The Problem With Cloud Storage By Josh Blagden | JB - Mac Help | JBlagden

The Problem With Cloud Storage            By Josh Blagden

The most noticeable problem with cloud backups is that it takes forever to restore your files from the cloud. Even if your download speed is 300 Mbps, it’ll still be slower than USB 2.0. The best thing is a bootable clone. You could even keep it in your safety deposit box at the bank and update it once a week or so. 

I would only recommend using the cloud for small things like documents. For example, you might have a work folder or a school folder in Dropbox. You might even use Automator to run the rsync command to synchronize the folders. As long as you can download the entire contents of your cloud account in a reasonable amount of time, you’re all set. But when you’re storing hundreds or even thousands of gigabytes of data in the cloud, you won’t be able to retrieve it in a remotely reasonable amount of time.

There’s also the issue of security. Suppose that among your backups are sensitive files. What if your cloud storage provider gets hacked? Your sensitive data could easily get into the wrong hands. I’m not saying your safety deposit box is impenetrable, but it’s a better option than cloud storage because it’s a lot less likely that the bank will be robbed because a person would physically have to go there and he wouldn’t be able to hide behind a hundred VPNs. 

While cloud storage is nice and convenient, it’s not something which you should use for backing up all of your data. It’s easy for some to take cloud storage for granted, not realizing how long it’ll take to re-download all of their data after a catastrophe. For backups and large files, you really should only use local storage. If you want off-site backups, use your safe-deposit box, and keep a backup at a friend’s house. You should not rely on cloud storage. Cloud storage is nice, but as I’ve stated, it can be hacked and it takes too long to download hundreds of gigabytes of data from the cloud. 

In conclusion, it’s alright to use cloud storage as long as you don’t use it to store any sensitive files or hundreds (or thousands) of gigabytes of data there. 

© Joshua Blagden & Justin Barczak 2013-2015