The Ups And Downs Of Cloud Storage

Filed under Our Reviews by Adam Torkildson on October 17, 2016 at 9:48 AM

Cloud storage is becoming the standard method of storage for digital data.  When spanning multiple servers in multiple locations, your data is made available via wifi or mobile access. Your data is managed, maintained, and distributed by the cloud provider, allowing for more flexibility in the storage used on your devices and computers.  

So, what are the ups and downs of cloud storage?

The Upsides

  • Access anywhere. When your documents are stored in the cloud instead of directly on your device, you can have access anywhere that mobile or wifi is available.  Access is fast and convenient, by app or by internet browser.
  • Share docs quickly. Transfer and sharing of your documents is made easier through cloud storage. Granting access to a file or document allows sharing and modification to happen in real time.
  • Safety of your documents. Remote storage lets you have greater control over access to your work. If you lose your computer or device, your documents remain available and accessible. You can backup your entire system to the cloud, giving you complete security over all your data.
  • Inexpensive storage space. Cloud storage is usually available for free for a certain amount. Anything over the base storage amount comes at a reasonable monthly or annual cost.  
  • Multiple online archives. Create online archives that vary in accessibility to yourself and others. You can be selective and control who may access what, versus allowing others access to your devices.

The Negatives

  • Control. The cloud is managed by the provider you choose, should things go bad, their concern is likely to be less about you than your concern for you.
  • Speed. Your access to your data is based on devices out of your control. The speeds of the internet provider can hamper your immediate access to large files. Mobile data bandwidth can be overused and terribly slow in some areas.
  • Access. In areas without data access, your files will be completely out of reach. You will have to be aware of data access problems beforehand to preload the data you expect to need.
  • Price. Though free, the upgrades to data storage can be expensive, with yearly costs far eclipsing the cost of additional and portable plugin storage.
  • Energy. Accessing data in the cloud uses an amazingly large amount of power compared to local storage. The power used in supporting servers, wifi access, mobile transmitters, and receivers is massive. Portable storage can be completely power free.

Security. Data mining and hacking has put people’s personal data at risk. Data thieves are always at work, looking for weakness in the security of cloud servers. Additionally, poor passwords, less than careful safety, and user error can allow much easier access to personal information.

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