In a couple of decades, we saw Floppy disk, re-writable CDs, DVDs, fancy Pen-drives, then external Hard-disks dying. I don’t remember when was the last time I used a pen-drive although I am transferring data to peers all the time. All of them were excellent storage and transfer options. But as a physical object, they always get lost, damaged, stolen. And the same will happen to your data stored within them.
Although cloud storing idea was around since the sixties when Joseph Carl Robnett came up with ARPANET to connect people and data with from anywhere at any time, CompuServe, in 1983 first offered a small amount of storage where consumers could upload and share data. The cloud storage services we are familiar with, like Dropbox, AWS S3, Smug Mug, Bos, launched almost at the same time around 2005 and 2006. And they were accompanied by Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, iCloud and Google drive at the beginning of the next decade(some of them came with cloud computing service).
Enough with history, Let’s move to how cloud storage plays an important role in business. For example, we will talk about Dropbox here. And later we will discuss the pros and cons of all cloud storage services.
Dropbox offers a 2 Gigabyte free storage for free to all nonpaying users. For a small business, these 2 gigabytes might be enough and very valuable. At our workplaces, several people work on the same project. Dropbox is very easy to share with all the employees and the biggest advantage of dropbox is it sync files very quickly and update the file for all the users to their own computers. This way everyone among the business can stay up to date and share their own works very easily. And if you need to share your file with someone else, all you need to do is creating a link to your file and give them the link so they can download the file without using dropbox. You can also share the file for a certain duration, say a week. The link will be inactive after that time period. This way you can get rid of a great headache of getting the update from each employee and arrange them checking conflicts and all the pains related to copy-paste and transform. And the files can access from any operating system or you can even access the file a browser. So it can be said, Taking everything with you. But you have to be careful and not giving permission of changing all the files. If someone accidentally deletes a file change the wrong file, It’s possible to recover. But you will not be wanting to go through all the troubles associated with it.
For personal file transfer among peers, most of the items 2 GB free storage from Dropbox is not enough and in this case the instant sync and update is not necessary. Google drive, which offers 15 Gigabyte might come very handy. But always remember to access required permission to the person you are sending a file to. Google cloud comes with some other facilities like ‘google docs’. Which is the combination of your word/spreadsheet processing program and cloud storage to save the file.
Comparison among some popular cloud storage services
Cloud services make our lives easy and more secure.
But from the compression above something should be clear that there isn’t one single tool preferable for all uses. A better strategy is trying out some of the free services and see which one serves your purpose the best before you pay. Or you might also need multiple of them at the same times.