If you like being up to date with recent technology, you may have probably wondered what is cloud storage and what can it be used for? There is no easy way to describe this promising technology, as the definition constantly changes like the softwares profile.
In laymans terms, we could define cloud storage as a computing model where all the data is stored on secure or remote servers rather than on hard drives. The so-called cloud is actually an ensemble of servers that serve as hosts for the information they receive from all over the world.
In this article on what is cloud storage, we will attempt to address some of the most common questions regarding cloud storage.
Unlike traditional storage devices like hard drives or CDs, where information is stored in a physical format, all the data in the cloud is stored virtually on servers. Furthermore, you can access everything that is on the cloud from any computer thathas an internet connection.
The first major difference between cloud storage and traditional storage means is accessibility. While hard disks offer local access to information, cloud storage offers unlimited access to data, if the users can provide the necessary passkeys and if the computer has internetaccess.
Working with a cloud storage service has many advantages, as well as disadvantages. Probably the most obvious advantage that pops into mind is that you wont need to clutter up your hard drive with useless information. Furthermore, cloud storage services usually employ advanced information compression functions, which means greater indexing capability.
This, in turn, translates to faster search speeds. However, using a cloud storage service is not without disadvantages. Being a hosting entity, the cloud relies heavily on Internet connection speed.So, how does cloud storage work?
What Is Cloud Storage?
Cloud computing is an on-demand computing model which relies on a stable Internet connection to share and access data across multiple devices such as computers or smartphones.
If we took a step back to see the bigger picture, cloud computing allows users to access all the information stored in a third-party data center. This is achieved using minimal resources and minimal supervision.
Historically speaking, cloud computing, as a functional computer model, isnt that new. In fact, the so-called cloud goes all the way back to the 70s and 80s, when ARPANET and CNET, the predecessors of the modern Internet were already hinting at what cloud storage was going to become.
Best Cloud Storage Providers
Now, the most popular cloud storage services are arguably Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. Each offers similar, but slightly different services, which makes it hard to assess which is the best cloud service. Dropbox offers 2GB free cloud storage, while OneDrive offers 5GB cloud storage for free in their Basic Plan. Google Drives cloud storage free plan offers 15GB. We reviewed the best cloud storage providers, so you can take a look at our assessments below:
The best cloud storage free plans are offered by MEGA (50 GB free cloud storage), pCloud (10 GB of free online storage), and MediaFire (10 GB cloud storage free). We reviewed all 3 providers, so you can find out more about their services from our reviews:
Other good free cloud storage providers areGoogle Drive (15GB for free), Box, (10GB free cloud storage), OneDrive (5GB free cloud storage), Amazon Drive (5GB and unlimited photos with Prime).
There are also other services which are very similar to cloud computing models:
Types of Cloud Storage
Now that weve briefly talked about what is cloud storage, lets take a closer look at the classification of cloud storage service. As the need for cloud-based solutions increased, so has the nature of the service become more complex.
Presently, we can discuss four major types of cloud storage services: private, public, hybrid and mobile cloud storage services.
Private clouds are tailored to accommodate and handle data requests from small home-based companies or larger companies. Typically, this type of cloud service is the best solution for a company that wants to migrate all data by employing the services of a third-party cloud provider.
Alternately, cloud service clients can opt for two types of private clouds. An on-premise cloud uses a server or a machine that can be found in the same building. This server hosts the cloud. The other option is externally-hosted cloud storage. The host server is not in the same building as the company.
On-premise private clouds are easier to supervise. The machine that handles all the requests is in the same building as the company. Thus, the staff can easily check if something goes wrong. However, keep in mind that this type of service is better suited for bigger companies. For smaller businesses, it may be a bit pricey, as the maintenance costs can be quite high.
With public cloud, you wont need to concern about maintenance or data security, since all the data is externalized. Public clouds are easier to access and maintain than private clouds.
Furthermore, anyone having the right credentials can submit access to the cloud, from either a computer terminal connected to the Internet or from other devices such as a tablet or a smartphone.
A hybrid cloud combines some of the features of private and public clouds. One of the greatest advantages of using hybrid clouds is the greater number of customization options. You can add, delete or edit the current applications running on your cloud.
If you wish to share sensitive information, you can always opt for the private cloud feature with better security. Alternately, you can migrate some of your non-sensitive data on the public side of the cloud.
4. Mobile Cloud Storage
Mobile cloud storage allows users to store and manage files, photos, music, and videos from their mobile devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones). Many new mobile phones come with preloaded and configured cloud storage that can be used to back up the devices files. iOS devices use iCloud, Apples mobile cloud storage service. Android-operating devices use Google Drive, while Samsung Galaxy has a partnership with Dropbox. We compared the features of iCloud vs Dropbox, so you can learn more from our extensive review:
Related:ICloud Vs Dropbox Cloud Storage Comparison
5 Advantages of Cloud Storage
Below we highlight 5 obvious benefits of cloud storage:
Companies and individuals using cloud-based services are more likely to cut back on operating costs than those who still use in-house hosting solutions or external hard drives. Furthermore, according to the recent online polls on cloud storage, the average cost of one gigabyte of storage space is around 3 cents.
Consider migrating your data to a third-party cloud storage service to avoid cluttering and to ease operations.
As we mentioned in our introductory remarks, you can access all files, folder, photos, and videos in the cloud from anywhere in the world. Of course, provided you have the necessary credentials and internet access.
One of the greatest advantages of using cloud storage is that youll always have a backup solution in case something goes wrong. If something happens to the files on a computer, you can always access the cloud and retrieve any data that may have been damaged or lost.
If youve committed any changes to one or more files, the cloud will automatically sync the changes across all affiliated devices.
Most cloud storage providers tend to add extra layers of security protocols. They do this in order to prevent your files and folders from either ending up in the wrong hands or from being lost.
5 Disadvantages of Using Cloud Storage
Below we outline some of the weaknesses of cloud storage:
Since cloud-based solutions depend on the speed of your Internet upload and download speed, having a low latency can impede you from accessing the data in real time. Also, there are still many areas around the globe where you cant connect to the Internet.
For a corporation or a small business, cloud storage services are sound solutions. However, for home devices, these costs may be too high to handle.
Although the goal of cloud-based services is to minimize our dependency on physical storage devices, a large number of businesscloud storage services require the presence of a physical hard drive as well.
Customer support is not one of the stronger points of cloud storage vendors. Cloud storage providers usually instruct clients to take a closer look at the FAQ or follow online forums.
After migrating the data to a third-party cloud storage provider, there is a bit of an issue concerning who owns the information. Is it the company, as a client, or the cloud storage provider?
What is cloud storage? Its a new concept in cloud computing models that allows faster information deployment, little management, and little supervision. There are of course advantages and disadvantages for opting for this kind of services. Its up to you to figure out whether its worth it or not.
Nowadays, however, most large cloud storage providers have a diverse offer when it comes to storage plans and pricing. Plans and offers vary from provider to provider. However, most include at least some service packages for home use, as well as cloud storage plans for small businesses or large corporations. What is your experience with cloud storage? Comment below!
- How to install the Seafile cloud storage solution on Ubuntu Server 20.04 - TechRepublic - July 31st, 2020
- Five on-premise and cloud options for network-attached storage - ComputerWeekly.com - July 31st, 2020
- Want to back up the worlds largest SSD? Use this 100TB cloud storage - TechRadar - July 31st, 2020
- 4 reasons why Tresorit is the best cloud storage service - Tech Advisor - July 31st, 2020
- Cloud Technologies Your Business Needs in 2020 - The Seeker - July 31st, 2020
- FBI Alerts to Rise in Targeted Netwalker Ransomware Attacks - HealthITSecurity.com - July 31st, 2020
- The entire Netflix movie archive will fit on this 90PB storage system - TechRadar - July 31st, 2020
- Student discounts: the best offers in 2020 - Creative Bloq - July 31st, 2020
- Cloud Storage Market to Grow at a CAGR of 21.9% from 2020 to 2027 to Reach $222 Billion by 2027 - PRNewswire - July 23rd, 2020
- Google Cloud Claims Another Win With Box Partnership - Forbes - July 23rd, 2020
- Stand Alone Cloud Storage Market Size, Share, Growth Rate, Revenue, Applications, Industry Demand & Forecast to 2025 - 3rd Watch News - July 23rd, 2020
- Global Enterprise Cloud Storage Market 2020 by Company, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 - Cole of Duty - July 23rd, 2020
- Stand Alone Cloud Storage Market: The Development Strategies Adopted By Major Key Players And To Understand The Competitive Scenario - 3rd Watch News - July 23rd, 2020
- BitDam Advanced Threat Protection now available on Microsoft Azure Marketplace - Help Net Security - July 23rd, 2020
- Nexsan Unity taps into cloud and Assureon archive - TechTarget - July 23rd, 2020
- IPVanish July sale: three months of VPN cover for the price of one with this deal - Tom's Guide UK - July 23rd, 2020
- Commvault integrates Hedvig with HyperScale X appliance Blocks and Files - Blocks and Files - July 23rd, 2020
- Q&A: Sophos poll shows how attackers are taking advantage of cloud migration to wreak havoc - Security Boulevard - July 23rd, 2020
- Life After COVID 19: E-Discovery Considerations for Attorneys and Clients - JD Supra - July 23rd, 2020
- 4 Ways to Advance Your Tech Without Sacrificing Security - Security Boulevard - July 7th, 2020
- Cloud Storage Market Is expected to Witness Significant Growth between 2020 to 2028| Top Key Players- AWS, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, HPE - Owned - July 7th, 2020
- Software-defined storage: It's a Thing Blocks and Files - Blocks and Files - July 7th, 2020
- Microsoft takes legal action against COVID-19-related cybercrime - Microsoft on the Issues - Microsoft - July 7th, 2020
- How Vodafone is helping MSMEs gear up for their business revival - YourStory - July 7th, 2020
- IP Video Surveillance And VSaaS Market Growth Analysis By Manufacturers, Regions, Types and Application Forecast - Apsters News - July 7th, 2020
- Alternatives to banned apps Shareit and Xender for file transfer - Digit - July 4th, 2020
- I Don't Care How Great These OneDrive Improvements Are, I'm Not Using It - Gizmodo UK - July 4th, 2020
- Cloud Based Storage Market with Report In Depth Industry Analysis on Trends, Growth, Opportunities and Forecast till 2024 - AlgosOnline - July 4th, 2020
- Global Cloud Storage Software Market 2020, Analysis by Growing Demand, Types, Application, Top Trends, User-Demand and Opportunities Assessment till... - July 4th, 2020
- Cloud Robotics Market to Grow at Robust CAGR in the COVID-19 - Kentucky Journal 24 - July 4th, 2020
- Global Software-Defined Storage Market 2020-2024| Surge in Cloud Adoption to Boost Market Growth | Technavio - Yahoo Finance - July 4th, 2020
- This cheap HP laptop hides a surprising secret that barely anyone noticed - TechRadar - July 4th, 2020
- NIAGARA GENEALOGY: Treasure your heirlooms and their stories - Lockport Union-Sun & Journal - July 4th, 2020
- Commvault partners with Microsoft to deliver SaaS and cloud technology - ChannelLife New Zealand - July 4th, 2020
- ZM: 3 Work From Home Stocks for the Second Half of 2020 - StockNews.com - July 4th, 2020
- Commvault and Microsoft Partner to Deliver SaaS and Cloud Technology Solutions - IT News Africa - July 4th, 2020
- Lockly Vision critique: A smart lock and a online video doorbell in a person effectively-built unit - Tech Gaming Report - July 4th, 2020
- Dell GM On Future With VMware And Besting HPE GreenLake - CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers - July 4th, 2020
- Igneous CEO hands over reins to storage industry vet Blocks and Files - Blocks and Files - July 2nd, 2020
- The Pros and Cons of Hybrid vs Private Cloud Computing - Mighty Gadget - July 2nd, 2020
- Will we ever have a universal file storage platform? - BroadbandDeals - July 2nd, 2020
- Microsoft is finally making one of Windows 10s most unloved features actually useful - TechRadar - July 2nd, 2020
- 6 basics of storage automation, predictive analytics and AI - TechTarget - July 2nd, 2020
- WithStand Software Now Available from Associated Research - PR Web - July 2nd, 2020
- AWS Takes the High Ground with Space Unit - EnterpriseAI - July 2nd, 2020
- Global Stand Alone Cloud Storage Market 2020 by Company, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 - Cole of Duty - June 29th, 2020
- Cloud Storage Gateways Market Expected to Witness the Highest Growth 2025 - Cole of Duty - June 29th, 2020
- The Global Bare Metal Cloud Market is expected to grow by $ 7.89 bn during 2020-2024 progressing at a CAGR of 39% during the forecast period - Yahoo... - June 29th, 2020
- Deploying the Best of Both Worlds: Data Orchestration for Hybrid Cloud - eWeek - June 29th, 2020
- Global Hybrid Cloud Storage Market 2020 With Size, Share, Product Types, Growth Analysis, Business Statistics, Future Prospects and Key Companies... - June 29th, 2020
- Qumulo Shift opens up scale-out NAS to AWS S3 in the cloud - ComputerWeekly.com - June 29th, 2020
- Microsofts new Windows File Recovery tool lets you retrieve deleted documents - The Verge - June 29th, 2020
- Business Cloud Storage Market To Witness the Highest Growth Globally in Coming Years 2020-2026 - Cole of Duty - June 29th, 2020
- Global Private Cloud Storage Market 2020 With Growth Rate of XX% CAGR by Competitive Factors, Innovative-Technology, Demands and Services Offered Till... - June 29th, 2020
- IHS Markit commits to three-year data and infrastructure migration to AWS cloud - ComputerWeekly.com - June 29th, 2020
- Groundhog Day Security experts decry latest US attempt to kill end-to-end encryption - The Daily Swig - June 29th, 2020
- Cloud infrastructure continues to grow in 2020 - IT-Online - June 29th, 2020
- The Future of Peer-to-Peer Online Learning Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic - Cointelegraph - June 29th, 2020
- Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) Market Global Outlook on Key Growth Trends, Factors and Forecast 2025 - 3rd Watch News - June 29th, 2020
- Current and Future Analysis of Hybrid Cloud Storage Software Market Over the Forecast Period to 2026 - Daily Facts N Trends - June 2nd, 2020
- KIOXIA Offers Thin Provisioning to Increase Cloud Storage Ability - Database Trends and Applications - June 2nd, 2020
- of COVID-19 Outbreak on Multi Cloud Storage Solutions, Global Market to witness - GroundAlerts.com - June 2nd, 2020
- BackupVault Cloud Backup review: Back(up) to reality | IT PRO - IT PRO - June 2nd, 2020
- Concert tickets and your couch: Online streaming platforms keep performers and venues in business | Opinion - PennLive - June 2nd, 2020
- Microsoft works with WANdisco to shift on-premises data lakes to the Azure cloud - Blocks and Files - June 2nd, 2020
- Cloud Robotics Market 2020 Size, Share, Trends, Top Manufacturers, Regional Analysis, Business Growth, Applications, Emerging Opportunities And... - June 2nd, 2020
- Samsung's Galaxy M11 takes the fight to the Redmi Note 8 in India - Android Central - June 2nd, 2020
- Managing the capacity for remote work - ITWeb - June 2nd, 2020
- Tech Q&A: Reaching the limits of unlimited storage in Google Photos - telegraphherald.com - June 1st, 2020
- Impact of Covid-19 Outbreak on Cloud Storage Market 2020 Trends, Growth Opportunities, Demand, Application, Top Companies and Industry Forecast 2026 -... - June 1st, 2020
- Global Cloud Storage Market: Leading Segments and their Growth Drivers 2020-2026 - ITResearchBrief.com - June 1st, 2020
- Pure Storage CEO On Why The Firm Was 'Well Positioned' Before COVID-19 Hit And What's Next - CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution... - June 1st, 2020
- Wasabi CEO David Friend: New $30 Million Funding Round Comes From 'Family Offices,' Not Venture Capital - CRN: Technology news for channel partners... - June 1st, 2020
- How to Take Your Work Offline in Case of an Emergency - WIRED - June 1st, 2020
- Data protection best practice more important than ever in cloud environment - ITWeb - June 1st, 2020
- E-Discovery Preservation: What to Consider as Offices Open Back Up from COVID-19 - JD Supra - June 1st, 2020
- Dell's OneFS for Google Cloud. What do the competitors think? - Blocks and Files - June 1st, 2020
- 69% off and free cloud storage makes this VPN deal one of the best around right now - TechRadar India - May 19th, 2020
- GoodFirms Survey: Around 92.13% People Believe Cloud Storage have Influenced their Data Habits - WhaTech - May 19th, 2020
- Best practices and need of cloud storage for protecting corporate and personal data - CRN.in - May 19th, 2020