During the 1990s, most PCs were notorious for making lots of noise whenever performing a CPU-intensive task like updating a spreadsheet, loading a video game or opening a busy webpage. Some of these sounds were related to the reading of media formats that have since become less important, such as floppy disks and CD-ROMs. Today’s machines are much quieter, although many of them still retain one of the main sources of noise from back then – the mechanical hard disk drive (HDD).
HDDs have lost some ground to solid-state drives (SSDs) this decade as the latter have become less expensive per GB, which, coupled with their clear advantages in speed and simplicity, make them the superior choice for many use cases. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have also relied exclusively on small SSDs since day one. However, HDDs remain popular due to their relatively low costs at even high capacities (up to 14TB), making them well-suited for tasks such as external backup.
The pros and cons of relying on an HDD to backup your data
Making regular backups of your apps and data is essential in mitigating the risk of a wide range of possible issues, including ransomware infections and total system failures. If something goes wrong, you have a complete copy – or at least duplicates of your most important items – to fall back on.
Relying on an external HDD has distinctive advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look:
- Inexpensive: As of May 2018, a new high-quality 1TB+ HDD could be purchased for less than $50.
- Plenty of space: A single disk alone usually has enough capacity to backup your entire PC and much more.
- Easy to use: Most HDDs connect via USB. Depending on the model, the drive might be able to draw all its power from USB ports too, meaning you don’t have to plug it into a socket.
- Slow performance: HDDs take longer to read and write than SSDs, making them less efficient for moving large amounts of data.
- Complexity: Since they have so many moving parts, HDDs routinely fail when one or more of them malfunctions.
- Failure rates: The annual failure rates for HDDs dramatically increases after 3 years of use.
With these pros and cons in mind, you should diversify your backup strategy. Cloud-based solutions like Total Defense Online Backup can help you fulfill the 3-2-1 rule of having three copies of your data across at least two media formats, with one of them being off site (e.g., in a cloud or hosted service).
The benefits of cloud backup services
No matter how capacious or new an HDD is, it can’t match the unique benefits of online backup, which include:
Cloud-based backup services have convenient portals that allow you to view, download and manage files from any device. Accessing an HDD wirelessly is possible, but much more complex.
Cloud computing services can deliver much greater capacity at a lower cost per GB than simply buying additional local HDDs. Upgrading to extra space is simple.
Cloud-stored data is automatically encrypted to protect it from prying eyes. This security measure goes beyond what most end users do with their own HDDs.
Easy file sharing
Need to share something from your backup? With a cloud solution, it’s as easy as sending an email link. You don’t have to drag or drop anything in Windows or macOS.
These are just a few of the benefits you can expect from Total Defense Online Backup. Learn more on the main product page today.