So, you’re looking for a cloud storage solution that matches your needs. Whether you’re a student looking for storage for your research and essays, a small business owner looking to securely store account information, or you simply want to keep your family photos safe and secure, the best cloud storage offers an effective option.
Of course, you can also store these kinds of files via local storage, such as an external hard drive or an encrypted USB. So, what are the real benefits to using cloud storage, rather than local storage options?
5 Benefits of Using Cloud Storage
If you are currently weighing up your options, there are some benefits to picking a cloud storage option that you should consider. Local storage options have many strengths, but so does cloud storage.
The most notable benefits include, but are not limited to:
One of the major downsides of local storage devices is that you need to have them with you if you want to access your files. Cloud storage doesn’t have this problem. If you have internet access, you can upload and download your files and documents wherever you are. This is great for people who are constantly on the move and have to work wherever you find yourself.
Cloud storage is essentially invisible; there are no external hard drives to carry around, no USB sticks to keep track of. All you need is your account information to access all of your files whenever you need them. This can also help you to save space on your main device. Furthermore, if your device is synced to your account, any changes you make will be automatically retained.
Many cloud storage accounts, both free and paid, have the ability to automatically update and save documents and files that are created and changed. Automatic syncing can be a hugely important tool for business people and students in particular. However, this feature can also be very useful for photographers, creatives, and people who don’t want to manually upload files.
If you run a business, it’s likely that your storage needs will grow with time. Unlike local storage options, cloud storage services can grow as and when you need them at minimal cost. This scalability is invaluable for small businesses who need to grow, but lack the funds that big businesses have to set up dedicated servers or large local storage facilities.
As your storage needs change, your cloud storage service can change with them. Free accounts can be easily upgraded, and premium accounts can be downgraded with ease. This is not like local storage; acquiring or disposing of hardware can be costly, and once you have sunk money into local storage, it can be hard to get it back.
Other benefits include the ability to recover lost documents and versions of lost documents, the ability to give multiple people access to documents for collaboration, and layers of security features that can protect the overall account and individual documents from breaches.
Are There Downsides to Cloud Storage?
Yes, there are downsides to cloud storage, just as there are downsides to any storage option. For example, local storage is less flexible and inaccessible from remote locations, but cloud storage needs the internet to function. If you work in areas where the internet is spotty, cloud storage could be an unreliable option for you. Likewise, cloud storage is generally more cost effective in the short term, but having the money to invest in robust local storage can be cheaper in the long-term if you actually need it.
Finally, cloud storage options can be very hard to switch, so you have to be sure that one will meet your needs when you use it. If you decide that it doesn’t work for you later, you will likely have to migrate your files manually, which can be time consuming.
At the end of the day, it’s all about what you need. When you start researching cloud storage options, you should consider:
- Your budget
- How much space you need
- Whether extra features matter to you
- If a cloud service can scale appropriately for your needs
- Their security record
- Their reputation
- Whether their customer service is robust
These basic factors will help you to choose an appropriate and effective cloud storage service that meets your needs without exceeding your budget. Remember that there are free account options that you can take advantage of in most cases. Paid accounts can offer additional features, storage space, and security options, but they are not inherently better if you do not need what they are offering.