What’s the difference between local and cloud backups?

What’s the difference between local and cloud backups?

The Difference Between Local and Cloud Backups

In today's digital age, safeguarding our data is more crucial than ever. Whether you're a business owner in West Palm Beach, Florida, or an individual looking to protect personal files, understanding the difference between local and cloud backups is essential. Let's dive deep into the nuances of both backup methods, their pros and cons, and how they can benefit businesses like those supported by InfoStream.

1. Local Backups

Definition: Local backups involve storing data on physical devices or media, such as external hard drives, USB drives, DVDs, or network-attached storage (NAS) devices.


  • Speed: Local backups generally offer faster backup and restore times because they don't rely on internet speeds.
  • No Ongoing Costs: Once you purchase the storage device, there are no recurring fees.
  • Offline Access: Your data is accessible even without an internet connection.


  • Physical Vulnerability: Local backups are susceptible to physical threats like theft, fire, or natural disasters.
  • Limited Storage: The storage capacity is finite, and you might need to purchase additional devices as your data grows.
  • Maintenance: Devices can fail, so regular checks and replacements are necessary.

2. Cloud Backups

Definition: Cloud backups involve storing data on remote servers accessed via the internet. These servers are typically maintained by third-party companies in data centers around the world.


  • Accessibility: Data can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it ideal for businesses with remote or distributed teams.
  • Scalability: Cloud storage can easily be scaled up or down based on your needs.
  • Off-site Security: Data centers often have robust security measures, including encryption, firewalls, and 24/7 monitoring.
  • Automatic Updates: Many cloud services offer automatic backup options, ensuring your data is always up-to-date.


  • Ongoing Costs: Cloud backups usually come with monthly or yearly fees.
  • Internet Dependency: You need a reliable internet connection to access your data.
  • Potential Privacy Concerns: Storing data on third-party servers might raise concerns about data privacy and compliance.

Which is Right for Your Business?

Both local and cloud backups have their merits. For many businesses, a hybrid approach is optimal. This involves maintaining a local backup for quick access and recovery, while also leveraging the cloud for off-site storage and added security.

If you're a business owner or manager in West Palm Beach and need assistance with setting up a robust backup strategy, InfoStream offers top-notch computer services and support tailored to your needs. Remember, in the realm of data, it's always better to be safe than sorry.


In the end, the choice between local and cloud backups boils down to your specific needs, budget, and preference. By understanding the differences and weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision that ensures your data's safety and accessibility.