What You Need to Know about Cloud Storage

cloud storageDo you still rely on your USB drive to save files that you want to access and edit later on? Is burning your photos and videos into a CD your only idea of backing up files? It’s about time you give cloud storage a try. To store your files in the cloud means storing your documents, photos, videos and other files on remote online servers. These servers are made available to you by cloud storage providers, the most popular of which include Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, Google Drive and SkyDrive.

Advantages of Cloud Storage Services

Why should you use cloud storage sites if you can keep and back up your data using a second hard drive or other portable storage devices such as CDs, DVDs and flash drives? You can always keep a backup of your files using portable storage devices. It is even recommended that you have your own personal backups. Unfortunately, CDs, flash drives and hard drives are prone to getting lost, damaged or corrupted, so it helps if you have other backups other than the ones you keep at home or in your office. You wouldn’t also want theft, flood and other unforeseen circumstances result in you losing your valuable files.  The easiest way to secure your files is to keep backups in your cloud storage account.

Where to Store Your Files Online

Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, SugarSync, SkyDrive, Adriveand Mega are just examples of cloud storage providers where you can sign up for an account. Most of these cloud storage sites provide an initial of free storage allowance which varies. Box, for example, gives an initial of 5 GB free space while Mega gives 50 GB. Some providers, on the other hand, can give you additional storage allowance for free if you refer friends to sign up and use their service such as in the case of Dropbox.

What Files can you Store in the Cloud?

You can store almost all kinds of files to your cloud storage account as long as you comply with the provider’s terms and conditions. You can upload your music files, videos and eBooks in the cloud so you can easily access them remotely or using your different devices. You can also store documents online so you won’t have to always bring your laptop or send yourself an online fax to have access to documents that you are working on.

Cloud Storage Limit

You won’t likely exceed the free storage limit if you only intend to use your account to store documents, a few images and small files but in case you managed to use up your free storage allowance, you can always upgrade your account. If you don’t want to spend money on cloud storage services, you should pay attention to your storage limit.  If you have a lot of files that you want to backup online, choose a cloud service provider that can provide you with a bigger free storage allowance. You can also spread your files across different cloud storage providers.

Things to Remember when Using Cloud Storage Services

Many cloud storage providers protect their users’ data by storing the files in an encrypted network. It still helps to remain vigilant though.  Secure your files by encrypting them before uploading and storing them in the cloud. You can use encrypting tools such as Cloudfogger and BoxCryptor. You should also change your password regularly and remember not to use the same password that you have already used in your other online accounts. It also helps if you password protect the documents you store in the cloud, especially those that contain sensitive data.

 

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