The primary driving force behind the popularity of cloud storage is convenience and simplicity. To ensure a cloud storage solution is actually convenient and easy-to-use there are a host of features it must provide. Without these features, there is a good chance users will not experience long-term satisfaction and will soon be looking elsewhere for an easier solution.
In terms of convenience and simplicity nothing is more beneficial than automated syncing. When a cloud storage service provides automatic syncing users no longer have to worry about manually updating their files. Nothing is worse than losing a document or image only to realize it was never uploaded to the cloud storage service. Automatic syncing eliminates this scenario from being a possibility.
Read Only Permissions
A majority of cloud storage services now allow users to share their files with friends and family. It is important that when the files are being shared they are governed by read only permissions. This means no one can alter the file or document aside from the account holder. In day-to-day sharing this is rarely an issue, but it becomes more important when files are being shared for collaborative purposes such as work or school projects.
Acceptable File Size Limits
Over the past several years, many cloud storage services have increased their limits on file sizes to accommodate new users. With the explosion of smart phones with cameras, more people are turning to cloud storage to protect their videos. Unfortunately video files can be incredibly large, so the file size limits must be acceptable to the user.
Automatic Encryption during Data Transfers
Security is always an issue when transferring data online and uploading/downloading data from a cloud storage service is no different. For maximum security, all data should be automatically encrypted when it is being transferred. A growing number of services now offer this, but not all of them do. It is important to pay special attention to ensure this feature is available and automatically utilized.
Easy Mobile Access
In the past, a majority of data stored in the cloud was documents and files. Today it is a combination of documents, files, personal photos, images, and videos. As smart phone technology continues to improve, more people are accessing their cloud storage via a mobile device. In order for the service to be convenient and easy-to-use, the layout and design must be mobile compatible.
Customizable File Organization
Most people store data online differently than they do on their desktop. As a result, the overall file organization structure needs to be different. While special emphasis has been placed on usability across the industry the file organization architecture does not always receive the upgrade it needs. Fortunately, the best services offer free trials which give users the opportunity to test out the file organization structure before committing to the service.
Since accessing data in cloud storage requires an Internet connection, the company behind the service must have a reliable infrastructure. A poor network infrastructure limits user access, create substantial downtime, and can even lead to data loss.
If a cloud storage solution provides all seven of these features, there is little doubt it will be extremely convenient and easy to use.
Matt Cave has been researching online storage and its uses for the last 4 years or so. He writes to educate his readers on the benefits of online storage.