Cloud Storage – Will it Beat Good Old External Hard Disk, ever?


We have been hearing about the rise of cloud storage and indeed, in the past few months a meteoric rise has been observed in both the number of services and the capacity of each of them. Let me just name a few –

  1. Google Drive
  2. Dropbox
  3. Box
  4. Skydrive
  5. MediaFire
  6. Mega

Services like Google Drive and Skydrive while are available to a person as soon as he creates an email in Gmail or Hotmail. Other services like Box and Dropbox are also actively and rather aggressively wooing users. For example, Box has tied up with Sony to give 50GB to its smartphone users.


Dropbox is of course easiest and most popular to use and one of the first to give the cloud storage its distinct direction. Whereas MediaFire and Mega have old love from their old-time (sometimes shady) users.

Now, add to that the always connected to internet devices and we do have a strong case for such devices. I am myself a user of almost all the above services and yes they are extremely useful in some cases.

That is the crux of the issue – Some cases… These include my documents, ebooks, a few important pictures and sometimes a video or two. But when it comes to backing up my complete collection of movies or TV shows I go to my trusty hard disk.

Even my whole collection of pictures cannot be stored in the online storage that I have. Of course, one might say that I can get more storage and indeed I can but what of the cost of the storage and the bandwidth needed to upload the items.

Bandwidth is a precious item, even more so in a country like ours. Also, with the speeds we have, imagine uploading a whole collection of pictures (all HD) that amounts to nearly over 50GB. Even uploaded, imagine downloading the whole content again!!!

And a 1 Terabyte Hard Disk now costing as low as Rs. 5000 – Even Solid State Drives cost far less than the total cost of uploading and downloading the whole content even once.

Have a thought experiment or a wild guess – What will be costlier- Getting 500GB content through courier or letting someone download it at his or her end. Or even, which will take more time.

The answer to both the questions is of course – the hard way!

And this is never going to change.

As the cost of bandwidth decreases so will the cost of storage. Each day research is going on to increase the amount of storage in smallest of area. In fact, if you do not trust your backup, then backup your backup HD with another HD. A periodic check on each and you should never lose your data.

What is your take on this? Can online storage be an actual substitute for backup or will it remain just for the occasional file transfer or a way of keeping the same file on multiple devices. While you guys ponder over this I leave you with this article to help with the thought.

  1. Pramod says

    online storage is expensive. is there any cheap storage service.

  2. Download Software says

    My opinion is, YES.And data will be stored in the future on more advanced storage space technology.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Haha…what do you mean by advanced space technology?

      1. Download Software says

        Hi.What I mean is that there will be a technology that will allow INFINITE disk space.I am a student at computer science and this is what I think the near future will look like.

  3. Kamal Nagpal says

    Hard disks do have a advantage over online storage as it can store more amount of data quickly. But, consider a situation when you want to share your content with someone who is far from you. In such cases, you need to have online storage such as Drop box or Google drive. I think this is the best use of online storage which hard disk can’t allow you to do.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says


      The point is whether online storages will replace them in future… Yes, HDDs do have their own importance…but if the internet speed and bandwidth were to get even more cheaper…and online cloud storage costs were to come down further… would it be feasible to completely replace HDDs… thats the question

  4. Power Cords says

    I have heard that Mega is providing larger than 20GB free space. Now just now when I check the link from your website, it is offering just 8GB of space.. I think that it is very low.

  5. Mandar Deodhar says

    I say external hard drive is always a first choice. If network is not available, your content is waste. And anyway, you need to download the content first to view / edit it. This even applies to streaming videos which gets cached on to your machine. So you have to download it every time you use which is tedious. hence I prefer to have content stored locally and keep a backup online in much cheaper services like amazon gracier.

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