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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cloud Storage: The Best Option


Cloud storage is a relatively old phenomenon of the internet. In its most basic sense, it can be defined as storing files online in huge data servers that can be accessed from almost any electronic device. This basically replaces a hard drive or a flash drive, which are either built into the hardware or are more portable. The advantage of cloud storage, especially in the age of cell phones, is that it is much more available, and much cheaper. Services like iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon Cloud, to name a few, are growing rapidly in membership and are becoming much more efficient.

Cloud data services are becoming much more available, especially when you compare them to the most portable forms of hardware storage. A flash drive or a portable hard drive is becoming much more challenging to carry around in an age of increasingly lowering the amount of things we have on us. Many people have also been plagued by the chronic problem of forgetting these things. There have been so many days where I have had a presentation stored on a flash drive, only to arrive at school and realize I left it at home still plugged into my desktop. With cloud storage, I could leave the document open on one of my home devices and still access it on a school computer, eliminating the need for transporting hardware, no matter how small it is. It is also generally easier to simply log into your account, as opposed to putting in a flash drive and opening it on your screen. Of course, if you are like me and feel the need to rack up over 20 gigabytes of storage by signing up for every new cloud storage company, then it might be a little tougher to log in. Regardless, cloud storage is much easier as a whole to deal with, without the hassle of multiple flash drives that you mix up, losing one of them, or leaving one of them behind.

As for the cost of traditional vs. cloud storage, cloud storage also wins by a long shot. For the cloud services that I have; Google Drive gives me 15GB for free, Dropbox gives me 2GB, Amazon Cloud Drive gives me 5GB (though this is an account I manage for my parents, so its arguably mine), and iCloud also gives me 5GB. Plus, for only $2 a month, Google just recently changed their plans so you get 100GB for that money. Now compare this to a 100GB flash drive at several hundred dollars (I'm not kidding) or if you wanted to go to the alternative 5 or 6 16GB flash drives which would be roughly $40-$50, which would equal almost 2 years of Drive storage, and what if you only needed that amount of data for a month? Then you've got 6 flash drives lying around that you're never going to use again. For the vast majority of situations, cloud storage provides a much more viable option to store your data.

Cloud storage is something that many people have but do not fully utilize at this point. I encourage everybody (which is probably nobody) who reads this blog to use it just a little bit more, because only with mass support from the public will there be mass support from everyone else. Cloud storage is the best new technology that is used to store your files, and it should definitely have more popularity.