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USB drives and cloud storage – A Solid Comparison

USB drives are no more a luxury. It rather has become a necessity and soon it would go extinct (maybe). But let’s not forget the reasons to such happening. Although USB drives were considered a tool so irreplaceable that even if centuries later a device comes along, it would not tackle these drives.

This is where we as thinkers were wrong. An alternative option did come but it didn’t had to be physically present at all times like USB drives. For example cloud storage, a storage option that is expanding at an increasing pace. The fact is obvious that it lets you have more storage space, easy to use and more. Regardless of that, we find some users (including still glued to the traditional USB option). Hence, the debate goes on.

These are some of the facts that you’re already aware of, try some mind boggling facts that might be new to you:

Comparison between the two extremes is as follows:

Access (even with no internet):

USB drives need no internet connection. However, cloud storage does ask you to be connected at all times (even when syncing). The ranges of USB drives range from 4GB to 256GB and the latest drives can store up to 1 TB of data.

Maintaining privacy:

A USB drive does not require any installation process; it is as simple as ‘plug and play’. Cloud servers however do ask you to setup your ID and password before you start using or storing data. You will always need to password protect usb drive if you want to ensure and maintain the data privacy. The security of all the drives is pretty much the same but the security of cloud services vary depending upon the service provider. Some companies may offer two-step verification and data encryption while some may not.

Portability aspect:

USB drives ask you to carry along the drive with you if you are in need of using it again. No matter where you go, if you do not have your data (your drive along) you won’t be able to fulfill your work. Cloud storage however prevents any such action from happening. Once you have stored the data on the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box Account), you can re-access the stored data easily from any location.

Which is safer?

On the front, the cloud is rather safe as compared to USB drives. The problematic thing about flash drives is that once they are inserted or plugged in to a PC, it can attract all sorts of viruses that were previously present in that PC. Since we use public PCs too much, we tend to be attacked quite frequently. Cloud storage however does not face any such issue as your data (so far) stays under the safety provided by the cloud servers.


If compared, USB drives are cheaper and easy to use. These drives lets you buy as low as 1GB for a  few bucks while the price keeps on increasing as the size of the drive goes up. Hence, you can increase you storage warehouse whenever needed and need not to invest for no reason at all. Cloud storage however works otherwise and doesn’t provide such convenience.

The verdict:

Both the storage options are amazing in their own way. USB drives helped us shape our childhoods but cloud storage is helping us shape our future. Also, the older generation seems to be still addicted to the USB drives. Hence to them, we recommend keeping on using their drives but just get equipped with USB security software, USB encryption software or other security tools just to be on the safe side. On the other hand, if do not prefer such an option, move on to the cloud storage option and do wonders.