What Is Cloud Storage?
Today, individuals have access to several free cloud computing services such as google drive, Dropbox, and Box, which all come with upgraded subscription packages that offer larger storage sizes and additional cloud services.
- Cloud storage allows individuals and businesses to store and retrieve computer files via an internet-connected device.
- Cloud storage has grown increasingly popular among individuals who need larger storage space and for businesses seeking an efficient off-site data back-up solution.
- Because of cloud storage’s increasing popularity and use, cloud security has become a major concern to protect data integrity, prevent hacking attempts, and avoid file or identity theft.
Cloud Storage Explained
Cloud storage offers a simple way to store and/or move data in a secure and safe manner. it allows individuals and businesses to keep their files stored with the cloud services provider for on-demand access on any of their devices. Cloud storage can also be used to archive data that requires long-term storage but does not need to be accessed frequently, such as certain financial records. Increasingly, files stored “in the cloud” are utilized for group collaboration.
Cloud storage works by allowing a client computer, tablet, or smartphone to send and retrieve files online to and from a remote data server. The same data is usually stored on more than one server simultaneously so that clients can always access their data even if one server is down or loses data. For example, a laptop computer owner might store personal photos both on her hard drive and in the cloud in case the laptop is stolen.
A cloud storage system can specialize in storing a particular type of data such as digital photos or music files, or can provide for general storage of any type of data such as photos, audio files, text documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
Cloud storage is believed to have been invented by computer scientist Dr. Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider in the 1960s. About two decades later, CompuServe began to offer its customers small amounts of disk space in order to store some of their files. In the mid-1990s, AT&T launched the first all web-based storage service for personal and business communication. Since then, a number of different services have become gained traction. Some of the most popular cloud storage providers are Apple (iCloud), Amazon (Amazon Web Services ), Dropbox, and Google.
How Cloud Storage Benefits Businesses
Cloud storage helps businesses with major data storage needs to save a significant amount of space and money by eliminating the need for data storage infrastructure on the business premises. The cloud storage provider owns and maintains all the necessary hardware and software so the cloud users don’t have to. Purchasing ongoing cloud storage may cost more in the long run, but it can be significantly less expensive upfront. Further, businesses can almost instantly scale up or down how much cloud storage they have access to as their storage needs change.
The cloud also enables employees to collaborate with colleagues—and work remotely and outside of regular business hours—while facilitating smooth document collaboration by allowing authorized employees easy access to the most updated version of a file. At the personal level, cloud storage allows mobile data and enables digital life in the holistic way we live it today. Without the cloud, smart phones would not be able to be the interface of so much data ( photos, documents, information on the go). Using the cloud to store files can also have a positive effect on the environment since it cuts down energy consumption
Cloud Storage Security
There is so much attention on cloud storage today in the digital era because so much of our sensitive personal data is stored in the cloud whether we voluntarily store it there or whether a company we do business with decides to store it there. As a result, cloud security has become a major concern. Users wonder whether their information is safe, and increasing data breaches have demonstrated that sometimes it isn’t. Users are also concerned about whether the data they have stored on the cloud will be accessible when they need it.
While cloud storage may seem vulnerable due to the prevalence of hacking, the alternatives, such as onsite storage, have security vulnerabilities, too. Company-provided cloud storage can actually improve security by giving employees an alternative to using their personal accounts to back up and transfer files that they need to access outside the office.
A good cloud storage provider will have data redundancy, storing the same files in multiple physical locations so that it survives any human errors, equipment failures, or natural disasters. A reputable provider will also store and transmit data securely so that no one can access it without permission. Some users might also require that data be stored in such a way that it can only be read but not changed; this feature, too, is available through cloud storage.
HOW TO USE THE CLOUD: THE ULTIMATE BEGINNER’S GUIDE
How to Use the Cloud in 4 Different Ways
For most of us, the primary use is storing files outside of our own personal hard drive. Other common uses are file sharing and access to the software. If you own a business there are other uses for the cloud as well.
1. Data storage and backup
This allows you to upload any data files to the cloud. your pictures, text files, audio recordings, etc. You’re probably already doing this to some extent.
Any time you take a selfie, that file exists on your phone’s hard drive. When you upload the picture onto Instagram, Facebook, or iCloud a copy then exists in the cloud. You can access it anytime, from any machine that has the capability to access that server.
But you’ll probably want to store and backup your files in a more organized and systematic way.
You may choose to backup your entire hard drive periodically on one cloud storage service. Or you may use a different cloud storage option for school, work, and personal files. We will discuss your cloud storage options in more detail later.
2. File sharing
You may want to share access to a text file with coworkers or classmates. This can be useful just for sharing information, or when working collaboratively on the same document.
All your coworker needs are access to the same cloud service, such as Google Drive. If they have a free Google account then they have access. You can then share the file with them and even give them the ability to make edits if you choose.
3. Access to software
Some applications, such as Adobe, offer their software on a cloud-based server. In the past, you had to buy, download, and run the Adobe Creative Suite from your home computer. Instead, you now pay a monthly subscription fee to access the “Adobe Creative Cloud.”
There are actually a lot of advantages to this. Updates to the software are immediately in effect once they are released. And often, you can access your software subscription from more than one device.
4. Cloud computing for your business needs
If you’re using cloud services for your own business you’ll likely use all of the above functions and possibly more. Learn about how to best utilize the cloud to cut costs and increase efficiency for your small business here: https://www.charlotteitsolutions.com/how-can-cloud-computing-help-small-businesses/
Cloud Storage Service Should you Use?
Some of the most commonly used are:
- OneDrive – with up to 5 GB of free storage
- Google Drive – 15 GB free
- iCloud – 5 GB free
- Dropbox – 2 GB free
Why Use the Cloud?
Benefits of using the cloud:
- Convenience and ease of use.
- Accessibility. You don’t need to worry about carrying a flash drive or any kind of hard drive regardless of the file size. You can access the cloud from anywhere and on any device with an internet connection.
- Potential to save money, especially for businesses with large storage needs
- Documents aren’t at risk if your computer is damaged. In the past, fire, flooding, theft, or any other major accident could potentially result in the permanent loss of your data.
- Continuously updated software. If you’re accessing software stored on the cloud, then you’re always running the latest version.
Concerns present when using the cloud:
- An internet connection is always required to access the files stored on the cloud. This is something to be aware of, but as long as you plan ahead this typically doesn’t present major difficulty. If you have a data plan, a wifi connection isn’t even necessary when you’re in a pinch.
- The security risk primarily consists of hacking. If your account has been compromised, any files you have stored can be stolen.
There are many high-profile examples of sensitive data being stolen from the cloud. Examples ranging from the personal photos of celebrities to millions of credit card numbers stolen from large businesses.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to secure your account. Most importantly, you should choose a strong password for all your accounts. You can even get the help of a password manager.
Pros And Cons Of Cloud Storage
A user must know the advantages and disadvantages of cloud storage because here we are compromising our data. In this new era of the digital world, data is everything now.
That is why its safety is our main and the most important concern. Here in this guide, we will tell you about some positive and negative aspects of cloud storage in detail. Let’s dig in.
A Small Overview For The Pros And Cons Of Cloud Storage:
|Advantages Of Cloud Storage||Disadvantages Of Cloud Storage|
|Store Large Files||Can Be Expensive|
|Back-Up Data||Requires Internet Connection|
|Accessibility||Slow Sync While Offline|
|Sharing||Vulnerability Of Attacks|
|Easy To Use|
This is a small glance at the pros and cons of cloud storage for business purposes as well. Let’s see them in detail and how they affect your data.
What Are The Positive Aspects Of Cloud Storage?
This pros of cloud storage list will show you how helpful is cloud storage for your data.
1. Store Large Files
The main function which the name Cloud storage describes is storing of data. Cloud storage helps you to maintain or store data for the long term.
Cloud storage is mostly beneficial for business purposes. Businesses need to store lots of confidential data in one place.
2. Back-Up Data
Many times files get deleted incidentally without your information. Or sometimes you delete files because of heavy storage which directly loads on your device.
it is useful to recover big-size files which are useful for you and store important details. But, you can get back up data within a limited period of up to 30 days.
it is not difficult for the users to access their existing or old files which are stored in Cloud storage. it only requires an internet connection to access or view files. But, accessibility can be used as both pros and cons of Cloud storage.
This access of files depends on you how you utilize and use Cloud storage systematically. it has all the videos or even songs that you play offline also. Cloud storage has the benefit that you can play some of your videos or songs without the internet.
Cloud gives you the authority of sharing files. Sharing plays both functions of pros and cons of cloud storage for business. it is beneficial to share and provide data to many people. But it can be disadvantageous because the access of people can lead to changes in files.
Cloud storage is not too expensive as compared to any other device. it is not costly to store unlimited files in one place at different times. You need an only internet connection to store multiple data on your device.
6. Easy To Use
Provide a different name to the files which you are storing in Cloud. it becomes easy to analyze and find out the files according to the name of the file or data.
Some files need privacy so Cloud storage can be beneficial for those files. You have the authority to encrypt data that requires online privacy and you want to hide from others. Encryption helps to secure your folders and hide your information from cyber threats.
8. Scalability (Pay Per Storage)
Scalability stands for the payment according to the space you require for storing your device. it means you don’t have to pay extra money if you need less storage capacity in Cloud storage. Less business size leads to less investment in the Cloud and vice-versa.
Cloud storage is a combination of advantages and disadvantages. That’s why we have contained the list of both pros and cons of Cloud storage. You have seen in the above paragraph what benefit you can get from Cloud. Now, you can see the list of disadvantages of cloud storage.
These are some of the pros of cloud storage. If you use a storage system for the maintenance of your data and privacy, you should also know about the disadvantages of cloud storage. it means, cloud storage contains some limitations also.
Cloud storage plays an important role in business to improve its growth. You should also go through the disadvantages of cloud storage for businesses.
So, these are some advantages of cloud storage. Now let’s have a look at the disadvantages of cloud storage.
What Are The Consequences Of Using Cloud Storage?
Somethings can not be too good to be true just like that cloud storage has some cons. So, what are the disadvantages of cloud storage?
Below is the list of some negative aspects of cloud storage that will help you in taking the right conclusion about whether you should use cloud storage or not for keeping your data.
1. Can Be Expensive
The cost of Cloud storage can be businesses and cons for business-related purposes. it is because businesses contain a huge collection of files in their data.
2. Requires Internet Connection
The use of internet connection plays both roles of pros and cons of Cloud storage. For storage data or files, this process requires an internet connection also. Without the internet, you are unable to run the process of storing, saving, and sharing files or folders.
it indirectly affects the speed while syncing data. Requirement of the internet during work is an effect you if you face internet related issue. This can be identified as the disadvantage of online storage.
3. Slow Sync While Offline
With the help of Cloud storage, you can also visit files while offline. But, it indirectly depends on the speed during syncing. it takes lots of time while syncing because you are not using an internet connection.
it saves your internet but it is costly if you need more space in Cloud storage. Photos or videos can be visited without the internet. But, without the internet, it takes time to sync. This feature work as both pros and cons of Cloud storage.
4. Vulnerability Of Attacks
Cloud storage is not able to protect your information from cyber or online threats. it can be risky to secure your data from the prying eyes. it means you have to take security for the protection of data.
You can install some security software like Antivirus or VPN on your device. Antivirus alert from Viruses and kill them on the other hand, VPN(Virtual Private Network) helps to maintain online privacy.
5. Limited Control
Control is the main motive for every user while storing data. But, Cloud storage provider companies lack this quality feature. So, it means control of optimization of files or folders cannot be in your hand. This is the biggest disadvantage of Cloud storage.
Now, you have all the facts on why to use Cloud storage or not. it has many benefits over disadvantages of cloud storage.
But, do you know the proper use of Cloud storage? If not, let’s have a look at the next paragraph which contains deep information regarding this.
Is It Safe To Keep All Your Data On The Cloud?
All these forms or examples of Cloud contain both advantages and disadvantages of Cloud storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cloud can contain heavy storage of your data. it can protect your information from Malware and reduce the risk of loss of data.
Cloud is also beneficial because you can restore the data even if it gets removed from Cloud. Mostly Cloud provides this feature to back up storing data within 30 days.
Cloud storage advantages and disadvantages are that it has limited days for backup data but restores businesses some days. But, its cons can also affect your choice while getting a cloud or portable storage company.
Can Cloud Storage Be Hacked?
Cloud storage has the feature to share files with many people. Sharing helps them to access the files at about me which can lead to cyber threats.
Is Cloud Storage Necessary?
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