The Revolution Of Cloud Computing: 5 Common Cloud Storage Services Available Online
Google is no longer the only kid on the cloud computing block. In fact, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and even private parties are entering into the cloud storage industry, and rather aggressively. The race is on for these cloud storage services to bring in the most customers and attract the most attention, but who is the best of the best? Answering this question is not as simple as one might hope. In fact, there’s a lot more to selecting the best cloud storage company than meets the eye. This is because cloud storage is customized to users based on their distinct needs, which means while a certain cloud storage may be perfect for one individual, it might not work well for another.
What Is the Cloud?
Cloud storage involves storing data and media files over the Internet rather than on a hard-drive. By doing so, users can access their data from anywhere and at any time – often without a computer present. Cloud computing used to be marketed primarily to business owners, but now it is used by all kinds of businesses and individuals who want accessible storage.
Cloud Services Available
There are hundreds of cloud services available today, a fact which does not make it any easier for users to select a cloud storage provider that fits their needs.
Today, some popular cloud service providers include:
Some Features to Consider When Comparing Cloud Services
Cloud services offer a variety of capabilities, features and security measures, which means users must first determine what they need when it comes to storage.
Worry-Free Storage – Some cloud storage providers offer a worry-free storage option. This means that a user can save a document, take a picture or even record a song, and everything is automatically transferred and saved to a cloud storage file rather than a hard-drive or phone storage. Apple’s iCloud is a prime example of this worry-free type of storage. Apple’s iCloud operates in the background, automatically storing and saving information to the cloud without the user having to make any extra effort. Furthermore, Apple iCloud does an automatic backup to the cloud, which means if an Apple device crashes, it will have a backup already created and stored online.
Free vs. Paid Storage – Most cloud storage providers offer some sort of free storage option. However, the amount of storage provided with these free accounts can vary. Dropbox provides its users with over 2GB of free storage, and as users invite additional folder users, their free storage capacity is increased. In other words, users are rewarded with more storage just for inviting more users to their cloud. Windows Live cloud storage provides 25GB of free storage, but users must first create a Windows Live account. Google offers 1GB of free online storage for documents and additional free storage for photographs, music and more.
Security – Most free cloud storage options have the same level of security as paid accounts. The only difference is that once the storage runs out, users are forced to upgrade or start deleting items from their cloud.
By John Simmons