When you store your data in the cloud you are creating a virtual hard drive for your files. Instead of physically having to go out and purchase an external hard drive, you simply pay for an account with a storage cloud company.
Just trying to visualise this concept can be difficult for people to grasp. Plus it could be part of the reason why many people are still unsure of using this type of technology.
The best way to look at cloud storage is to imagine hundreds of servers scattered around the world. These servers are then rented out by users who store their data on them.
Some of the most popular cloud storage options today include Amazon S3, DropBox, Box, Onedrive and Google Drive. They offer different options for their users but they do have several things in common.
1. They regularly update their servers and use the latest in security technology.
2. Can be accessed from any location worldwide.
3. Many offer access from various types of devices including your mobile phones.
4. You pay for only the space you use.
5. You can upload and download data.
6. Allow data to be shared easily.
Of course, you can choose to store your own data yourself. This entails the use of different devices such as buying an external hard drive to backup your data or by using USB sticks. While these are good alternative choices they have still been known to fail. Have you ever used a USB stick that suddenly couldn’t be read anymore? Your data is lost forever.
Even if you do use any of the above methods using cloud storage as an additional backup couldn’t hurt. Depending on the amount of storage space you require, a free account from somewhere such as Dropbox could be sufficient.
The launch of Windows 8 in 2012 brought cloud storage services into the forefront again. Microsoft included Skydrive (now known as Onedrive in Windows 10) in their operating system which is influencing users to try additional cloud storage methods. In 2015, Apple came to the party and launched iCloud Drive. Having the ability to remotely access data is proving to be extremely popular.
Another advantage of using services such as Onedrive or Google Drive is that even if you lose your internet connection you can still access and work on your files.
So if you are nervous about using cloud storage why not start off by using them as an additional backup solution for your most valuable documents and photos? And then as your confidence in the technology grows, you can start using cloud storage as your primary storage option.
If you have any questions about using cloud storage, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.