Should I move my hard disk to the cloud?

Is your data better off in the cloud than on a hard disk drive like this one?

Whether you have a terabyte worth of vacation photos or a host of sensitive documents sitting on your computer, you want to keep your data safe, secure and accessible. A big part of achieving these goals is choosing where your data will live. Should you rely on your computer's hard drive? Is an external hard drive for backup purposes necessary? Or should you shift all your data to the cloud?

Cloud storage has been making headlines for a few years now. The concept is pretty simple. You access the service through an Internet-connected device, pulling up whichever files you need at the time. Those files reside on servers that could potentially be thousands of miles or kilometers away.

There are dozens of companies that offer some form of cloud storage. Some even allot users a certain amount of storage space for free. With all the competition in the market, customers can shop around for the deal that makes the most sense for them. All of this is good news for people interested in cloud storage, but is it actually a good idea?

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of cloud storage and why backing up your data is critical.