Cloud Backup vs Cloud Storage: What’s the Difference?

There is much debate between cloud storage vs cloud backup, especially in recent years. However, many business owners often confuse the terms with each other.

This is because while both terms may sometimes be used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings.

Each of them serves a purpose, and you might need both, depending on your business’s backup strategy.

For many business owners, not knowing how these two terms differ or why they’re necessary could cost them when they need them the most.

Continue reading to understand the differences between these two cloud terms, cloud storage and cloud backup.

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup (or online backup) is designed to automatically back up your files, applications, or servers. It then stores them safely for disaster recovery purposes.

Cloud backup services are usually subscription-based and require a monthly or annual fee, although some providers offer lifetime accounts with a one-time payment. 

It is recommended for businesses with large amounts of data as well as organisations that need to consistently have automatic and frequent backups of their information.

However, while it is ideal for day-to-day storing and file sharing, cloud backups are still vulnerable to file loss or corruption, for example:

  • Someone might accidentally delete a shared file without knowing
  • Malware may corrupt your devices and files, which will also impact your data stored in the cloud 
  • You might not store all of your files in the cloud storage (to stay under your size limit), which means that your data will be at risk should something happen to your endpoint devices

Read More: What can Aegis Cloud Disaster Recovery (CDR) Do for You?

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage, on the other hand, makes files accessible from any device or location. Your uploaded documents are hosted online, making it easy to collaborate with others in real-time.

Popular cloud storage options include Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.

However, there is no guarantee that your files will be safe. If a cloud storage provider’s server goes down, you may never have access to your files again.

This is because most cloud storage providers do not offer an automated process for uploading or syncing files between your computer and their service.

You would have to manually upload your files to the cloud or place them in a shared folder to be synced. 

Therefore, while cloud storage is an effective way to share your documents, it isn’t the best solution to back up your business-critical applications and documents.

Choosing Your Ideal Cloud Storage Solution

If you are unsure if a cloud storage or a cloud backup solution is best for your business’s needs and requirements, here are several questions you can ask yourself:

  • Are my team members increasingly mobile and working from multiple environments? 
  • How easily can they collaborate on and share documents? 
  • Do we have large stores of accumulating transactional data and growing archives with creeping operational costs?
  • What happens when a workstation, laptop, or server fails?
  • How long should we retain database backups?

Once you decide between cloud backup vs cloud storage, or both, compare how well they fit with your business and data requirements, such as:


If you work in an industry with rigorous regulatory and compliance rules, such as healthcare, you may think that storing data in a cloud service is a troublesome process.

However, most cloud storage and backup services have accommodated such requirements.

For instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires cloud providers to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) and adhere to data and physical data centre security and location requirements. 


Support can vary significantly between services. What may seem like the right cloud service for your organisation in terms of features may be lacking in the support you need.

Determine what support levels are available for the service and the costs involved should a problem arise.


Evaluate how your users will access the cloud service and whether it provides them with the appropriate devices and operating systems.

Read More: Reality Check: Time to ask these hard questions to your current Backup / DR provider

Keep Your Data Safe with Aegis

While there are some similarities between cloud backup and cloud storage, they are designed for very different purposes.

Cloud backup backs up all your data and stores it safely, ensuring easy restoration and business continuity.

However, cloud storage focuses on usability and accessibility. This helps you easily store your files and share them with other devices.

With two completely different purposes, you will likely need to seek both solutions. This includes making full use of the benefits in cloud backup vs cloud storage solutions when running your business. 

Aegis Disaster Recovery-As-A-Service (DRaaS) is a simplified but effective managed cloud disaster recovery service. DRaaS utilises cloud resources to help businesses avoid downtime during a disaster.

It includes:

  • Free unlimited cloud DR resources
  • Complimentary DR seats
  • A dedicated Aegis DR drill team

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