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Cloud vs local back up: Which is best for your business?

For businesses, backing up critical files and data is essential in order to protect the organisation. Until recently local backups were considered the only feasible option, however, with the increasing availability of superfast broadband, the last few years have seen cloud storage become extremely popular. Each backup option has pros and cons to consider when deciding on the right option. Ultimately a combination of local and cloud backup may be used.


What are the pros and cons of cloud vs local backup?

Cloud backup


Cost – Obviously cloud storage doesn’t require the purchase or maintenance of backup hardware, therefore costs are reduced immediately, not to mention reduced overheads of supplying power to the hardware.

Ease of access - With cloud storage you are able to backup and access your files from any location; this is ideal for businesses that have remote or home workers, those that travel a great deal and those that need access to all important files at any time and on any device. Another important point to take into consideration is that, as back up is not stored locally, should your premises experience disaster (e.g. fire, flooding, theft, etc.) your data is safe.

Scalability – Business growth will ultimately require more storage; increasing cloud storage is an extremely simple and quick process, ideal for businesses experiencing rapid growth.


Security – Security on cloud servers is something that has become less of an issue but one that many businesses are still wary of when considering cloud backup. Working with a reputable cloud services provider will ensure that security is a priority. 

Speed – For cloud storage, a fast internet connection is essential as, without it, backing up your data will take a significant amount of time to complete.

Privacy issues – If you have data that is highly sensitive, control of your data using a public cloud service may become an issue; ensuring you choose the right cloud service is key.

Local Back Up


Security – With local backups you are in full control of your backups, who has access to them and once disconnected from your network they are subsequently protected from attacks.

Speed –  One of the main advantages of choosing a local backup, as backing up onto local devices, such as external hard drive, is a great deal faster than the cloud.


Accessibility – Carrying out local backups means that your data is stored in one place and therefore cannot be accessed from the storage device itself. This also means that in terms of disaster recovery, it may be necessary to store backups in two different locations. At MWL Systems we recommend the 3-2-1 rule. 3 copies of your data on 2 different types of media and 1 copy of data off-site.

Cost – The costs associated with local backups can prove to be quite high, taking into account the cost of the hardware itself, as well as ongoing maintenance of the system and supplying power to devices.

Difficulty to scale up – Increasing your storage for local backups is a much more drawn out process as opposed to cloud storage; scaling up will often require further hardware which increases costs once again.

There are advantages and disadvantages for both cloud and local backup, therefore neither can be deemed the best solution for every business. Instead, individual businesses should assess their requirements in order to make an informed decision on which solution is best for them. Speaking to an expert will always help in finding the right solution for you; if you would like to discuss your business’ requirements contact us today.


Cloud vs local back up:  Which is best for your business?