By Nicky twitter/ Last Updated July 22, 2021

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External hard drive vs cloud storage: which one wins?

Cloud VS External Hard Drive

In the past, as one of the most used physical storage devices, external hard drive is favored by many users because it is stable and usually has a large capacity. However, with time going by, users gradually realized the shortcomings of external hard drives and turn to cloud storage to get rid of the limitations of external hard drives.

As you may know, external hard drive is prone to breaking down after a long term of use and even a new device could break due to manufacturing defaults. While external hard drives allow you to have your data with you at all times, it also means it can get lost or stolen and even be destroyed in case of a disaster like fire incidents or flood. What’s more, you need to connect it manually with your PC to update your backup each time. If you are running out of storage space, you can only buy an extra device to get more storage space, making it hard to manage your data.

However, with cloud storage, you can access your data from any device easily. And since your data is stored remotely, it is not prone to fire damages or theft. Besides that, most of the cloud storage have scheduled update features to automatically back up file. Furthermore, users can upgrade the cloud storage capacity directly by choosing a plan.

According to the contents above, it is not hard to see that cloud storage is the winner in the battle: external hard drive vs cloud storage and you are suggested to backup data to cloud storage. If you have backed up a large number of data to an external hard drive, you can also backup external hard drive to cloud storage for better security or easier management.

Can I backup external hard drive to Dropbox?

“Hi! I'm working on a school project, and all the files are in an external drive, about 300GB. I registered to Dropbox and found that files on Dropbox can be accessed easier than external hard drives. So, I want to backup all the external hard drive files to Dropbox. Can I backup external hard drive to Dropbox directly? Looking forward to your reply!”

As shown in the aforementioned case, many users who used external hard drive to backup files now register an account of cloud storage and backup files to cloud. As the big three of the cloud storage market, Dropbox has accumulated many users and become one of the most popular backup destinations for an external hard drive.

If you are a Dropbox user and want to backup an external hard drive to it, you can read on and follow the methods below. If you are not a Dropbox user, you can also backup external hard drive to OneDrive, Google Drive, or other cloud storage.

3 Ways to backup external hard drive to Dropbox on Mac and Windows

In the following contents, you will learn how to backup external hard drive to Dropbox on Mac or Windows in three ways. The first way supports you to select and upload files from external hard drive to Dropbox manually. The second and third way can help you automatically backup external hard drive to Dropbox. Please read on and choose one way according to your needs.

Before backing up, please pay attention to the things:

Make sure the storage space in Dropbox is enough for the files you are going to move from external hard drive. Dropbox free account that comes with 2GB, a $9.99/mo account that comes with 1TB, and a $15/user/mo business account that comes with 1TB. If your space is insufficient, you can upgrade your account.

Connect your external hard drive to your Windows PC or Mac and make sure it can be detected. As long as the external hard drive is connected to your computer, Dropbox will treat it as if it is just a regular part of your local storage.

Way 1. Backup external hard drive to Dropbox via website

1. Go to the Dropbox website and sign in to your account.

Dropbox Login

2. In the Dropbox main page, click the “Upload Files” option to upload your files manually. In this way, file size up to 20GB.

Upload Files to Dropbox

Way 2. Backup external hard drive to Dropbox via desktop app

Dropbox desktop app can help you automatically sync files to Dropbox, you just need to download and install Dropbox desktop application on your computer. And then, sign in to your Dropbox account to follow the instruction to set up it.

By default, the "Dropbox" folder will appear on your computer, located at C:\Users\Computer Name\Documents\Dropbox. To back up important files, you just need to directly drag and drop them into the folder and the newly added data will be automatically uploaded to the Dropbox cloud storage.

View Dropbox Through File Explorer

Way 3. Backup external hard drive to Dropbox via a free third-party tool

As we all know, as long as you connect your external hard drive to the computer, it will be recognized as a local hard drive. So, using tools that support PC to Dropbox cloud backup is also a way to backup external hard drive to Dropbox directly. There are many third-party tools like CBackup that allow you to backup your files from PC to Dropbox Cloud.

CBackup is a professional cloud backup service for Windows PCs. Although it offers CBackup Cloud for PC cloud backup, it also supports backing up PC files to third-party cloud storage like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. With it, you can backup files on the external hard drive to Dropbox easily and quickly as long as you connect your external hard drive to computer.

Here, we will take CBackup as an example to show you how to backup external hard drive to Dropbox via a third-party tool:

1. Download CBackup on your computer and install it. Connect the external hard drive to your computer as well. Then, launch CBackup.

2. Open CBackup, create an account, and sign in.

Sign In

3. After logging in, select the "Backup Tasks" tab on the left side and then press the "+ New Task" button to create your backup task.

Create Backup Task

4. Specify the "Task Name", and click the "Add Source" button to choose folders you want to backup. Hit the "Add Destination" button to choose CBackup Cloud as the target location.

Start Backup

Bonus tip: how to increase Dropbox backup space for free?

As you know, Dropbox will sync a copy of all your files to the Dropbox folder on your computer by default. As time passes, you will have more and more files be backed up to the Dropbox cloud. Thus, the storage space will be run out sooner or later. If you want to get more Dropbox backup storage space for free, you can use the CBackup to increase your backup space.

CBackup offers a cloud storage combination feature that allows you to add and merge multiple Dropbox accounts to increase Dropbox backup space. And the more Dropbox accounts you add, the bigger backup space you will get for free with CBackup. If you want to backup more files to Dropbox without paying, you can use CBackup to combine the storage space of Dropbox accounts for free.

Step 1. Add Dropbox Accounts to CBackup

1. Sign in to CBackup app. Click the "My Storage" tab on the left, and press "My Storage" > "Add Cloud", and select "Dropbox" and hit "Add".

Add Dropbox

2. Repeat the step 2 and step 3 to add more Dropbox accounts.

Step 2. Increase Dropbox Storage Space for free

1. Tap "My Storage +" > "New Combined Cloud" subsequently.

Add Combined Cloud1

2. Specify the storage cloud name and tick all the Dropbox accounts you added, and click "Next".

Add Combined Cloud2

Now all your Dropbox accounts have been merged for free, and you could backup external hard drive to Dropbox hybrid cloud storage.

1. Run CBackup and sign in. After logging in, click on the "Backup Tasks" tab to create a new backup task.

2. Click "Add Destination" > "Combined Cloud" > select the combined storage you added cloud as the destination.

Add Destination Combined Cloud

3. Press "Start Backup" to backup external hard drive to Dropbox combined cloud with huge backup space easily and directly.

Start Backup Files To Combined Cloud

Verdict

With the methods above, you can easily backup external hard drive to Dropbox. No matter which way you choose, don’t forget to use CBackup to get more Dropbox backup storage space for free. Besides backup space combination, it can also help you backup files from PC to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or CBackup Cloud with large storage space at a preferential price.