Cloud Storage 411: What You Need to Know

If you use your computer regularly for business or pleasure, you’ve probably run into one common problem: not having enough storage to hold all your documents, images, programs – you name it!

This is precisely why many people decide to buy larger hard drives. Other computer users rely on external storage solutions like compact discs and thumb drives. But these storage alternatives aren’t without risk. What if your hard drive crashes and erases everything saved on your computer? What if you lose a compact disc with valuable information needed for a work project?

It may be time to jump on the trend of cloud storage. Sure, cloud storage may be the latest buzzword in Internet communities, but understanding what it means could help you to effectively and safely store extra files without bogging down the running speed of your PC.

What Is Cloud Storage?

There are countless options when it comes to cloud storage to store items like images, e-mail messages, and any other type of digital data. Cloud storage functions with one or many servers that allow subscribed users to store their files online in an external database. Any time you want to access your image, file, or document, it will be done through the cloud storage server.

Some of the most common reasons for using cloud storage include:

  • Easy access to data from any location. If you travel frequently for work, you don’t have to worry about storing every single file on your laptop, as well as your PC. You can log into a cloud storage account to download files, reports, or images for a client in your office or on a business trip.
  • Safe backup. Even if you aren’t running out of storage space on your computer, you may want to consider cloud storage to backup very important files to protect your data in the event of a crash. Using this type of remote storage will protect sensitive information from theft, viruses, or even flooding in your home that could destroy your hard drive completely.
  • Save money. Cloud storage makes even more sense for small to medium-sized businesses that need to save money by purchasing cheap storage online instead of in large computer hard drives. A cloud storage account can be set up inexpensively for an entire office and will not occupy any additional space. Even if it isn’t used to full capacity, it is well worth the minimal investment.

While there are quite a few advantages to cloud storage, keep in mind that it’s not a foolproof storage alternative. Since cloud storage relies primarily on network connectivity, a number of issues could disrupt the connection and prevent access to critical data, including solar flares, severed cables, or even satellite damage. Cloud storage systems will be affected by network outages, making data completely unavailable.

Protect yourself by backing up files on your computer and in a cloud storage database to make sure that important data isn’t permanently lost!

Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer that co-owns her own e-commerce website, The Coffee Bump.