The Disadvantages of Using Online Storage

Updated February 21, 2017

Online data storage is used as an alternative to purchasing local storage space, such as hard drives or removable media like CDs and DVDs. Downloading information to a website, rather than installing a hard drive or constantly changing removable media, can seem more convenient, initially. However, storing your data online has several disadvantages.


According to Online Storage Service Review, online storage can cost as much as £3.20 a month for 100GB of storage space. To maintain that 100GB of space will cost about £39 a year. As of 2010, PC World estimates the cost of a 500GB hard drive to be approximately £45. The hard drive holds five times the storage space, can be used indefinitely, and costs nearly the same. If you store much information, online storage may be cost prohibitive.

Loss of Service

When you store information on a hard drive it remains in storage until you erase the hard drive or a malfunction causes the information to be lost. In the interim, you can backup that information to be stored for later use. If the online storage company you contract with suddenly goes out of business, your data will be lost unless you quickly transfer it.


Information stored on your local hard drive is exposed to Internet hackers whenever you open a port to use the Internet, but the number of hackers looking to break into your system is minuscule compared to the number who target online storage companies. Any company that advertises safe and secure online storage is sure to attract the attention of hackers who will put those claims to the test.

Information Access

When your critical information is stored on a local hard drive, or on removable media you keep stored in your location, you have access to it whenever you want. If you use an online storage company, you could lose access to your information if the company experiences a technical difficulty, if the company website temporarily shuts down for maintenance, or if you lose Internet access.

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About the Author

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.