Local Backup vs Cloud Backup: Definition, Advantages, Disadvantages

You can learn the definition of local backup vs cloud backup and their advantages and disadvantages so that you can know which is more suitable for you. Please read on.


by Clytze Updated on October 27, 2022

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What Are Local Backup and Cloud Backup?

Cloud backup is also called online backup, which allows you to backup your files and data online to a cloud server. The common cloud storage platforms are Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox, etc. Most cloud servers offer 5GB of storage space for free. After the limit is exceeded, you will need to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to use the service.

Local backup is also known as traditional backup, which allows you to backup your data to local devices such as hard drives, flash drives, CDs, external hard drives, etc. Local backup has been in existence for a long time and is a frequently used backup method by many users.

Local Backup VS Cloud Backup

Advantages and Disadvantages: Local Backup vs Cloud Backup

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of local backup and cloud backup? You can read on to learn their respective strengths and weaknesses so that you can find out which backup method is more suitable for you.

Local Backup Advantages and Disadvantages

Many people are curious about what is an advantage of doing a local backup compared to an online backup. And this article summarizes the most common advantages for you as follows.

  • Fast recovery of large amounts of data: Because local backups don't rely on Internet connection, recovering large amounts of data from local backups is much faster than from cloud backups.
  • Manage drives directly: Local backup allows you to directly manage all your backups and directly control the access to your data. In addition, local backups protect your data from being exposed to third-party servers.
  • Support multiple local storage devices: You can choose different local devices according to your own needs, such as internal hard drives, USB flash drives, external disks, etc.

Of course, there are some disadvantages of local backup as follows.

  • Impossible to resist physical damage: If the local device where your backups are stored is physically damaged, such as by fire, water or theft, then your local backups will be lost without a trace.
  • Vulnerable to cyber attacks: When your system is under cyber attack especially ransomware attack, if you are not willing to pay the the ransom, then your local backups are most probably deleted.
  • Not easily scalable: It is known that the storage capacity of local devices is limited. If you want to expand your local backup, then you need to buy more storage devices to support a larger amount of backup data.

Cloud Backup Advantages and Disadvantages

If you still don't know how to choose, you can read on to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of cloud backup. Traditional backup vs cloud backup, the cloud backup has the advantages below.

  • Save money: Subscribing to a cloud backup service can save more money than purchasing multiple local storage devices, especially for users who need to backup large amounts of data.
  • Enables fast disaster recovery: When you perform the cloud backup, even if your local backup is physically damaged by accident or lost due to accidental deletion, you can use the cloud backup for a timely recovery.
  • Access your data anytime: Cloud backup allows you to access your data anytime on different devices, you just need to log in to your cloud account. The files in the cloud drive are automatically updated and synced when the network is connected.
  • Scalability: The storage of Cloud Drive is unlimited, so you can always expand the amount of data in cloud backup according to your needs.

The cloud backup vs local backup, it also has some disadvantages as below.

  • Long download time: If you need to download a full cloud backup to the local, it may take a long time, ranging from a few hours to a few days. This depends on your internet broadband and the amount of data.
  • Possible data loss at the end of cloud service contract: If you decide to cancel your contract, you can download your cloud backups. Be sure to check how long the cloud provider will retain your data after the contract is canceled.

Local Backup vs Cloud Backup: Which One Is Better?

Since both local backup and cloud backup have their own benefits and drawbacks, which one is better? In fact, a combination of local and cloud backup is the best. It is a reliable way to achieve a flexible, cost-effective and secure backup strategy.

By using both backup methods together, you can get the faster backup speeds and greater control that local backups provide as well as the flexibility and stronger protection against physical disasters that cloud backups bring. The hybrid approach will protect your data from any unexpected situations.

The Best Solution for Performing Both Local Backup and Cloud Backup

The best solution to combine local backup and cloud backup is to use the free professional backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard to help you. It offers 4 backup solutions (System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup and File Backup) to meet your different needs. It also has these advantages as below.

  • Local Backup: The Software allows you to backup files to multiple local devices such as local disk, HDD, SSD, USB drive, external disk, etc.
  • Cloud Backup: It also supports backing up files to the different clouds such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. You can also backup files to AOMEI Cloud directly if you have an AOMEI account.
  • Schedule backupYou can perform a scheduled backup with fixed intervals such as Daily, Weekly and Monthly.
  • Incremental backup: It supports an incremental backup method that will only backup the changed parts to save time and storage space.
  • Different systems: It supports different Windows operating systems, such as Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11, XP, Vista, etc.

Then you can follow the graphic tutorial to perform a local backup or a cloud backup with just a few clicks.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch the software. Select Backup > File Backup.

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File Backup

Step 2. Click Add File or Add Folder, then select the files or folders that you want to backup.

Add Folders Files

Step 3. Click the inverted triangle at the right edge of the second bar and choose a destination location for your backup. If you want to perform a local backup, you can select a local device. While if you want to perform a cloud backup, you can select a cloud drive.

Select Destination

Tip: You can also backup files to AOMEI Cloud directly if you have an AOMEI account and don't want to install the desktop app for cloud drive. And it still offers you 1TB of free cloud storage in 15 days. Please go back to Step 1 and select Cloud Backup as instead.

Step 4. Confirm all your operations and click Start Backup to perform a local backup or cloud backup.

Start Backup


  • Options: It allows you to compress or split an image file and enable email notification.
  • Schedule: It supports setting a backup task to run automatically at fixed intervals as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger and USB plug in. The last two are available in the Pro version.
  • Scheme: You can choose different backup methods (Full Backup, Incremental Backup and Differential Backup) to run your backup tasks. The last two methods can help you save target location space, because they only backup the changed parts. And you can enable Automatic Backup Cleanup feature, it can help you delete older backups automatically. You can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or higher versions to enjoy them.


This article gives you the definition of local backup and cloud backup and their advantages and disadvantages. The best way is to use a mixture of both backup methods. The free backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard can help you achieve the goal.

It allows you to backup files to local devices or cloud drives so you can choose the device you want. It also allows you to set a fixed frequency to run scheduled backups. If you need to backup a large number of files, its incremental backup feature can help you only backup the changed parts to save disk space. 

Besides, it is also an excellent restore software. If you have any problems with your computer, you can restore the backup imge and make the computer back to the previous state. If you want to restore the system to another computer with different hardware, its Universal Restore feature can help you. You can download this software to explore more features.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.