I know what you’re thinking, ‘I already have physical storage devices’, ‘the cloud will use a lot of my data’ so why should you use cloud storage? Because it’s awesome and convenient. Its few drawbacks are made up for by its many advantages and uses.
Truth be told there isn’t that big a difference between physical storage devices and cloud storage, they both carry out the basic function of storing files, so why get on the cloud if it’s not that different from physical storage devices? Well the way cloud storage works is a bit different from your physical storage devices, like your USB sticks and external hard drives. When you upload a file to your cloud account, the file is stored on a server, and every time you access your cloud account, you’re accessing the server through the internet.
Cloud storage can be used for, but is not limited to:
• Backing up important files. Cloud storage is reliable and has very few risks of loss, unless you forget your log in credentials for your cloud account you’re not going to lose your files and in the event of the server crashing – which doesn’t often happen – your files would be restored.
• Synchronizing files between devices. Cloud storage is central, if there was a file you wanted to be able to access from more than one device, you’d keep it on the cloud and because whatever changes you make to the file or your storage in general is reflected on the cloud storage itself, your files on the cloud would always be up to date with the latest changes you made, from any device.
• Sharing files. Like USB flash disks, you can share files from your cloud account to another. Cloud storage services come with a sharing button or feature which lets you share your files or even entire folders with others, some cloud storage services let you share your files with people who don’t even use cloud storage services themselves. An obvious advantage of cloud storage in this case is that you can share files with people on the other side of the planet.
Most email services come with cloud storage services these days, like Gmail’s Drive and Outlook’s OneDrive, for free, so if you have an email account you already have a cloud storage account. The space available on your cloud storage varies depending on your cloud storage service provider, and on the cloud storage package. Usually you’ll get cloud storage for free but you can pay for additional Gigabytes of space.
You don’t necessarily have to toss out all your USB flash disks and external hard drives, just because you have cloud storage, if anything it might be a good idea to use and balance all available storage technologies in whatever manner of your liking. With the capabilities and convenience of storing your files on the cloud why wouldn’t you?