though cloud backup companies adopt maximized security measures, including end-to-end encryption, no data backup method is 100% safe. Even your data backed up in the cloud can fall prey to cyberattacks. Therefore, think twice if you want to go for cloud backup as your only backup copy.
4. Internet Dependency
The whole process of cloud backup and retention depends on the internet connection. Without a reliable internet connection, businesses will be unable to back up any data or restore them to the local system. There could be natural calamities like a storm or earthquake when the internet is disrupted, which can prevent data backup.
5. Less Control
Companies that deal with sensitive and business-critical data need more control over their files than a cloud backup storage provider might offer. Therefore, they will find it as a drawback of cloud platforms.
6. Possible Data Loss
Before choosing any cloud data backup service, read their policies on data retention upon service cancellation. Make sure you can download your backed-up data while choosing to cancel the contract or subscription. Also, try to confirm how long they will retain your data after contract cancellation.
In the next section, we will discuss some popular options for cloud backup.
Cloud Backup Options
Cloud backup means using tools and solutions to continuously put a backup copy of changes you make to a file to the cloud. You can use any of these trustworthy cloud backup solutions:
Acronis also supports direct cloud-to-cloud backup of your data from a Microsoft 365 account. The restoration of backup files is also effortless with this utility.
Paragon is the cloud backup facility that secures your data through end-to-end encryption. The backup and restoration process becomes quick and easy due to its maximized compression and speed.
You can use it to perform both file-level and sector-based backup. In addition, it also lets you recover specific information and access corrupted data.
If you are looking for unlimited cloud data backup into a secure and encrypted platform, go for Carbonite. It supports all file and photo formats for automatic cloud backup, and you can access the backup copy from anywhere.
Carbonite continuously updates your backup with new changes so that you do not have to worry about data loss due to corruption, device theft, cyberattack, accidental deletion, or anything else.
What Is Local Backup?
A local backup means data backup on storage that you can keep close to you. Usually, you plug in a local storage device directly to the source server or computer and create a backup copy. It is also possible to perform a local backup through a local area network or LAN connection.
What Are the Advantages of Local Backup?
If you choose to backup your data locally, you can enjoy the following advantages:
1. Security 🔐
As you back up the data locally on devices like external hard drives, it stays safe, just like your network. After the backup is done, you unplug it from the system or network, turning it is completely safe from any malware or cyberattacks that usually spread through the internet.
2. On-Site Accessibility
When it comes to immediate accessibility, nothing can beath the on-site data backup. These local backups are stored in local devices located on the office premise. While cloud backup might be unavailable due to internet interruption or other reasons, the local options always stay handy.
3. No Internet Dependency
Whether you will go for local backup over cloud backup will depend on the internet speed and the amount of data you need to back up. If low internet speed is your everyday reality, choosing local devices for the backup will be a wise decision. This method will let you backup data and restore it quickly whenever you need it.
4. Better Speed
When it comes to local backup, the speed is not controlled by internet connectivity. Compared to backing up data on a cloud platform, local storages take a fraction of the time. Once performing the initial backup, the regular update will take only a few minutes.
Backing up data locally means you know the exact location of your data. Also, you can have control over your files and thus make sure that the data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Moreover, this type of backup protects your data against any cyber threat on third-party servers.
6. Speedy Data Recovery
Since local backups are not dependent on the internet connection, data restoration from local devices is way faster than from cloud backups. Users who have to restore a large amount of data will benefit from this local backup feature.
7. Backup on Multiple Devices
If you decide to backup data locally, you can select the device of your choice between internal hard drives, external HDD/SSD, and USB flash drives. You can also put different files on different devices or create multiple backup copies of all crucial files and store them on multiple devices.
In this comparative study of cloud backup vs. local backup, now is the time to learn the cons of local backup.
What Are the Disadvantages of Local Backup?
Similar to cloud backup, local backup is not devoid of limitations. Here are some of them:
1. Elevated Initial Cost 💰
Compared to cloud backup, the cost of hardware for local backup to store the same amount of data is higher. Local backup can cause a notable dent in your company budget, thanks to the expensive hard disks and solid disk drives. Furthermore, you need to replace the drives as these will not last forever.
2. Not Flexible
As your business grows, you will need to backup more data. To add more data backup hardware physically is indeed a hectic process than increasing your data backup storage on the cloud. Acquiring additional storage devices and installing them might take a toll on your team.
3. High Maintenance
If you think managing local data backup is easy, you are wrong. You need to invest a significant amount of time and effort to manage the data locally. Since the dedicated staff of the vendors maintains cloud backup data, customers do not feel the workload.
4. Chance of Physical Damage
With local data backup comes the risk of losing data due to physical damage. Whether it is an external hard drive or a pen drive, the devices will wear out over time. Therefore, you can not expect these to serve you forever by backing up your data.
5. Vulnerability to Ransomware
Needless to say that local computers have less security protection than cloud backup servers. Therefore, if you backup your data on internal storage or any other device that suffers from a ransomware attack, you will lose your files forever unless you pay the ransom.
6. Useless During Local Disaster
Local backup would not be a practical option if your location got hit by natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, or even fire. Since the backup devices will also get affected, it will become almost impossible to perform disaster recovery.
If you want to go for local backup after knowing its pros and cons, here are the commonly used local backup options.
Local Backup Options
Local backup means storing the backup on any data storage drives you are using. It could be any of the followings:
1. Hard Disk Drive or HDD
Hard drives are the most commonly used hardware for local backup. You can backup data on an external HDD or a dedicated internal hard drive partition. These are usually less expensive than SSDs.
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2. Solid State Drive or SSD
Solid State Drives are getting more popular as the local backup device, being a faster alternative to HDDs. This powerful hardware is smaller than hard drives but can store more data. Also, these are highly reliable when it comes to longevity.
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3. USB Flash Drives
Due to its small data storage space, businesses usually do not use pen drives to backup up data locally. However, it is a viable option if you want to have another copy of a small amount of critical data.
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Final Verdict 👩💻
As you can understand from the above discussion, both local backup and cloud backup has their own set of pros and cons. For these reasons, it is not possible to declare one as the winner.
If you do not have a stable internet connection and cannot afford to move your data to any remote storage due to security reasons, you should go for local backup. However, cloud backup is your go-to option if your location is disaster-prone and you do not have the workforce to manually manage the backup.
While deciding between cloud backup and local backup, you need to create a checklist of your requirements and see which approach can meet your needs most.
If you have sufficient budget and resources, you might use both methods to backup, which is considered one of the best data backup practices.
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