Online Backup vs. External Hard Drive for Data Backup

Online Data Backup: There is no denying the fact that computers make the life easy as they help the work done on time. However, this doesn’t mean that we won’t face any problem while using a computer and all our important data will be safe for a long run. The data stored in the hard drive of our computer is always vulnerable due to different hard disk problems, which may arise due to accident, theft, failure of technology, etc. In each of these instances, the end result is the same, i.e., the loss of our important data.

From the above discussion, one thing is clear that saving our important data is very important. However, we are still not sure that which is the best method to store our data? There are two important ways of storing our data – online backup and external hard drive. Let us compare these two methods.

Online Data Backup

In online backup you store your data on the internet. These are data storage servers on the net by the companies who specialize in this field for example Dropbox. These online backup service providers store your files in the cloud and watch for the changes made in them. As soon as any change is made, files stored in the cloud are updated.


Online backup doesn’t require your involvement and saves your time and the chances of human mistakes leading to loss of data. You just have to pay the subscription fees (for corporate).  All the tasks are done by the backup server that keeps a watch on your system and does the automatic backup on a set schedule.

Another benefit is that as the data is stored in a web server, it won’t be destroyed by any natural or manmade disasters, like theft, fire, floods, etc.


Firstly, online backup services subscription (if you are using paid) is renewed after the expiry of the current subscription. However, this shortcoming has been neutralized because of the fall in prices due to competition and the cheap technology available for storage. Now, you can avail this facility for whole year at about the same cost as your external hard drive.

Secondly, your data is placed under the care of a third party. If any of you private and confidential information has to be backed up then you need to have complete faith on your service provider as they are responsible for the safety and availability of your data.

The third important shortcoming is that for online backup you require and internet connection for Backing up your data. If, however, you lose your connection for a considerable period of time you will find it almost impossible to back up or access anything.

External Hard Drive

These are devices that can be connected to your system to provide more space for storage. Their function is almost the same as your internal hard drive, except that they are handy and are attached outside.


Setting up these hard drives is easy. All you need to do is to attach it to your system and transfer your data.

The second advantage is that unlike recurring subscription fees in case of online backup. You have to pay for the one-time cost of an external hard drive.


The biggest drawback with an external hard drive is that you need to take regular backups manually. This consumes a lot of time if the data to be backed up is enormous.

Another shortcoming is that the data is vulnerable to be lost as a result of any natural or manmade catastrophe, like flood, fire, theft, etc. Above all, if you forget your backup at the same place. Where your original data is you may lose them all in a single swoop.

Which is the most appropriate option?

Online backup is much better because of the reliability. Online backup software handles everything while running in the background. It is the most important advantage as relying on external hard drive we may sometimes get lazy and skip the task or forget to take the backup. In online backup, the remote server backs up your data at the set schedule and you need not do anything.

In conclusion, any backup method is far better than having nothing. If you want any external hard drive remember always to take regular backups and keep it at some safe place.

For more information in this respect or any query or issue call Data Recovery Service .