Technology is changing the way the world functions; Youcan now speak face to face with people across the world, and send important documents with the press of a button for instant access anywhere in the world with internet access. Internet access is becoming a more and more common thing, and speeds are soaring compared to just a few years ago.
The cloud drive is a pretty new introduction to the world of technology, and it presents many great opportunities.
– Saves Money: backing up to a cloud drive saves money on personal hard drives, which often have to be replaced, because they can break down after time.
– Green: the cloud eliminates the need for paper copies of documents, pictures, and file folders to keep them in. This saves a lot of trees and the energy needed to convert them into paper.
– Saves Space: using the cloud takes up much less space in the office or home.
– Saves Time: instead of shopping for, buying, setting up and plugging in a hard drive, shipping or delivering it, and remembering to bring it wherever you go or take it, cloud storage can be accessed from anywhere by simply logging into your online account.
Safety in redundant copies
With all these advantages, the use of cloud storage has become a very common thing, but as with many new things, people are skeptical of the safety of their important documents. The truth is, there are a growing number of people with information assurance training who are working to protect your data. Because cloud storage companies are taking care of so much data, they have much more capacity to have redundant copies spread out over several locations, as opposed to the singular hard drive you likely back up your information to.
There are some disadvantages though. If the internet isn’t working or you forget your password, you won’t have access to your documents. Fortunately, most people are within 5 minutes of a coffee shop or library with high-speed internet and computers for free use.
There are a lot of options for cloud storage and backup, depending on your needs and how many people need to access them.
One very popular option is Google Drive. When you sign up for a Google email account, you are automatically signed up for Google+, Google Drive, and a YouTube account. Having all of these things signed in by one account is very handy. The drive allows users to create folders and several document types right on the site; spreadsheets, word documents, presentations, forms, and drawings. Users get 15GB free for signing up, and can upgrade to 100GB for $4.99/month or 200GB for $9.99/month. Pictures smaller than 2048×2048 pixels have unlimited space on Google+. You can give others access to only view, view and comment, or also edit the documents.
For those storing only pictures, Flickr gives user a full terabyte free for signing up.
Dropbox is another great way to store and share files. Users start with only 2GB for free, but the user interface utilizes local file folders and is much easier to organize for people used to desktop organization. You can upgrade to 100GB for $9.99/month, 200GB for $19.99/month, 500GB for $50/month. Business accounts are charged for how many users are on the account and has unlimited space, as well as team management, support, and enhanced security.
All of these options can sync to a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. These devices can also download the files locally, so that they can be accessed offline, too.Cloud storage, while newly introduced, is far past its baby steps and still has light-years to go. There are pros and cons to consider, but most agree the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.