In today’s digital world, people wonder whether it’s best to store and transfer their data in USB flash drives or in the Cloud. With that in mind, let’s examine the differences.
USB Flash Drives vs. The Cloud
Most companies have important data they wish to keep private, secure and easily accessible for themselves. The advantage of keeping it digital rather than having it all in paper format means more than one employee can access it simultaneously. It also saves a lot of time, money and space. However, where to store their digital information and how to transport their files can still be troublesome a times.
Improved options have been introduced since the days of floppy disks, but challenges still remain. People’s desires to have more storage capacity while still being able to transport their data easily and securely have ultimately led to the invention of USB flash drives and then the Cloud. Still, regardless of how awesome both options are, they seem to always be at odds with each other in people’s minds.
The truth is both have their advantages and disadvantages, and because of their pros and cons, we cannot say with certainty which one is better than the other.
USB flash drives have many uses and a lot of potential. When it comes to protecting digital information from others, they are almost impossible to beat because whoever is in possession of the device controls who sees the information on it. USB flash drives can also require a password to allow access to information, and information stored on them can be encrypted.
At the same time, the Cloud provides users with various capabilities to store and process data in virtualized storage environments made available to users under service agreements. Companies who offer Cloud-based services only provide users with an environment and the users themselves are in charge of how it is used and who has access to it.
With the Cloud as an option, one would think the next logical step would be the gradual disappearance of USB flash drives. However, multiple factors suggest that the disappearance of USB flash drives is not going to happen anytime soon.
Why USB Flash Drives and The Cloud Will Coexist
Instead of pointless competition or belief that one would make the other irrelevant, both USB flash drives and the Cloud will coexist because they compliment each other. They are also both filled with potential.
For example, for anyone who thinks USB flash drives should gradually disappear because of the Cloud, consider the following. USB flash drives make great company swag that can be physically handed to targeted recipients. In addition to other things, branded USB flash drives can contain resumes, portfolios, videos, catalogues, demonstrations, testimonials, performances, presentations and business cards. The Cloud cannot be physically handed to anyone, and it isn’t branded for a recipient to see every time they look at it on their desk, in their bag, or on their keychain.
Here are some other differences:
- The Cloud allows for quick, easy access to stored data that can be edited from most digital devices.
- USB flash drives require a user to have access to a USB port.
- The Cloud requires an internet connection.
- USB flash drives do not require an internet connection.
- The Cloud does not provide a physical way to keep information safe.
- USB flash drives provide an excellent physical way to keep information safe.
- The Cloud allows for data delivery to take place under certain security conditions with restricted access and analysis at times by the service provider. Each Cloud service provider has its own conditions for use.
- USB flash drives allow the conditions for information access to be set by the users themselves.
- The Cloud allows users to share information with third parties easily and quickly, but the lack of a physical device diminishes the marketing impact when information is shared for commercial or promotional purposes.
- USB flash drives present the logo, colors and brand of the company who shares them and are much better for marketing purposes.
- The Cloud, while excellent for storing and sharing data, cannot be used in a lot of different ways.
- USB flash drives, in addition to the variety of ways they can be used, can run many useful applications and even operating systems directly from the units themselves.
Based on this information, the Cloud cannot provide all of the benefits USB flash drives can, at least for now. Depending on the needs and priorities of users, both are compatible and can complement each other with no need for competition or for one to make the other disappear.
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