external hard drive connected to a laptop to show external backup solution

Cloud or Physical Backups – Which is Better for Small Businesses?

Should your business backup your data to cloud storage or physical disks?

We’ve discussed in the past the importance of having a good backup solution for your business to prevent data loss. For some businesses, that solution involves a physical backup to an external hard drive or a company server. Other businesses prefer a cloud backup. What’s the difference between the two, and does one provide a better solution for your business than another? Let’s take a look.


External hard drives and servers are fast. At least, they are if you’re using a hardwired connection. For large files and lots of data, this can be a big advantage. Cloud drives are only as fast as your Internet speed. If you have to frequently back up large files on a slow connection, then you may need to find ways to improve your Internet connection or stick with a physical backup.


Many businesses believe that backing up their data to a company server or to their own external hard drives is more secure than the cloud. However, physical backup solutions come with their own security concerns. They can be infected by viruses, tampered with, damaged, or lost. Cloud storage providers place a high priority on securing and encrypting your data because their business depends on keeping your information safe. Plus, if you’re not confident in your own ability to securely manage your data, this puts the task into the hands of experts.


Cloud drives scale instantly. Need more space? Just buy more. Since the cloud storage company is the one handling physical infrastructure, there’s nothing you need to do on your end save to scale your budget accordingly. On the other hand, if you use external hard drives or some other form of backup storage, increasing your capabilities means buying, storing, securing, and maintaining more equipment.


Hard drives don’t necessarily cost a lot, but they are a capital expense. If you only need to equip a few employees, then it might be a worthwhile option. However, the larger your office the more significant this cost becomes. Backing up your data to the Cloud usually means paying a monthly fee, but it is a more stable cost that you can factor into your budget without taking funds away from other capital projects.

Making the right backup choice for your business

Having the right backup solution for your business is critical for maintaining the integrity of your data. We can work with your company to help put a plan in place that will safeguard your systems from security attacks and prevent data loss. Contact us to get started with a free assessment.