The increasing amount of data forces many people and even companies to make a decision where to store it. Data loss is a catastrophe, so you have to choose carefully. Basically there are two methods of storing data nowadays: You can store it locally or in a cloud. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast both methods and to show advantages and disadvantages of each. Storing locally means that you use your own data storage, such as hard drives or CDs. The advantage of using this method is at first that you have the full control over your data.
It is just stored on your media. Another advantage is the price. Hard drives are quite cheap. For example you can buy a 1TB hard drive for $89 at JB HI-FI at the moment (JB HI-FI, 2011). Lastly you also need no internet connection to access your data. But there are some disadvantages of storing your data locally as well. The most important issue is probably the risk of losing the data by breakdown or theft. There are many other things that can happen to lose your data on your local hard drive.
Just imagine you have a water damage or fire damage. Besides that the usage of data on different devices at different places is also hardly possible. The second possibility to store your data is the cloud storage. Basically cloud storage means that you store your data online on a server. The biggest advantage of storing data that way is that you can access your data from almost everywhere you want. Therefore you can use your own device ore any other devices with internet connection. Your data is also very save.
You do not have to fear a loss of your data. Providers handle your data with care as it would be a disaster for them as well if they would lose it. Otherwise they would lose their reputation. Of course there are some disadvantages as well. Essential for this method is having an internet connection. And if you have a lot of uploads and downloads you even need a fast connection to not disturb your workflow. Furthermore you do not have control over what your provider does with your data. It is possible that your data will get to others.
Lastly cloud storage is more expensive for large data amounts. At Dropbox for example you have to pay $19,99 per month for 100GB of data (Dropbox, 2011). So as you can see both methods have advantages and disadvantages. It is hard to say that one method is better the other. If you have large amounts of data it is obviously more affordable to store it on a local hard drive. If you want to have your data everywhere ready to hand you should store it in a cloud. It just always depends on your preferences and what features are important to you.