Using an Internet hard drive, or cloud-based storage, has advantages and disadvantages. Although you'll have access to your files from anywhere with an Internet connection, you could lose access if your connection goes down and you don't have the files stored locally. You may have to pay a monthly fee for access to cloud-based storage, which could be more expensive in the long run than purchasing an internal or external hard drive.

Cost of Services

One main disadvantage of cloud-based storage is the recurring monthly fees you'll have to pay if you sign-up for service. Some providers do offer free storage up to a certain amount, but charge once you go over. As of October 2013, Google Drive charges $50 monthly and IDrive charges $210 per year for 1TB of storage, while Mozy charges $10 a month for 125GB. It could be cheaper to buy an external hard drive if all you want to do is back up your files; many hard drives with 1TB of storage cost less than $100. However, backups that you keep on your site are vulnerable to any local disaster that affects your main computer equipment, such as fire or theft. The monthly fee buys you an additional location for, not just an additional copy of, your files.

Privacy Implications

In addition to the cost and technical issues that could arise when using cloud-based storage, take into consideration the privacy implications. Any data that you transmit over the Internet is potentially susceptible to the prying eyes of others. Although many services offer data encryption and security measures, you're at their mercy because the files are transmitted and stored on their servers.