USB Flash Drive Data Recovery Blog

Providing expert advice on broken flash drive repair and flash drive data recovery.

Cloud Storage vs. Flash Drives: Which is Best for YOU?

Brian Ernst - Monday, July 16, 2012
Flash Drives vs Cloud Storage

As if you hadn't noticed, cloud storage is all the rage these days. Ever since Dropbox made cloud storage simple and available to the masses back in 2007, a whole slew of companies, including both start-ups and stalwarts, have been busy fighting to be #1 in this mufti-billion dollar industry that until just a few years ago didn't even exist. The list of start-ups to hit the cloud storage stage includes names like, Mozy, Jungle Disk, SugarSync, Carbonite, MediaFire, and SugarOak, to name just a few. 

And several years behind yet never to be outdone, the big names in tech have also now begun vying for their own piece of pie. Wealthy tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft have all recently launched their own cloud-based storage solutions, naturally doing their best to drive small guys like Dropbox (who kinda pioneered the whole idea of simple, personal cloud storage) out of business. But, I digress. 

Many ex-flash drive aficionados, compelled by the benefits of the cloud, have already made the switch. Their USB flash drives have been benched for all but the occasional computer-computer file transfer at home. And for those ex-flashophiles who have ever lost important data on a failed or lost flash drive, cloud storage is an especially attractive alternative.

Nonetheless, there are still a few folks out there who, for different reasons, are not ready to retire their USB sticks in lieu of some newfangled technology with such an ephemeral name as “the cloud.” But resistance to change and misguided phobias aside, there are definitely a few benefits to sticking with that USB; especially when it comes to security.

To help you make an informed decision about where and how you store your personal documents, we’ve put together a list of some pros and cons for both cloud storage and USB flash drives.

For all you faithful out there still using flash drives, tell us, what keeps you from going over to the grey side? Or if you have made the switch to cloud based file storage and ditched your flash drive, what compelled you to do so? Let us know and might just send you something nice!

Pros & Cons of Cloud Storage



  • It's easy to purchase additional storage capacity when you need it
  • You can access and synchronize your files across all your internet enabled devices
  • Files sharing is fast and simple
  • The threat of viruses is low
  • Many cloud storage companies offer free accounts
  • There are some very useful third-party apps


  • Data recovery is often extremely complex, expensive, and has a relatively low success rate
  • Files and personal information is potentially available to creative hackers
  • Transfer speed is limited by your internet connection
  • Transferring files over a network is inherently less secure than storing your files locally
  • You're often required to install software on all your devices

Pros & Cons of USB Flash Drives



  • Allows you to maintain physical custody and security of your files
  • No need for internet to access
  • The potential for extremely fast transfer speeds
  • You can run many applications and even operating systems directly on a flash drive
  • Susceptible to damage, loss and theft.
  • Limited service life
  • Automatic backup usually isn’t available  without purchasing third-party software
  • Adding more space requires purchasing a new flash drive
  • High potential for a virus infections

Let us know if we missed anything and we’ll add it to the list.

As always, if you found this info useful, interesting or mildly entertaining, please share it!