The Ins and Outs of Cloud-Based Storage
Computers and digital storage devices are truly a marvel of technology. Most people have access to some sort of computing device. But just like anything else that is used regularly, computers and phones can get cluttered. Now’s the time to take a look at your digital file piles.
Did you know that the average person has about 630 photos on their phone?* That’s a lot of photos! After daily use, any electronic device can start to become bogged down with files and pictures. Pretty soon all of your phone’s memory will be used up! But what can you do to free up storage space without deleting your files? Utilizing a cloud-based storage system is the key!
Cloud-based storage systems are everywhere in this day and age. But what is cloud storage anyway? Cloud storage is when you connect one device to another over the internet, you can then send and store files to a separate device and retrieve them whenever you want to enjoy or share a memory. Think of it like mailing an object to a storage unit and having it mailed back whenever you want. By using a cloud storage system, you can store your files somewhere safe which will let you clear up space on your devices.
There are Two Different Types of Cloud Storage
There are two types of cloud storage, two-way syncing and one-way syncing. Two-way syncing is common in cloud storage like GoogleDrive and iCloud. Two-way syncing shares a single copy of an electronic file between all devices signed into that cloud account. This means that once a change is made (i.e., a file is uploaded or deleted) on one device connected to a cloud account, it syncs that change across all other devices connected to the same account. While two-way syncing makes accessing your files easier, you are more likely to accidentally delete something and lose it forever when using this method.
One-way cloud syncing is when all of your files are uploaded onto a secure server for safekeeping. (Imagine a one-way street leading to a vault) One-way syncing is typically safer to use because it limits the chance of a file being accidentally deleted. Also, most cloud storage systems will allow you to change the type of sync you use in the settings! That means that you can have two-way syncing active when you want to access your files, then you can switch to a one-way sync to keep them safe. Most cloud systems will also let you set up a daily upload to their servers so all of your files will be backed up at the end of each day.
Why Use Cloud-Based Storage?
You may be asking yourself “Why do I even need to use cloud storage?”. In day to day life, cloud storage is useful but not revolutionary or world-changing. The cloud offers more storage space for your digital files which can be helpful if you do not want to purchase additional physical storage devices. Cloud-based storage truly shines in the wake of an accident or a disaster.
Imagine for a moment that you accidentally drop your phone in a pool and by the time you fish it out, all of its data, texts, and apps are completely waterlogged and inaccessible. All of those precious pictures and any saved information is lost forever. What about if there is a fire, flood, or earthquake that destroys your computer and any physical documents you were safekeeping? Even a bad storm or a power surge can cause damage or loss to your digital files.
This is where cloud storage swoops in to save the day! The cloud can act as a safety net for your files. If you upload your files or have a regular backup of your devices, in the case of an accident or disaster, you still have access to your files and you can access them whenever you need to! You can even scan your physical files (House deeds, medical records, and other important documents) and have them safely uploaded to the cloud. Use cloud storage as your virtual vault. Just like carrying an umbrella on a cloudy day, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Which Cloud Storage System Should You Use?
There are countless cloud-based storage systems. They vary widely between how much storage they offer, how safe they are to use, and how much their services cost. Our top 3 choices are Backblaze, Carbonite, and Dropbox.
Backblaze offers complete backup protection on your devices. They offer automated and continuous backups of a device, protection from Ransomware, and hard drive restoration in the event of data loss. Backblaze offers protection for individuals as well as businesses. Backblaze will automatically back up all data on a device, but if support is needed, the company offers great technical support as well as customer support. Backblaze is perfect for people who want their digital files routinely updated and safely secured. This is perfect for people who love to take pictures because they will always feel confident in knowing that their snapshots are stored safely.
Carbonite offers affordable cloud-based backup solutions for personal or business computers and devices. Carbonite offers automatic backup capabilities as well as 128-bit encryption on the data they store. All data that Carbonite stores can be accessed again by any device that has an internet connection, allowing the customer to recover and view any files they wish. Carbonite also has 7 days a week, award-winning customer support.
Dropbox is a good middle-ground for people looking for cloud storage, but who don’t want to spend a lot of money. Dropbox’s free account only has 2GB of storage (about 800 high-quality photos), but for $10 a month, you can have up to 2 Terabytes of storage (nearly 500,000 photos!). Unfortunately, Dropbox does not offer hard-drive restoration services, so if your hard drive fails, you will have to purchase a new one and download your files manually. Dropbox is a good starting point to learn about cloud storage systems and is a good service for people who have a small amount of data they wish to store.
Cloud-based storage offers versatility and security when it comes to making decisions about your digital files. Sometimes it is hard to let go of digital files. By using cloud storage, you can store your files safely until you decide what to do with them. Once your files have been copied and saved, you can delete them from your device and have plenty of space for new memories! If you find that you are still having trouble with dealing with your digital files, you can hire a Virtual Organizer to help you sort through your files AND they can help you set up a cloud storage system.