The terms cloud storage and cloud backup are often wrongly used interchangeably. No wonder the average person is confused about which is which.

Let’s take a brief moment to see if we can once and for all make a clear distinction between those two types of cloud services.

What is the Cloud?

Of course, we first need to define the term cloud. You’ve heard it used over and over again, but what does it mean?

The cloud simply refers to remote servers where you keep data as opposed to your local computer network. In other words, think about the Internet.  If you’ve ever used an Internet-based email provider like Gmail, you’ve used the cloud. Your emails aren’t kept on your local computer but Google’s servers — its cloud.

You’ve been using the cloud all along without giving it much thought.

Now that we have a basic idea of the cloud let’s examine the true difference between cloud storage and cloud backup.

We’ll compare cloud storage to cloud backup by thinking about something we can all relate to — our homes. Let’s first look at cloud storage.

What is Cloud Storage?

Imagine that you accumulated too many items of furniture to fit comfortably in your home. However, you don’t want to get rid of the excess but keep it. You, therefore, decide to rent space at a storage facility where you store your furniture.

If you need any of those items, you can easily access them.

Suppose that a disaster then damaged your home, ruining all of your furniture. The items kept in the storage facility would keep you from being completely without furniture. However, they wouldn’t be an exact replacement for the lost items. The items in the storage facility are simply the things that you didn’t originally have room to keep in your home. The lost items remain lost.

That’s what happens with cloud storage. Your excess files are safe from disaster but not the files kept on your local computer network.

Now let’s examine cloud backup.

What is Cloud Backup?

Imagine once again that you have a home plus a storage facility. But in this scenario, your storage facility isn’t a place to park excess furniture. It’s a place where you store exact replicas of every item in your home. Each time that you bring a new item into your home, its duplicate appears in the storage facility.

Now if a disaster ruins your furniture, you can replace each item with its twin.

True cloud backup creates an up-to-date remote copy of the files on your computer so that if anything goes wrong on your local network, the cloud backup files are immediately available.

Cloud Storage vs. Cloud Backup — Which is Right for You?

Your decision to use either cloud storage or cloud backup or both will depend a great deal upon how critical it is that your business never is without access to its data.

Many business owners choose cloud backup because they realize that any number of mishaps from user error to programming glitches can ruin data. If you have a cloud backup system, you can replace damaged files with copies of the files made before the corruption. Sometimes the swap can be made so seamlessly that you’ll experience little if any disruption in your ability to serve your clients and customers.

Cloud storage, on the other hand, has become commonplace in environments where team members routinely work together on projects. Google Drive is an excellent example of cloud storage in action. Google Drive allows co-workers to share documents in real time.

Discuss Cloud Storage and Cloud Backup with an Expert

Now that you understand the difference between cloud storage and cloud backup you can make an informed decision about which is right for you.

If you have additional questions, and would like to talk to a professional, we’ll be more than happy to discuss the matter with you. Together we’ll find the right solution for your business.