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Should you use cloud storage or external storage for backups? SSD Upgrade Woes and Whoas

Should you use cloud storage or external storage for backups?

Life is shifting to The Cloud(™). Cloud-based storage offers major advantages, including the ability to access your data from anywhere on (or around!) the planet. All you need is a reliable signal or Wifi connection. 

Hard storage, AKA storage you can hold in your hand, offers tons of advantages too, like not needing a data connection and writing files at much faster speeds.

What the heck does any of this have to do with upgrading my Mac’s SSD? Well, everything.


Don’t have time to read the whole blog? Here’s the takeaway: Use external storage to create backups.


Cloud storage is newer, more exciting, and might become the best solution over time. We recommend using external memory today because it’s the most reliable option and will restore your data much faster. Backing up your data is essential to prevent lost data.


Why does this question even matter? Backups are boring! 

First, it’s always good to create a periodic backup. Otherwise, we’re all just one spilled latte away from losing months or even years worth of work. 

Second, you need the backup to restore your computer after you have upgraded your SSD with Feather SSD by Fledging. Your Feather is a brand new SSD with nothing on it except a macOS. It’s eagerly waiting to truly become yours but that can’t happen until you load all the data from your old SSD onto it. 


Got it. Backups matter. So should I create my backup in cloud storage or using an external disk?

Well, it depends.

The argument for external storage

Oh, let us count the ways. 


The data is yours! It lives in a drive in your bag. Cloud services have to be online and accessible, and they make some dubious claims to how they can use your data. 


You can use your backup whenever you want, at speeds that only hardware can match. 

Drives like Shell Slim read/write at 1000 MBps while Shell Thunder read/writes at up to 3000/2500 MBps. Even a slow external drive that uses USB-A/USB 3.1 read/writes at 500 MBps. 

For comparison, the brand new MacBook Pro 2020 (M1)’s Wifi speed is 1300 MBps. And then you need internet access that runs that fast. Most devices more than 1-2 years old are capped at 500 MBps, making them as slow as USB-A/USB 3.1.


Though rare, data breaches do happen even to tech titans like Google and Twitter. If you’ve ever had your password stolen, you know how painful this can be. There’s no way for someone online to hack into your external drive, as long as it’s not connected to a network. This makes external storage perfectly safe, all the time. 


This one’s more of a toss up. External drives aren’t inexpensive. At the same time, there are no monthly or recurring charges for using an external drive, and you don’t have to worry about using up your data plan uploading or downloading massive files. Remember, even a small SSD contains 256GB or more of your vital data. 

The argument for cloud storage


While external drives are ultra-mobile, nothing beats uploading and downloading straight from your device. As long as you have your laptop and a data connection, that’s all you need to create a remote storage backup from anywhere in the world. 


We’ve all lost stuff. This means even an external drive can be lost. It’s much harder to misplace your Google Drive or Dropbox (though, it’s possible!). And cloud storage is less prone to file corruption from physical damage like falls or water.


This one still favors external drives, but we do have to recognize that connection speeds are improving, like with the 2020 MacBook Pro’s 1300 MBps WiFi and the proliferation of gigabit internet. 

So what does Fledging recommend?

It’s your life’s work. Your family photos. That book you’ve been writing. Your monthly paycheck. We recommend trusting the tried-and-true approach, every time.

Use an external drive!

Okay, I’m on board. What exactly does this mean?

  • Snag yourself an external drive big enough to contain your current computer’s entire storage
  • An external SSD enclosure will run faster and be more stable than an external hard drive, and costs are becoming comparable.
  • Once you have that drive, use Apple’s Time Machine function to create a backup of your device.
  • Upgrade your Mac’s SSD with Feather SSD
  • Performance - Faster multitasking and absolute read/write speeds
  • Storage - add up to 2 terabytes of sweet, sweet deep storage
  • Restore your computer with upgraded SSD using your external drive and the Time Machine backup
  • Get back to the fun stuff!

Fledging Team

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