The Key Differences between Edge Computing & Cloud Computing

Edge computing vs cloud computing

In recent years, two major trends in computing have emerged: edge computing and cloud computing. These concepts may seem similar at first glance, but they are certainly very different. Edge computing aims to move more of a device’s computation closer to its users. On the other hand, cloud computing offloads processing tasks from individual devices and distributes them across multiple servers in remote data centres.

Of course, both technologies have unique business applications, but it is necessary to recognise their key differences. According to the Harvard Business Review report “The State of Cloud-Driven Transformation,” 83% of survey respondents believe the cloud is critical to their organisation’s future strategy and growth. Meanwhile, Gartner predicts that the percentage of organisations that have adopted edge use cases in production will jump from roughly 5% in 2019 to over 40% in 2024.

Table of Contents

  • What exactly is edge computing?
  • What exactly is cloud computing?
  • How does the edge contrast with the cloud?
  • Similarities between cloud and edge
  • Which is better: edge computing or cloud computing?

What exactly is edge computing?

Edge computing enables real-time data interaction by moving some of your data analytics closer to the data source. This might be your phone, a city-wide sensor, or a node on your home Wi-Fi network.


The purpose of edge computing is to reduce transmission lag and boost connectivity. As a result, server effort is minimised, and users get faster access.

Advantages of Edge Computing

One of the prime benefits of edge computing is lower latency, which results in more responsive applications and services. Other advantages include:

Timely, local insights 

Edge computing allows you to analyse data locally and detect patterns in real-time, which is considerably faster than any standard cloud service. Furthermore, this technique uses very little bandwidth to generate these insights.

Reduced data transmission costs

The devices used for analysis in edge computing are close to where your customers—or your sensors—are located. So there’s no need to settle for expensive data transfer when your computing power is already as close as possible.

Reduced bandwidth

Application logic happens within localised data centres in some subsets of edge computing, such as fog computing. This can provide several benefits, including increased security and reduced latency due to proximity.

What exactly is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a remote hosting service that allows users to access and run programmes over the internet. This removes the need for expensive in-house servers to be purchased and maintained. The most appealing aspect of cloud computing is its scalability. If your business expands or becomes more active, you may easily scale up your resources without acquiring additional hardware.

The Advantages of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has numerous advantages, from data centralisation to access to cutting-edge hardware. Another advantage of cloud computing is:

Accessible from any location

You can access your cloud data from anywhere globally as long as you have an internet connection and a device (mobile or otherwise). It makes no difference if your firm has dedicated IT staff—you can collaborate effectively because everything will sync across devices within your organisation.

More storage space

As your business grows, you can quickly extend your storage requirements using cloud computing. The only limitation to your storage space is how much money you have.

Pricing flexibility

Budgeting is made easier using cloud computing. Most cloud computing companies offer a pay-as-you-go strategy that may be swiftly changed to meet changing needs.

How does the edge contrast with the cloud?

Edge systems have a few fundamental drawbacks compared to the cloud: they are less secure, adaptable, and scalable.

However, there are some advantages to using edge solutions. For example, latency in remote cloud systems might be extremely high compared to local edge systems. If you’re transmitting messages between data centres, you’ll probably observe faster performance if your data centre is near the edge rather than far away.

Similarities between cloud and edge

The key difference between edge and cloud computing is that both entail providing apps to people via a network. They do so in various ways, but they all use similar high-level delivery tactics. Among these parallels are:


Although edge computing is less flexible than cloud computing, they share some advantages. Both, for example, make it simple to access your data via an internet connection.


These two platforms are also cost-effective because they allow you to outsource your application hosting requirements. Instead, your applications are hosted by service providers who keep them online and up to date. This means you won’t have to pay separate fees for hosting and application development—these simple systems will handle everything.


Finally, both options allow for organisational mobility. You can access your data as long as you have a device with an internet connection. Furthermore, you will not lose data when switching to a new system. All your data will be preserved, from the cloud to the edge or vice versa.

Which is better: edge computing or cloud computing?

Both cloud computing and edge computing have advantages and disadvantages, and both will be used in tandem in the future. Finally, the best solution for you is determined by your specific needs, where you live, and how much access and authority you want over your data.

The good news is that combining cloud and edge computing gives us the best of both worlds. These two significant technological advances complement each other extremely well. Each solves a different set of problems, compensating for the weaknesses or limitations of the other.


Combining these two technologies offers companies a scalable IT strategy that provides unparalleled flexibility, efficiency, and cost savings. Businesses that want the most out of their infrastructure should pursue an intelligent hybrid model that combines the true power of IoT services‘ transformative and innovative possibilities to accomplish growth and success.


Categorized as IT