Pros and Cons of Physical Hard drives

It’s always great to have that feeling where you know your information is an arm’s length away. Having all your data stored in a physical hard drive that you can touch and is in your possession. Sure it’s a wonderful idea to have everything backed up, but going with just an external hard drive may not be the best option, or the safest. A little while back we discussed storing your data on the Cloud and how safe it is, you can read that here!

Today I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of having your data stored on a physical hard drive. I’ll also give some recommendations of how you can utilize both the Cloud and an external hard drive!



  • Is in your possession so you know it is safe
  • You can buy very large storage units for fairly cheap now-a-days
  • Don’t have to be connected to the internet to transfer data to external hard drives
  • Transfer speed is relatively faster, doesn’t depend on your connection


  • Can be knocked off a desk or damaged accidently
  • If an external hard drive breaks you have to send it in which usually means whipping the data on it
  • Can’t be accessed from anywhere outside of your local network
  • Going along with the local network, you can only share data with others when you’re physically together
  • As with all physical computer parts, they age
  • Some aren’t compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, you have to format them to work on both types of Operating Systems in some cases
  • It adds an extra thing to your desk space (more chords dangling)


Like I said there are a lot of great things about having a physical hard drive, massive amounts of space that you can touch. There is also a lot of liability with this type of data storage, especially with a large amount of services in the cloud offering the same amount of storage for cheaper. It is also a lot safer to place data in the Cloud because their servers are constantly backed up in various locations and they have teams of specialists whose job is data recovery.


It doesn’t hurt to have your data backed up on multiple devices so I recommend backing up all of your files on an external. However, one thing you should consider doing if you don’t already is putting your most used and important files on the cloud. This will allow you to access them anywhere, will guarantee their safety, and give you the peace of mind that it will always be there!

If you’re unsure about what’s best for your data or you are still unsure about the Cloud don’t be afraid to talk to a specialist about it! (Did I mention we’re specialists!) 

Do you have any questions about your home or business data? Maybe you just want to find out more about using the Cloud? Head over to our Services page and see how we can help you!

Did we leave any tips out that you want covered or have any questions for us? Leave a comment and let us know!

3 Responses to Pros and Cons of Physical Hard drives

  1. Jeff Achen says:

    Thanks for the post. I wonder what your thoughts are about storage solutions for video producers, photographers and graphic designers who have massive files and need quick access to them, but also need to make sure they are safe and archived for long periods of time?

    • andrew.barker says:

      Great question Jeff! In cases such as that I would definitely recommend an external hard drive or multiple hard drives on your computer. Also, I’d recommend using Dropbox; this will allow for the quick access and keep things safe. This service gives you a desktop icon that allows you to drop files in easily and quickly and automatically syncs these files. (It also lets you organize where the files sync to, so you can label folders on your Dropbox account and keep your files identical to your desktop or other storage devices.) You can also access these files from any computer that has Dropbox installed or if you log on through their website so you can work on projects if inspiration hits you and the computer you’re on has the programs you need.

      It only gives you 2GB’s for a free account but if you upgrade your account you can get 50GB to 100GB’s of space. Also, if you find you need more space than that there is always the option of upgrading your account to “Dropbox for Teams” which is designed for smalls businesses and has a great deal of space.

  2. Pingback: Cloud Computing – Google Drive vs Dropbox | Backpack Tactics