AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

Local Storage vs. Cloud Storage

Photos, music, documents—chances are, you have plenty of computer data that you want to keep safe. And that’s why you should back up your data often in case your computer breaks, gets stolen, or runs out of hard drive space.

But where should you back up your data? You have two major options: local storage and cloud storage. Find the pros and cons of each alternative below.

Local Storage includes physical hardware such as external hard drives, flash drives, and CDs. As its name suggests, local storage is kept nearby. Here are several pros and cons of using local storage.


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • The data is under your control


  • Your data isn't accessible unless you have the hardware with you
  • External hard drives or CDs can fail or break
  • Can be stolen

Cloud Storage refers to any program owned by a third party that allows you to upload your data using the Internet. Some of the pros and cons are:


  • All you need is an Internet connection to access your data
  • You don’t have to store your data in a physical form
  • Free versions are available for storing small amounts of data


  • If you want to store a lot of information, you’ll probably have to pay for storage
  • Third-party storage is vulnerable to theft and hardware failure
  • Cloud storage requires an Internet connection for access

No matter where you back up your data, try to keep multiple copies and update your backups often to maximize your information’s safety. Want to learn more about using computer technology? Consider pursuing an information technology degree to sharpen your skills.