Cloud storage certainly has its place, but there are many ways that a physical hard drive just can’t be beat
In 2023, it’s pretty much a certainty you’ll be using cloud storage in some capacity – even if it’s just Google storing 15GB of emails for you.
It’s certainly convenient – or can feel like it. But there are plenty of reasons why both casual and power users alike would be better off storing their precious files in a high-capacity Western Digital Elements external hard drive. They’re sleek, lightweight and available in a range of capacities, making them the perfect way to store all of your photos, videos, documents and music.
Here are seven ways that the traditional hard drive beats the convenience of cloud storage every time.
More space for work, movies, music and more
The big problem with cloud storage is that you don’t get that much of it. Dropbox will give you 2GB free, while Apple and Microsoft are barely better at 5GB. Google offers three times the space with 15GB, but even that is paltry compared to the size of even the smallest Western Digital Elements drive.
That WD Elements drive is 1TB – over 66 times the capacity of Google’s free offering. And if you’ve got a lot of files to look after, the 14TB desktop model offers over 933 times the storage space. It’s simply no contest.
Cheap in the long run
Of course, you can always pay for cloud storage space. Google will rent power users 2TB or storage for £8/mth.
But overlooking the fact that that’s still less space than the majority of WD’s Elements range, it gets expensive fast. Within two years of paying for 2TB of storage on a monthly basis, you’ll have spent more than the £176 asking price of an 8TB drive.
And if you stop paying your monthly subscription, your storage instantly vanishes, meaning you have to find somewhere else to put your precious files.
The indisputable convenience of cloud storage evaporates when the internet goes down. If your broadband fails and you urgently need to get the presentation, then you’ll need to use public WiFi or your smartphone data to get your files.
With a Western Digital Elements drive, this is a non-issue. No internet connection required, just plug and play and you have instant access to all your files. It’s beautifully simple.
Western Digital’s Elements drives weigh between 131g for the 1TB WD Elements Portable, to just 950g for the larger capacity desktop models.
The lightweight portable models are a great way to carry a backup of anything you’re currently working on, while the desktop models give you the peace of mind that your data is safe and secure for when you get back home.
Super-fast file transfer speeds
No matter how fast your internet connection, uploads and downloads to cloud storage won’t be able to beat the speeds offered by the WD Elements drive. With the supplied cable, you can reach theoretical speeds of up to 480Mbits/sec with USB 2.0 or 5Gbits/sec with USB 3.0.
To put that into perspective, you could move a 22GB 4K movie from your WD drive to your computer in a mere minute or two. This would be vastly quicker than downloading from the cloud: with the average UK internet speed of 69.4Mbits/sec, the same file would take approximately 42 minutes to download (source).
Secure and accessible only to you
While most mainstream cloud storage is extremely secure, you are still essentially uploading your data to servers hundreds of miles from your home, where you have no physical access to it.
With the WD Elements drive, your data won’t even leave the room. Nobody beyond your house has physical access to it, and if you’re worried about a burglary or losing it when out and about, you can add optional password protection to ensure you’re protected.
No risk of account closure
Because cloud storage is managed by a third-party company, you’re subject to their whims and a set of terms and conditions as thick as your arm. Your account could be closed without notice, or the whole service could go bankrupt, taking your precious files with it. And even if neither of these things come to pass, what happens if you simply forget your password? The same: you lose access to your files.
With a WD Elements hard drive, you own the hardware, and the data is yours forever, without any third parties having a say. That’s tremendous peace of mind that your files will always be accessible, whatever happens to cloud storage companies.