Most of us have our personal data such as documents, photos, music collections, video collections, etc stored on the hard drives of our PCs. The data is safe there as long as the PCs do not have any problems. In scenarios like hardware failure, virus attacks, system failure, theft, etc, we are certain to lose our valuable data unless they are backed up. And these types of undesired incidents and consequent data loss are common these days. A perfect solution to ensure the safety of our data is using online backup solutions or cloud solutions. To know what is cloud storage, read further.
Online backup solutions
The online backup solution, more often known as cloud storage, is a perfect and popular solution for in-house data storage. Cloud storage is becoming increasingly popular among individual users as well as enterprise users.
What is cloud storage?
If you aren’t familiar with online data storage solutions or cloud storage, you are certainly wondering what is cloud storage. While using a cloud storage service for data backup, a user or enterprise depends on the shared infrastructure offered by the service provider for storing his/her data. Cloud storage is rather cheaper as compared to in-house storage solutions. Here are some of the advantages of cloud storage.
Easy to handle
Cloud storage is easy to handle. It is as simple as managing a webmail service. To use a cloud service, you should have a cloud account with a unique username and password. You use these login credentials to do anything with your cloud account, say upload data, download data or share data.
Cloud storage offers increased flexibility as compared to other storage options. For instance, external storage solutions are mostly regarded as the best solutions for data backup. But, you can’t share your data on the external storage device without anyone you wish. Similarly, you can’t access the data stored on your external storage device from anywhere unless you have the device with you.
Ideal for file sharing and collaboration
One of the best advantages that cloud storage entails is that it enables file sharing and file-collaboration. It is a feature that is exclusive to cloud storage.
Cloud storage offers maximum security for the data. There are multiple cloud services that users can choose from, from free services to premium services. It is upon the user to decide what type of cloud service he should go for after considering his specific usage requirements.
The Best Online Storage for Saving Your Files
We live in an era where everything is digital to make data available anywhere and anytime. It has become easier than ever before to share photos, files, and other resources at no cost and use them as and how we please. Hence, with the latest developments, there are different service providers who offer storage space online to store media and files. They also offer online backup.
With the help of the free online media storage, people are able to access files and folders almost instantly. The only requirement is a stable internet connection and a computer or mobile; you will be able to access the files stored in these storage spaces with much ease. The best thing about these providers is that they have an app for every device we use, to enable uniform browsing on all the devices.
There are many advantages of choosing an online backup service over traditional backup storage. Actually, there is nothing wrong in choosing to store data in a hard drive but the fact is that the storage is limited in such conventional methods.
The risk of losing data is less when it comes to online backup. Storing files and folders online assures that the data is safe and secure. Moreover, the best cloud storage providers would see that the data is encrypted while it is uploaded to online storage, to make sure data is safe. It is important for the service provider to see that they make use of the best architecture that would ensure the safety of media and files. Many copies are made at different locations. Hence, even if the current server fails, they will have a server backup that would help to resume back to normal.
They aid in easy sharing. From now on, sharing will be easier than before, as the service providers have adopted simplified methods. Earlier there were limitations with data sharing since they used to be on physical storage devices. But with online storage, you will be able to share data with anyone at any time. Since all the accounts are interlinked, you can share data from any account.
File organization is done automatically, leaving the customers without the trouble of organizing the same. The system is enhanced such that it is able to recognize the type of data and put it into appropriate folders. This helps you in easy sharing. Go ahead and choose the best cloud storage service that meets your specific requirements.
Important Things to Look for in a Cloud Storage Provider
Usually, when you sign up for the service, you will get storage space on the cloud service provider’s servers. Most of the time, cloud service providers offer you the ability to access files as if it was a hard drive or folder on your system.
This looks similar to the way you are accessing shared drives at the office system. The cloud service generally works by having a local copy of the file or folder synchronized with the copy in the cloud online. There are certain options, in which users may be allowed to have direct access to the file in the cloud. This way, you will not need a local copy. This will help you save your precious disk space and is very handy for tablet and smartphone users.
Before choosing an online cloud storage provider, there are certain things you need to consider. Here they are:
Actually, security is one of the main reasons why many people are going to cloud storage. There nothing more important than security, it always comes first as the topmost priority. Cloud service providers have many mechanisms to secure your data. A data stored in the cloud is probably more secure than your local media and disk.
Moreover, you will hardly lose it; because there might be many copies of the data in the cloud on various servers. When we are talking about security, we are considering important things such as data encryption and password controlled access. The problem with most online cloud storage services is that they only accept unencrypted documents of certain types. But, password protection feature is available.
Storage providers have a better ability backup your data than you do. But, you can improve protection by keeping another copy of your important data off-site. This, in a way, improves reliability. Depending on the type of data you are storing, many cloud storage providers provide this amazing facility to keep archival copies of your important data. This way, you can easily roll back earlier versions of your data whenever required.
Portability and accessibility
Portability and accessibility of information is a huge factor favoring cloud storage. All you need is constant internet connectivity and you can access your file from anywhere in the world using any device.
If your cloud storage provider offers all the above things, then you can go for it. Choosing a quality cloud storage service may not be difficult. It is best to sign up with a few of the top cloud providers and get started right away!
Introducing Apple iCloud Service
Cloud computing is turning out to be the next big thing in information technology. Most IT firms with deep pockets have already entered the market offering affordable cloud storage subscriptions to the users to lure in as many customers as they can. Big tech firms like Google, Microsoft and Apple are using their already popular operating system platforms to take their cloud storage services to the users. The Apple cloud storage service, iCloud, is a good example.
Benefits of subscribing to the iCloud storage service
There are many benefits to using the cloud storage service offered as a part of the operating system. For example, if you are using an iPhone and have stored some file to your iCloud storage account, then you can access the same files on any of your other Apple computer devices. The files will be synced automatically across all the Apple devices you have connected to that iCloud account.
All users running iOS 10 or higher on their systems can use the Apple cloud storage service for free by simply signing up for it. Every such user will get a free online storage space of 5 GB. You can expand this storage space available in your account according to your requirements by signing up for their annual or monthly subscription plans.
The subscription rates are very much affordable. The monthly rate for 50 GB is $0.99/month; for 200 GB, it is $2.99/month, and 2 TB plan is $9.99/month. You can switch from a monthly subscription plan to an annual subscription, which will give you even more affordable rates.
You can use the backup settings provided in iOS and link it to your iCloud storage account. Files stored in the selected folders will then be automatically backed up to the iCloud account by syncing the folders. You can then access these files on-the-go on your iPhone or iPad.
With Apple iCloud Drive, you can activate it through the Apple app store. iCloud Drive works smoothly in your system syncing all your photos, bookmarks, music files, reminders, applications, notes, contacts, iBooks, etc to your iCloud account. There is even a feature that automatically uploads a photo from your iPhone, soon after it is taken, thus making it available on your other Apple devices in a matter of minutes.
Introducing Google Drive Storage
Nowadays, most of the companies and business organizations tend to use various Cloud storage services in order to store their data. Because of such popularity, you can find several such cloud storage services offering various services and packages. One such storage service that is offered by the search giant Google is Google Drive or Google Cloud storage. In fact, Google Drive is similar to other cloud storage services like Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Apple’s iCloud and Dropbox. There are quite a few advantages offered by this cloud storage service, let’s take a look at them.
By using Google Drive, you will be able to create, share and store any data or documents. The most interesting part is that all the processes can be carried out online and moreover, you will be able to share these files with your friends at any time. You will be able to upload all types of files, including your photos, videos, PDFs, Google Docs etc. You can access these files either from your computer or by using a mobile app. Initially, when you sign up, you will get 15 GB of free storage space, which is enough for personal purposes.
If you need Google Drive, all you have to do is to navigate to the website drive.google.com and download it. Whenever you put any files onto this drive, it will automatically synchronize with all your devices including tablets and smartphones. In fact, Google Drive is compatible with all types of operating systems, including Windows, Android and Mac. Therefore, you can access your files by using a screen reader no matter which platform you are making use of.
Another important feature of Google Drive is that it provides you the option to search for any files that are stored in it easily and very quickly. You can search for files using a specific keyword
and you can filter the results by either file type or by owner. Moreover, the Optical Character
Recognition feature, which is included in the Google Drive, will allow you to search scanned documents and the search giant is working hard to improve this feature.
The most interesting part of choosing Google Drive is the fact that you do not need to pay any fees for the initial 15GB space. If you need more storage space, then all you need to pay is a small additional charge. You will be able to get 1TB of storage space for just $9.99 per month. Thus, Google cloud storage is one of the best options that you can consider if you are planning to go cloud for the first time.
Introducing Microsoft Cloud Storage
Cloud storage happens to be a type of data storage facility in which all the digital data is allocated inside logical pools. You can also see that the physical storage capacity spans over numerous locations. The physical environment of the cloud storage facility is often managed by the hosting company.
The hosting company has the complete responsibility to keep the cloud data accessible and available to the customers. People purchase online cloud storage from these facilitators to store their online data. Nowadays, numerous cloud service providers are out there that can provide you with top-notch cloud storage facilities. Microsoft cloud storage is, in fact, one of the most leading and trustworthy cloud storage facilitators that we have around us these days.
Microsoft cloud storage provides you with various types of cloud storage space. The best part is that the cloud storage facility is compatible with computers with Windows, Android and the Apple OS. Even though Microsoft SkyDrive (now called OneDrive) was officially launched in the year of 2007, leading cloud service facilitators such as iCloud and Google Drive continued their monopoly in this segment until the Windows 8 OS was launched into the market in the year of 2012. This proved to be a great revival for the OneDrive cloud storage. One of the striking advantages of OneDrive is that you will be able to save a large number of multimedia files and document files and share them across computers that run with Windows and other operating systems.
It is interesting to know that you will also be able to get free cloud storage of 5GB from Microsoft. The basic requirement to subscribe to the free cloud storage space is to create a valid and individual Microsoft account. Microsoft also provides numerous service packages for its OneDrive cloud storage service. You will be able to get started with the basic 5GB of free cloud space. By making an additional payment of $1.99/month, you will be able to extend your cloud space to 50GB. More cloud storage spaces are available for 1TB and 5TB with a little more monthly cost.
Another major benefit of OneDrive is that the cloud storage facility is compatible with operating systems other than Microsoft Windows. You can use your Android devices for accessing Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage. All you have to do is download the cloud storage App from the Google Play store.