Cloud storage has become one of the most talked about buzzwords in recent memory. Since more devices can connect to the internet than ever before, the dream of accessing important files from anywhere in the world has become a reality.
Considering how quickly the technology has achieved mainstream status, it is beneficial to understand the ins and outs of cloud storage so you can begin to apply this wonderful tech into your life.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is a method of transferring your files to a third party company so that the same files can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
By uploading data to the cloud, you can retrieve it at any time with any device. This includes smartphones, tablets, and laptops to name just a few.
There are several types of cloud storage solutions to choose from. The first is a personal option that give individuals a few GB worth of space. These plans are typically used to store important photos and emails.
Then, there are mid-range plans that are great for small businesses that need additional space to store information regarding their clients.
Finally, there are massive cloud storage centers that house all of the data used by large corporations who operate globally. Those plans cost a pretty penny but offer more terabytes of space than anyone will ever need.
How Does Cloud Storage Actually Work?
Cloud storage companies set up massive data centers that are filled to the brim with servers. These servers are built with one purpose in mind: to optimize the amount of data that can fit onto each blade.
However, these facilities require miles of physical space to function properly. This is primarily due to just how much data each company ends up storing. Just imagine if the hard drive in your PC were 100,000 times larger and you would get a decent picture.
Where are Cloud Storage Facilities Located?
There are cloud campuses spread throughout the United States. Since each facility is so huge, they are often built in rural areas on the outskirts of the nearest town.
While these facilities can pop up anywhere with enough space, a collection of these cloud campuses are located in Ashburn, Virginia. Equnix, Digital Realty, and even Amazon’s campus reside just a few miles apart.
The reason why so many companies choose Ashburn is the ideal climate. Cloud servers generate tons of heat so cooler temperatures reduce the likelihood of a fire breaking out.
Can Cloud Storage Solutions Protect My Data?
Trusting a third party with your files can be intimidating at first, especially if you have some very sensitive data to protect. Professionals know this and ensure that their security protocols are constantly updated to reflect new threats.
Data entrusted to the cloud is heavily encrypted along multiple channels. This means that it is extremely unlikely that any external source will be able to tap into your connection.
However, not all cloud storage solutions are created equal. You want to thoroughly research a cloud storage provider before handing over your files.
You need to verify that you are working with a reputable company with a proven track record of happy clients. If there is a long list of positive reviews spanning several years, you can rest assured that your data will be safe.
The Best Cloud Storage Options Currently Available
Whether you are new to cloud storage or looking for a stellar dropbox alternative or a Google Drive alternative, there are several great cloud storage providers you can trust. Here are some of the most reputable firms that have proven themselves in the space.
#1. Google Drive
It’s the best alternative to DropBox. Google Drive is the easiest way to try out cloud storage for yourself. In fact, you may have already used the service without realizing you were interfacing with the cloud. Every user with a gmail account has access to 15 GB of storage for free.
This tremendously generous offer makes it very easy to recommend to anyone who just wants to back up a few pictures, documents, and emails.
Google also offers multiple paid monthly plans that increase your storage capacity from anywhere between 100 GB to a whopping 30 TB. However, if you want to transfer files from DropBox to Google Drive, check this guide.
This vast range allows businesses of any size to take full advantage of the service. Plus, sharing files with others has never been easier. Since a majority of people have a gmail account, you can easily send and receive to just about anyone from anywhere.
The key difference between iDrive and most other cloud solutions is compatibility with network drives. iDrive allows you to upload anything that exists on a home or office network directly to the cloud.
This means that all phones, printers, and tablets that are Wi-Fi enabled work seamlessly. There is also iDrive express for quickly retrieving lost files.
If your local hardware fails, iDrive will express ship a new hard drive with all of your old files preinstalled.
You can also save some cash by purchasing a lifetime subscription outright. If you plan on storing massive media files regularly, then pCloud is the most logical choice.