Cloud or local? Find out which is the best option to back up your data to an external hard drive.

In the digital age we live in, data has become one of the most valuable assets . Whether you're a student with important files, a professional with crucial work documents, or a photography enthusiast with a collection of priceless images, backing up your data is essential. In this sense, the question arises: is it better to use a cloud backup service or an external hard drive?

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of cloud backup and using an external hard drive , as well as the features you should look for in each option. In the end, you will be able to evaluate your needs and preferences to make an informed decision.

  1. Advantages of cloud backup
    1. Characteristics of a good cloud backup service
    2. Examples of cloud backup services
  2. Benefits of backup to an external hard drive
    1. Characteristics of a good external hard drive
    2. Recommended brands of external hard drives
  3. Final considerations
  4. Conclusions

Advantages of cloud backup

Cloud backup has become a popular solution due to its accessibility, security, and flexibility. With this method, files are stored on external servers and accessed over an internet connection. Below we list the main advantages of this option:

  • Access from any place and device: One of the most notable benefits of the cloud is the possibility of accessing your files from any place and device with an internet connection. This gives you the freedom to work on your documents or enjoy your multimedia files wherever you are.
  • Greater security: Cloud backup services often have advanced security measures, such as data encryption and two-factor authentication, ensuring your files are protected from external threats. Furthermore, as they are stored on external servers, you are protected against possible contingencies on your computer.
  • Scalability and flexibility: Cloud storage capacity is highly scalable, meaning you can increase or decrease the space according to your needs. Plus, you can automatically sync your files between different devices and easily share them with other people.

Characteristics of a good cloud backup service

To choose the best cloud backup service, it is important to consider the following features:

  • High storage capacity : Make sure the cloud backup service you choose offers enough space for your files.
  • Data encryption: Verify that the service uses strong encryption methods to ensure the security of your files.
  • Upload and download speed: Check the speed of uploading and downloading files, especially if you handle large volumes of information.
  • Regular backups: Make sure the service performs regular backups to avoid data loss in the event of a failure.
  • Automatic sync: This feature is especially useful if you use multiple devices, as it will allow you to keep your files up to date on all of them.

Examples of cloud backup services

Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the most popular and widely used cloud backup services. It offers a wide range of features and benefits, such as:

  • Free storage up to 15 GB.
  • Payment options for greater storage capacity .
  • Full integration with other Google tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Google Drive users highlight the ease of use and versatility of the platform.


Dropbox is another popular option that offers several advantages, such as:

  • Free plan with 2 GB of storage and payment options for greater capacity.
  • Automatic file syncing across all devices.
  • Online collaboration, allowing you to share files and folders with other people.

Some disadvantages of Dropbox are its lower free storage capacity compared to other services and limitations in editing files online.


OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud backup option, with features like:

  • Free 5GB storage and paid options for more capacity.
  • Integration with the Office 365 package, making it easier to work online with your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. documents.
  • Synchronization and accessibility from any device.

Most users appreciate the integration with other Microsoft services and the ease of use of OneDrive.

Benefits of backup to an external hard drive

Although cloud backup offers numerous advantages, using an external hard drive also has its distinct benefits. Below, we highlight the advantages of this option:

  • Complete control over data: By backing up your files to an external hard drive, you have complete control over them. You do not depend on third parties nor do you need an internet connection to access your data.
  • No dependence on internet connection: If you work in places where the internet connection is limited or non-existent, having your data stored on an external hard drive ensures quick and easy access to your files whenever you need it.
  • Greater privacy: If you value the privacy and confidentiality of your files, an external hard drive allows you to keep your data out of the cloud and ensure that only you have access to it.
  • Ability to make physical backups: By having your files on an external hard drive, you can make physical copies and move them to safe places, such as safe deposit boxes or offline locations.

Characteristics of a good external hard drive

To choose the right external hard drive, consider the following features:

  • Adequate storage capacity : Make sure the hard drive has enough capacity to store your files.
  • Data transfer speed : The faster the data transfer, the more efficient the backup and recovery of your files will be.
  • Compatible connections: Check that the hard drive has the necessary connections for your devices (USB, Thunderbolt, etc.).
  • Shock and drop resistance: If you plan to carry your external hard drive with you, it is important that it is durable to protect your data from physical damage.
  • Backup software included: Some external hard drives come with backup software that makes the data backup and recovery process easier .

Western Digital

Western Digital (WD) is one of the most recognized brands in the external hard drive market. It offers a wide variety of models with different features and capabilities. Some of the most popular options are:

  • WD My Passport: Portable hard drive with up to 5TB capacity and fast transfer speeds.
  • WD Elements: Desktop hard drive with capacities up to 14TB and USB 3.0 support.

Users praise the reliability and quality of Western Digital external hard drives.


Seagate is another reputable brand with a wide range of external hard drives to choose from. Some of their most popular models are:

  • Seagate Backup Plus Portable: Portable hard drive with capacities up to 5TB and a USB-C connection option.
  • Seagate Expansion Desktop – Desktop hard drive with capacities up to 16TB and USB 3.0 support.

Users highlight the durability of Seagate hard drives and the ease of use of their products.


Toshiba is another trusted brand in the external hard drive market. Some of their most popular models include:

  • Toshiba Canvio Basics: portable hard drive with capacities up to 4 TB and fast data transfer .
  • Toshiba Canvio Advance – Portable hard drive with color options, capacities up to 4TB, and backup software included.

Users praise the value for money of Toshiba external hard drives and their long-term reliability.

Final considerations

At this point, you have learned about the advantages and features of both cloud backup and using an external hard drive. Before making a decision, it is important to evaluate your needs and preferences. Be sure to consider the following:

  • The type of files you need to backup.
  • Your accessibility and mobility needs.
  • The importance of security and privacy for you.
  • The availability of a reliable internet connection.

Remember that it is also possible to use both options together. For example, you can use the cloud to access your files from anywhere and regularly back them up to an external hard drive for added security and privacy.


Keeping our data properly backed up is essential in today's digital world . Choosing the right backup option depends on our individual needs and preferences. Both methods, cloud backup and using an external hard drive, offer different advantages. The cloud stands out for its accessibility, security and flexibility, while the external hard drive provides greater control, privacy and the possibility of physical backups.

Regardless of the option you choose, incorporating habits of regular backup and updating of our data is essential to guarantee the integrity and availability of our files.

Find the Best Hard Drives on the market.

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