Ease of Access: Cloud Storage

Ease of Access: Cloud Storage

It’s a dilemma that many come across: You know that you need to back up your important files, but you’re a person on the go. You don’t want to remember to carry around an external drive, be it a USB stick or Passport.

It's almost like magic! Only it's not.

What if you leave it behind? What if whoever finds it chooses not to return it to you, but attempts to access the personal information within?

You need accessibility and protection. You need online storage.

The convenience of the cloud is well known. You can retrieve and edit files on your smartphone, work computer, lap top, a friend’s PC, and some even provide apps for your tablet. With so many services available that provide data storage, it’s important to know what to look for. Regardless of whether you are a consumer or a small-business owner, there are key features you should consider before you make your final decision.

     Storage Space
Most services have an allotted free storage space, and you pay monthly/yearly for additional storage. If you are only looking to back up a few important items you should be able to get away with what is offered at no charge. If you don’t have a complete back up and don’t want an external hard drive… paying for that space can save you a lot hard work.

Some services have a cap on the upload file size, which can be cumbersome if you are backing up large amounts of data (music, video, etc). If that is more your speed, it’s best to find a service that is unlimited. As for the average consumer, it can range anywhere from 300MB to 16GB which should be more than enough for day to day use.

     Backup Features
If you want the service to back up without you doing it manually, there are plenty of options.

  • Continuous Backup – This will backup changes made to files in real time.
  • Incremental Backup – When backups occur, only information that has changed since the last backup is uploaded.
  • External Backup – Some services will allow you to back up your external hard drive as well.
  • Scheduled Backup – You can schedule exactly when you want your backups to occur.

Not every service will offer these options, so be sure to do your research and find out which plan would work best around your needs.

     Mobile Access
Services like Dropbox and Box support nearly every OS and mobile device. Most provide mobile sync, which will automatically backup any photos and videos you take on your mobile device and sync them to your computer. If you are running on Linux, Blackberry or Kindle your options may be more limited so consider all of the devices you may want to use before choosing your service.

You don’t want just anyone accessing your information. There are many services that encrypt your data while it is being stored, as well as give the option of folder permissions and passwords to share with only the people you choose. A few also offer the ability to remotely delete files from you physical computer or mobile device in case it is lost or stolen.

Try to choose a service that offers geographic redundancy. This means your information is stored in two or more servers in different areas, that way in case of a natural disaster (and a data center is destroyed) your data is stored safely in another server. Some servers are owned, operated and maintained by the online backup service as well, instead of by a third party such as Google or Amazon.

There are so many factors into taking into consideration when choosing a cloud service that it can be a little overwhelming. Always keep in mind that the entire point of services like these is to streamline the storage process and make backing up your data as easy as it can be.

If it seems too daunting and you need a recommendation for your personal needs, call the professionals here at Platinum Data Recovery and we will happily guide you in the right direction!