Common Cloud Myths Busted: Are external hard drives right for backup?

May 05, 2016
business computer backu

It’s time for the latest installment of our ongoing series that aims to dispel untrue myths about cloud backup.

Today we’re shooting down the commonly held misconception that external hard drives (EHDs) alone are good enough to meet your backup needs. That’s simply not true. While EHDs play a role in many successful backup strategies, they are vulnerable in many ways.

Myth: Using an EHD for backup is good enough.
Fact: EHDs only protect the files you manually upload to them. That means you always have to remember to do it and find the time to do it routinely. EHDs are also easy to lose or steal, and they offer no protection for disaster scenarios like fires or floods. A far more secure way to safeguard computer files is to use automatic cloud backup.

Using an EHD for backup has long been a low-cost way to store an extra copy of computer files for safekeeping. EHDs are fast and convenient and you may find that they work well as one small component of a larger backup and disaster recovery strategy. But when you consider the different ways people typically lose files, you’ll find that the level of protection EHDs provide is very limited. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure that EHDs aren’t your only backup.

The most serious limitation is that EHDs only protect the files you upload to them. And since the most common form of data loss is human error, there’s a good chance you could lose a file by accidentally deleting it, overwriting it or simply forgetting to back it up.

EHDs also offer no protection for disaster scenarios like fires or floods, because your backup copy is in the same physical location as the original. You could keep it in a safe, but depending on how frequently you save, you could easily lose files between backups. Plus, you can’t access your backup unless you’re in physical possession of your EHD.

A far more secure way to safeguard computer files is to use a cloud backup solution like Carbonite. It automatically protects your files while you’re working on them. So you never have to remember to perform a backup. Your files are protected with advanced encryption in climate-controlled data centers with armed guards 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also log in to your account remotely from any internet-connected device, so you never have to be in physical possession of your computer or EHD to access your files.

The fact is, EHDs alone not a good option for file backup. Cloud solutions are far more secure and user-friendly, and most likely a lot cheaper than a safe.

Learn more about Carbonite backup solutions for your home or business today.