Is Cloud Storage the Best Way to Store Files ?

Stuff Behind Cloud Storage Services

When someone mention he keeps his files in the cloud, it is more than storing his files remotely at some unknown servers. Cloud storage involves complex setup of computers, routers, processors and networking hardware. All the hardwares are link up together to execute programming language and applications. As the results, these gigantic servers farm infrastructure are accepting connection from all over the world, process, analyze and thus, doling out informations back to users.

When you accessing your company hard disk through Intranet connection while you are on vacation, this is not cloud storage. When you are utilizing the cloud storage, you are not limited to any location or network group. It does not require you to attach any hardware if you were to access cloud storage.

In order to be considered as cloud storage, you are accessing your digital files through Internet connections. There is not limitation on platforms and devices as long as you are on-the-line, you can store and retrieve your files anywhere you go. You can find cloud storage in 3 different format:

Public cloud
A service provider that follow the common standard of cloud computing model, to produce resources, such as application, programs, storage that available to general public over the Internet. These resources may be free or subscribe as usage. For example, Google app engine.

Private cloud
This computer architecture usually works behind enterprise firewall. This model appeal to an organization that wants more control over the data than they can get by using third party hosted.

Hybrid cloud
This stands between the two mention above. For example, Amazon S3 from Amazon company which the organization offers and controls some resources in-house and has others provided externally.

All the above cloud storage is the product as the result of cloud computing.

Know before you jump into cloud storage

There are few areas I need to highlight before you decide to store your files in the cloud. You need to understand the downside and the risks involves to make sure if cloud storage is the best option for you. Consider the following:

Data may be expose to third party
Data security remain the biggest myth when it comes to cloud storage. Provider claim that the data is encrypted at the server end. Often, the provider is the party who hold the key and not the user. In the fact that over the years, Internet big boys such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo has admitted giving metadata to government upon request.

You need Internet connection
It is highly depends on internet connection if you are storing your data on the cloud. It is totally different with locally attached storage like usb or external drive, you still can access to them even though you are at some rural area. Apart from that, Internet speed is another important factor when you decide on cloud storage. You wouldn’t want to take forever to download a file, will you?

Company reliability and credibility
Even though some company provides you free cloud storage, sometimes it can cost you more when you suffers from downtime, data loss or unwanted intruders that past security incidents. It is advice to do some research on the background of the company and also their partners before you make any decision. Is best to subscribe to their trial plan when you first engage with the company.

Best choice from the Market

mozy

Mozy – Mozy offers you 2GB online backup storage. If you need more storage space, you need to upgrade to paid plan. Mozy allows you to restores your files through virtual drives, web downloads or DVD. You can specify a personal encryption key. However, Mozy does not backup external drives.

carbonite
Carbonite – You can enjoy carbonite free trial for 15 days. Same like mozy, you are allow to set your own encryption key for security purpose. If you need cloud storage for business, Carbonite offers a very attractive plan and is the famous among business environment. The flip side is, you have to purchase a new plan if you need to backup a different computer.

Idrive

IDrive – The cool thing about IDrive comes with a free offline backup option which is stands out from others competitor. Furthermore, if you have mapped drive, IDrive is convenient for you. If you choose IDrive, you have to paid the yearly fees, because there is the only option available for you.

justcloud
Justcloud – Same as carbonite, Justcloud offers you 14 days free trial. The best thing is, Justcloud is free. You can enjoy the full features even though you are using trial account. There offer the great discount and by far the cheapest entry price for cloud storage. The features offer by Justcloud is enough for personal usage, if you need extra features, you need to subscribe for more.

My two cents for online storage

Like everyone of you, I am very careful when I choose my first cloud storage company because you are indirectly giving out all your valuable or sensitive data away. Company background and its partners is one of the consideration. I need a reliable and trusted company, is simple as that. Looking into another reason, plan and pricing, is always feel safe to start with an affordable plan because you can always stops if the level of satisfaction is not there. I don;t like any hidden features at all, I will choose a company that give me full features having said that it is not premium plan. If you still not sure, read the cloud storage review here.

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Is Your File Safe at Cloud Storage ?

Cloud storage is a remote servers where you able to store your files. These remote servers are locate in data center and connected with high speed Internet connection. The technology is so convenient that enable you to store and access your files using any devices. Basically, you can retrieve your files using devices such as computer, laptop, tablet, smart phones, etc, but make sure those devices are connected to Internet connection. This advance file storing method is so useful that you can even share your files with others. Don’t get me wrong, files sharing doesn’t mean you need to download the file, attach it email message and send it over to your recipient. That is such an old school method. You just need to provide the link to those you want them to access the file and you that it ! It is so simple and easy.

This storage method will keep your file in the remote server and well protected by providers. The files you deem backup will be accessible whenever you need no matter where you located. However, I understand that many are worried about how secure it is since the files are store remotely. Here I am going to the answer your over imagined fears about cloud storage security that mentioned by many others.

Cloud Storage Security Technology

The reason why cloud storage become a questionable method of storing data is because of third-parties are involved. Indirectly, you are giving your data to another person. It is like depositing your money to a bank, you are storing your hard earn money to third party. You need to make sure the company is a trusted one, implementing strict security protocol, in such a way data may actually be safer in the cloud than local computer.

Data Center

Security is the top priority for any data center in the world. Many providers will invest a lot to provide the most advance hardware and updated software to strengthen any possibly loop hole. For enterprise-level of cloud storage provider, many guarantee:

  • Professional technical support is being employed to monitor the cloud storage system. Using a variety of tools to monitor network activities for malicious activities and user account activity logging to watch for any possible sign of threats to data security.
  • Data are transfer and store at the remote server through encryption. Advance encryption algorithms such as TLS/SSL are often used to safeguard data while at rest in the cloud.
  • Secure access to the account using authorization and authentication process to monitor user activity to the service and to data. User is provided with login method such as password, biometrics and token access to make sure the login in unique.
  • Data center installed with surveillance cameras, temperature controls, redundant power supply and fire suppression systems to protect data at physical storages site. These are the measured factor for some providers if they are choose to outsource this part.

Boston University give a comprehensive elaboration about cloud storage security. For my personal opinion, the real problem with cloud storage security is down the people. Americans have a very sloppy password protocols. When you store a terabytes of data in third party server, you might as well stand naked on the street. And though, many of us are laughing at the recent celebrities nude photos that leaked, we have to bear in mind the misuse of private of data can have serious consequences to economy.

photo leaked

Cloud Storage for Photos Sharing

Probably you already know what cloud storage can make your day easier or maybe you still do not have a better picture how this web service play an important role in your everyday life. I will share with you my little experience for cloud storage.

My wife bought me an IPhone5 for my birthday present and I was like “Thanks dear, I love it !” The first thing I do is take a few pictures and load the phone with few songs from iTunes. When I check through the settings, there is a iCloud service. This is how I begin to dig deeper, how the cloud storage works.

With Apple single sign on ID, I can access my pictures and songs from my MacBook, iPod or iPad. I can access my important document from anywhere I go. The experience was so cool when I first use iCloud service, although I didn’t know what’s going on behind the device. If you own an Apple device, perhaps you already one of the member among the cloud community without you notice it. Go to apple.com/icloud to learn more about cloud storage.

apple cloud storage

iCloud by far is the most convenient way to share your photos and videos. You can share to the exact people you want them to see. Just create a shared album and invite them to add their photos and videos. This group can comment on the photos and videos. Everyone in the group can access the shared album from any apple device at any time.

iCloud is one out of many cloud storage provider in the web. If you are against Apple product, no worry, there are plenty of other cloud storage provider you can choose. Here, I list a few services where you can get your photos off your camera, off your computer and store them into the cloud.

Cloud Storage File Sharing

Below are 5 services for photo sharing:

  1. Pinterest
    • You can create your own image collection of things you love and you can add your friends how having the same interest. Pinterest is available for free. Go to Pinterest.
  2. Imgur
    • Imgur provides a simple and user friendly way to host and share images on the web. The website claim that Imgur is “the simple image sharer”. Go to Imgur.
  3. Flickr
    • This photo sharing network support multiple uploads from emails, mobile devices and desktops. Flickr is own by Yahoo!, it provides special features to create slideshows from your photos. Go to Flickr.
  4. Photobucket
    • Photobucket provide a platform for users to uploads photos and videos. You can find photos, videos and graphics from the platform. This site come with excellent browser-based image editor. Go to Photobucket.
  5. 9Gag
    • 9Gag is a site where users upload a lot funny images and videos. You can find the best funny pictures and vides inside the website. Go to 9Gag.

Photo sharing has become the popular to stay engaged with your friends and family. These websites let you upload, share, comment and share through social media. Take your time to explore the new things, I’m sure you will love it.

5 Reasons Why Cloud Storage is Important

Most likely you have heard the term “Cloud Storage”. Cloud storage is a virtual location where all the data are kept remotely on the web. This infrastructure setup link many servers together in the data center and protected by  high security software to prevent any anonymous Internet attack. Internet users like you and me, will keep the precious information on the cloud.

Read the 5 reasons below why cloud storage is important:

  1. Cloud may be the safest place to keep your data.
    • Cloud storage providers offer data encryption while transferring your data from local device to remote server. Data being kept inside the server are encrypted with key. This point is more secure compare to any hard disk where you can access all the information once is connected.
    • Physical storage might have a chance of stolen or damage. If you truly looking for solution to protect your data physically or virtually, cloud storage is the way to go.
  2. Collaborate data make easy.
    • Compare to physical hardware, cloud storage make data collaboration a lot easier. Many cloud storage providers will built in file sharing features along with their services. Co-worker can make changes on their own and changes made will be transfer to the cloud. Everybody will notice the update version of files.
    • Features that benefits the collaboration such as file versioning, commenting options, syncronization, file sharing, real time document editing and etc. This save a lot of time and hassle when working together.
  3. Cost savings for your business
  4. You probably already using it.
    • Without your notice, you already adapting into the cloud. The web services you using all the while is a part of the product of cloud storage. You may not realise the emails you using, iTunes, banking facility, facebook, etc. all are cloud-base as well.
  5. Huge opportunity that you can’t resist

You have more reasons to use cloud storage, leave your point at the comment section. If you not agree, tell me.

 

I am NOT getting enough space to store my data

Like many of us, I store my documents, pictures, songs and movies in my hard disk. Nowadays, file size in getting larger with high definitions video and millions pixels of pictures quality, finding larger hard disk really give me headache. I have a few external drives and categories them to store my files. However, I found this is not to good solution. It is never ending process of looking for larger disk space to store my files. Until I have come across the article from Wikipedia Article “What is cloud storage ?” 

For example hosting a website, you put all your data, picture, video, music on the space that given by the hosting company. This works pretty much the same concept  ! You are given a space in the company data center to store all your files. Your data will be stored on server remotely and accessed from the Internet, so called “cloud”. Usually the data center is maintain, operated and manage by third party. Cloud storage provider will built on the storage servers using visualization techniques to provide their service to client.

Stanford University is investigating in cloud storage to find a better way to store the data. Many university services has a large amount of data to store, and IT services should leverage the cloud.

Cloud storage is the answer to me and I won’t worry about my hard disk space anymore ! I will just store my data to the web. I know I can access them anywhere I go. Although there flip side of cloud storage, I strongly believe cloud storage technology is improving and the future of Internet is all about Cloud.

Cloud Storage

There are few points to take home:

  • Cloud storage is a term for storing data to the web
  • Cloud computing is internet-based computing for large groups of remote servers which results as cloud storage
  • Using cloud storage, you can access your information quicker, easier and more secure.
  • Services such as Yahoo mail, google document, youtube, flickr is using cloud computing. You allow to store data online and access web service from any location.