Our gadgets have become personal memory storage devices for a lot of different types of data. We store our photos, music, videos, files, and all other types of information in them using three different methods: internal storage, microSD card, or cloud storage. But when you run out of internal storage, where do you turn: MicroSD or cloud storage? Are there any advantages one has over the other?
There are a lot of advantages to using cloud storage over the use of older technology like memory cards, one of the most prominent being that as long as you primarily use cloud storage you’ll always have a back-up without having to remember to manually transfer data and information from device to device. I can’t begin to count how many times I have seen friends, family, customers, or even myself get frustrated because I forgot to make a backup of my microSD card in my computer and all of the sudden one morning the microSD card decides it wants to stop working. Or that one time you take the microSD card out and you scratch it in just the right way so that you’ll never see your precious data again. If it’s never happened to you, count your blessings; it’s an aggravating situation.
However, I do like microSD cards for the fact that you have that peace of mind that your saved data isn’t flying around somewhere on the Internet, unbeknownst to you. However, just because your data isn’t lurking around the web doesn’t mean that it’s not prone to being stolen or missing. If you’re phone gets stolen, you’re likely going to get your memory card stolen too – unless you get one of those really nice and clever muggers that have enough time to make off with your phone and leave your microSD card in its place. If they make off with a phone that deals with cloud storage, they’ll need to know your ID and password in order to do anything with your data – which you also fortunately have access to from other Internet-enabled devices.
While cloud storage does sound great form a lot of standpoints there are also negatives to using them. Along with any other online service you can never be 100% sure that your data and information is completely safe, especially because your data rests between your hands and the hands of another company. While I personally haven’t run into any problems (that I know of) of leaked information or data, it’s not completely unheard of. One of the more popular cloud storage services, Dropbox, admitted to being hacked back in July of 2012, which resulted in users receiving spam e-mails and a few accounts getting unauthorized access from said hackers. After hearing about this, I was pretty turned off by the idea of cloud storage in general.
But then I remembered that having a phone that uses a microSD card as a form of expandable memory is just as dangerous as cloud storage can be – and realistically, which is easier? Finding an exploit through a major software company to access accounts or swiping a phone off of the table from a distracted owner? If I had to guess, the latter of the two would be easier than the first. Then again, as mentioned before, most people who steal phones likely aren’t stealing it for your photos and music – which is mostly what gets stored on microSD cards anyway. Having your Dropbox or Google Drive hacked usually means somebody is trying to get ahold of your information. Regardless, in the end, neither one is 100% safe from theft.
Realistically, the only way to avoid having our data and information stolen is to simply not having any data or information available on any device at all. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people reading this website, you probably have something personal floating around on a website or device somewhere.
Personally, I utilize both options in my devices. I use cloud storage on my iPhone, which has no microSD card slot, and I use microSD and cloud storage on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. If you have both options, you might as well use them. While microSD can’t provide you with cross-platform access like some cloud storage services can, it can give you more memory available on your device for all that music, your movies, and games that you might be using your device for; not to mention it won't eat up your data. Cloud storage, on the other hand, is useful for other purposes like providing external storage for devices that don’t have microSD card slots or accessing data across multiple platforms.
It’s clear that both methods certainly have their advantages and disadvantages, but now I want to hear from you, readers: Which method do you prefer, if any? Do you use both, or prefer to use only one? What are your thoughts on each method? Give a sista a shout in the comments below!