What is the Difference between Hard Disk and Cloud Storage?

What is the Difference between Hard Disk and Cloud Storage?
Updated On: July 13, 2023

Hard Disk And Cloud Storage – The world is evolving and so does our data usage. With every passing second, data is being created and stored. Advancement in technology has made our lives smart and fast, but our data creation has also increased due to it. Due to this revolution, different storage mediums are also designed to handle large amounts of data. Storage mediums such as USB flash drives, memory cards, hard disks and compact disks are some of the common mediums used to store data. Other than these mediums, cloud storage is also becoming a trending medium to store the data due to its high reliability, security and protection.

 hard disk and cloud storage

If we talk about hard disk and cloud storage both of these mediums are used for temporary data storage and data backup. We all know why it is so important to ensure the safety of data. Irrespective of the data type, no one wants to get into the trouble of data loss. The data backup strategy is the only solution to counter such hardware and software calamities. Hard disk and cloud storage are one of the excellent mediums for the backup of data. Backup services on the hard drive represent classical digital traditions as it has been used for backup for many years. While cloud backups are evolving today as online backup and represent as a modern perspective for data backup.

Although external hard drives are fast, the rate of hardware failure is quite high. Recent statistics show that hard drive failure during the warranty period is 27%. On the contrary, when we look at cloud storage services, it does not have much data transfer rate as compared to the hard drive.

Differentiating Factors between Hard Disk and Cloud Storage

There is no doubt in accepting the significance of both storage mediums. But there is a need to ascertain certain factors which differentiate between both. Following are some of the factors which differentiate cloud storage from the hard disk:


Universal access is the prime factor in deciding the best storage medium. Almost all of our data is stored in different devices. We store them mostly on our laptop, mobile, desktop or other storage mediums. In this situation, our data resides on the device having a hard disk. Without a hard disk, we won’t have our data.

cloud backup

The cloud storage is on-the-go storage. Our files, photos and videos are with us all the time and just a click away. By this, cloud storage is more universal than hard disk. As our data will be in some virtual location, we can access it whenever we want and wherever we need. We just need an internet connection and login credentials. On the contrary, this is not the case with the hard disk. You cannot access your files if the hard disk isn’t there. Data will be there, wherever is the hard disk.


The bond between cloud storage and security has not proved to be much staunch. With total dependence on the internet and web services, data is at risk of cyberattack.

Although a lot of development is being made in improving the security of cloud computing, still users something feels less secure about their data. Most of the cloud services today encrypt files before sending them to be stored in virtual data centers. In this way, by the time data is uploaded on the cloud server, it is already unreadable by anyone except user. This encryption stays with the data as long as it resides in that remote location.

However, when it comes to hard disk, the user is more in-charge of security. Neither the data will be shared publicly, nor will it be stored digitally across the internet connected device. This makes data less prone to cyber-attacks.

Data Recovery

Recovery of data in case of any situation is very essential. In this era, where data has extreme importance, its recovery is also considered when considering any storage medium. If we talk about the hard disk, then once it malfunctions or gets damaged, the data cannot be recovered. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of physical storage mediums that data cannot be recovered once they get damaged. On the other hand, cloud storage is very handy when it comes to data recovery. In cloud storage, the service providers mostly store your data in multiple servers and damage of one server or data center doesn’t result in data loss, as the other servers also have your data stored. In this way, data is very secure in cloud storage as compared to any physical storage medium.

hard disk and cloud storage


Synchronization is an incredible feature but there is hardly any open debate about it. Cloud storage is equipped with the handy technology of “synchronization”. Once enabled, the user’s data will be synced with cloud servers as per the defined schedule.

This enables the user to access and share important data amongst colleagues, friends and family. Since data will be in a remote location, in case of any hardware or software malfunctioning, it will ensure hassle-free data recovery. Google Drive is one of the incredible examples of cloud storage apps.

The hard disk does not have a synchronization feature. Hence, there is no intra-device backup mechanism in the hard disks. If backups have not been managed then once data is lost, it will be gone forever.

Cost per Quality

Above all justifications, cost plays an important and decisive role in deciding the fate of any product. If the product has exceptional features but it is not cost-effective, then despite the quality, the product will be a failure.

Hard disks mostly have linear pricing. This means that more you pay, more storage capacity will you get. Some external hard drives come with accidental coverage. Such coverages give the client an option to get a new device in case of failure along with the additional warranty. However, this guarantee does not offer file recovery. In such situations, no one can estimate the cost of damage. Because loss, in such scenarios, becomes a relative term and its cost is entirely dependent on the nature of data and the extent of failure.

On the other hand, cloud storage may seem much expensive than hard disk. But it has an exceptional feature of file recovery. The price, one paying for a cloud subscription, is basically for the storage as well as for the recovery.

Moreover, when the price is compared with the quality of the service, it is quite evident that this cost per gigabyte is much less than the quality of the service.

With the passage of time, cloud services are becoming more secure and cheap. With this pace, cloud storage is an obvious winner. But this does not mean that cloud storage is beneficial for everyone. The relevance of both hard drives and cloud storage is dependent on the type and quality of services user want. Both have their own pros and cons and it is the line of action which decides whether the pros supersede cons or vice versa.


What is the Difference between Hard Disk and Cloud Storage?

Saaher Muzafer / CEO Backup Everything
Saaher Muzafer / CEO Backup Everything

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