With the rising trends in cybercrime as well as the ever-present issues with human error and hardware failure, 2016 is not the year for people to decide whether they should be creating a backup of their data but, if they have not already settled on an option, it is the year that users make a decision on what method, or methods, they use to backup their information.

In this article we take a look at and compare two of the most used options for data backup in online and cloud backup as well as using an external hard drive to backup and restore data.

Convenience of creating backups

Which of these two options is the more convenient? Both online backup and external hard drives backup certainly have their plus points for their usage as both can very easily be arranged and used, but we feel that clearly it is online backup wins this category.

The reasons for this decision are that an online backup can be run directly from your device without having to have any interaction with external or third party devices to secure your data. Other backup options, such as tapes, flash drives or external hard drives, will require you that you locate the secondary device and then interface this with your device or server to complete the backup. Should you wish to backup data from individual machines or devices then with external hard drives you will need to complete the backups singularly whereas this task can be completed at once using online backup software that is installed across a full network of devices.

Using the Iperius backup software as an example, users are able to complete their online backup using a web console with the minimal of effort and less than a handful of clicks to begin your backup across all devices upon which this software has been installed. This feature can be reviewed here – https://www.iperiusbackup.net/en/web-console-monitor-and-manage-backups-remotely/.

Add to this the fact that you do not have to save, secure, store, label and track your third party backup device after the completion of the backup makes this option the most convenient of all backup methods.

Safety of the data backed up

Again the online backup option comes out ahead in the safety section for multiple reasons. The first of these is that the data is not secured at your location so the backup information is safe from any local issues, such as extreme weather, fire or theft. The last of these is doubly secured against with cloud backup security sees all of the backed up data as well as the associated servers and systems encrypted to ensure against this data being stolen. Compare this with an external hard drive which can more easily be removed from its storage location and stolen plus this option also has security issues with the reliability of the hardware. The reason for this that external hard drives will have a limited shelf life and can easily be damaged through human error, such as dropping the device or an accidental wiping of the data, which will render all saved information inaccessible or, in the worst case, irreparable.


Looked at alone, the cost of online backups and the licenses needed to create the backup can appear to be considerably higher than backing up data locally but, when viewed objectively, this is not the case at all. Local backups require the purchase of external hard drives, or tape and/or flash drives if these options are used, as well as storage and this option will work out the more expensive than online backups as the business when expands. When the business expands there will be need for more local storage drives, as well the space in which these drives are stored will also grow alongside the business, so, as a result of this, we see online backup making it three from three so far as the cheaper of these options.


When businesses look into deciding whether to secure their data via online backups or using a local option, such as an external hard drive, or a number of hard drives, then they will consider all of the three categories listed above. As our overview of this information contained within the convenience, safety of the information and the cost of the method categories shows it is far easier, safer and more cost effective to complete your data backup operations using online backup, or cloud backup, software.

There are many options available that can be used for your personal or business backup processes but with the previously highlighted web console plus secure FTPS/SFTP protocols and the military-grade algorithm AES 256 bit for data encryption as well a no annual renewal fee, low cost license we put the Iperius backup software forward as the top online backup software to be used to meet the listed categories.

Full details on every aspect of the Iperius backup software can be reviewed here – https://www.iperiusbackup.net/en/iperius-backup/.

(Italian, Portuguese (Brazil))

Online backup vs backup on an external hard drive
Iperius Backup C.

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  1. Michael Leary

    I’ve used Acronis and had some problems with each version, so I am looking at your product for my Small business servers. I am interested about backup file sizes to determine how much compression should be used vs. successful restoration. Also info on restoration procedures, Boot methods etc. Acronis always had to have a DVD for each version and could never do A remote restore which would be of even greater value for me as my two locations are 200 miles apart. I can remote to each site via DDNS and access fine. Restores mean I should drive and in a situation where a restore is the fastest solution it would be nice to hear about your successes and your methods. Do you have any info on this?

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PLEASE NOTE: if you need technical support or have any sales or technical question, don't use comments. Instead open a TICKET here: https://support.iperius.net