Is cloud storage for you?
Are you tired of carrying around USB drives? Bulky external hard drives? Or maybe you just can’t seem to keep track of which files are on what storage device. Luckily, there is a storage solution for you! Cloud storage is a free (to a limit) internet file hosting service. Cloud storage allows for users to upload files to the ‘cloud’ that can be accessed over the internet from another computer; in some cases, another type of device entirely. This method of storage allows you to upload your files from home and access them at work, on the road on your phone, or at your local coffee shop via your internet enabled tablet.
Advantages of Cloud Storage
- Cloud Storage is a easy solution for small businesses and people looking to work in groups as multiple users can access the same cloud given that they have the log-in information.
- Even if you work on your own on the move or over multiple devices; file sharing via the cloud can save you a lot of time.
- In most cases it’s very cost effective as USB drives and HDD’s can be expensive while cloud storage is free up to a point.
Is Cloud Storage safe?
A fear a storing files on the internet is that your files are ‘out there’ and away from you. Therefore begging the questions of “who can see it?”, “who can change it?”, “when can I access it?”, and generally “is my file safe?”
- Generally who can see your files and who can change them depend on who you give the ability to access it. ie username and password to the account. Pretty safe.
- When you can access you files is dependent on a few factors. Those being the quality and speed of your internet location, and the method of access. However if you share with an unreliable company the physical integrity of your files could change. Such as server failures without backups or bankruptcy.
- The answer to “is your file safe” is up to you and which provider you choose. While it’s never a good idea to store sensitive personal information on the web; if you choose to, pick a cloud service that encrypts files either on upload, or while stored. Or better yet, encrypt it yourself.
Recommended Cloud choices:
- Apple’s iCloud. Offers up to 5 GB free
- Dropbox Cloud storage. Offers up to 2GB plus bonuses up to 18GB free.
- Microsoft’s SkyDrive Cloud. Offers up to 7GB free.
- Amazon’s solution. Offers up to 5GB free.
- Google’s Cloud Storage. Offers up to 15GB free.