In this day and age, most companies have digitized archives. This is very convenient, since it allows for more than one employee to use them simultaneously and saves a lot of money and space rather than having all the documents in paper format. However, the storage and transport of files can still be troublesome at times. It’s true that the devices used to save our files have come a long way since the days of floppy disks. The main objectives that have led to these advances have been, on the one hand, the wish to have an ever increasing storage capacity and, on the other, the portability of archives, that is, the availability of our information from any location at any time.
In this sense, nowadays we have two options that seem to be always at odds with each other. The truth is that both have their advantages and inconveniences, and we cannot really say that one is better than the other. We’re talking about USB devices and Cloud storage.
USB memory devices have many functionalities and potential. This is because, aside from its main use as data storage and support to transfer documents, they are a great ally when it comes to protecting information from any intruders accessing our computer system.
But as well as this, over the last few years there has been a strong new trend: the services based on networks, where information is kept in virtualised storage environments made available to users under service agreements. This is what is known as storage in the Cloud. The companies devoted to safekeeping information only provide the user with an environment, and the users themselves are in charge of its administration. Such has been the success of these Cloud solutions that the leading companies in the technology sector, like Apple, Google or Microsoft, have already launched their own Cloud-based solutions.
With this in mind, the gradual disappearance of USB memory devices seems the next logical step, substituted by virtual environments. However, there are multiple factors that, in reality, suggest that said substitution is not going to happen, at least not any time soon. Both systems are coexisting, each with its own potential to explore, instead of pointless competition for leadership, because they are complementary.
- Cloud solutions allow for quick, easy acquisition of any storage volume we may need, and to increase it as necessary.[br]
- However, this means that we cannot keep our own information safe in any physical way, which may imply an enormous risk for data safety.
- Data delivery always takes place under certain security conditions, information access and analysis, by the service provider. Each company has its own particular conditions for use. On the other hand, in the case of USB memory devices, the conditions for information use are set by the users themselves.[br]
- For the access and synchronisation of information, Cloud storage forces us to have an internet connection for certain functions such as uploading and downloading, with a relevant transfer rate. When the connection is too slow or we are transferring data through a mobile device, this process can take a long time. But USB memory devices, which do not need internet access, can provide a greater transfer speed. [br]
- The Cloud allows us to share information with third parties in an easy, quick way, but the lack of a physical device diminishes the brand impact and recall when the information is shared for commercial or promotional purposes, while a customised pendrive, boasting the colours or logo of your company, are a much better way to carry out this purpose.[br]
- USB memory devices can be used to run various useful applications and even operating systems directly from the USB unit itself.[br]
So, all these aspects tell us that Cloud storage cannot provide all the benefits that, as of today, USB devices can. For this reason, choosing one method or the other will depend mostly on the needs and priorities of each user. Both are compatible and can complement each other, with no need for competition among them.[br]