Cloud storage has been a popular word these days. People are talking about it. More than that, an increasing number of people is using it. What hell cloud storage it is? Why it is so popular? In the following post, we will review cloud storage in detail and you will know answers after reading this post.
What is Cloud Storage?
According to the name “cloud storage”, we know two key words: cloud and storage. The two words already show what it is cloud storage. Simply put, cloud storage is a service, via which people can store data in the cloud.
Here cloud is not the cloud in the sky. Cloud storage providers virtualize one or several servers to offer server space for people to store data. People can access their data anytime anywhere via any device but Internet is required. Due to flexible accessibility, the server is called cloud servers. The service is called cloud storage service.
Cloud storage is progress of data storing methods. From storing data on stones in ancient time, to storing data on cloth, to storing data on the paper to storing in hard drives, now people are able to store data in a remote cloud server. Compared to previous data storing methods, cloud storage has obvious advantages to store data easier, access data easier, and share data easier.
Cloud Storage Types
There are many different kinds of cloud storage models. But 3 main cloud storage types you should know as following.
- Public Cloud Storage: it is designed for people with multi-tenant storage requirements. Going with public cloud storage, any people as long as they have login credentials can access the data stored in the cloud via Internet.
- Private Cloud Storage: it runs on dedicated environment and offers higher security and performance than Public cloud storage. However, private cloud storage offers single tenant in general.
- Hybrid Cloud Storage: it combines at least one public cloud and one private cloud. Moreover, Hybrid cloud allows users to switch between public and private anytime as to their demands.
Why Cloud Storage is popular?
Cloud storage is the most popular option currently for people to store data. Dropbox, a cloud storage company, just has 400 million customers around the world. In below, we list out some reasons that cloud storage is so popular.
Easy Storing: cloud storage service supports you to store much data fast and easy. You do not need to worry about storing space ever.
Syncing: Besides traditional storing function, cloud storage supports syncing. It is easy to synchronize. You select content and cloud storage will automatically synchronize it across all your devices. An example is that you can synchronize your unfinished project to your home computer and you can continue to finish it on your personal computer at home.
Sharing and Collaboration: cloud storage service also supports you to share your picture, files, and anything else in the cloud to your family, friends, colleagues, etc. Moreover, you guys can even edit a same file. Cloud storage will keep records about changes and store the latest versions.
Accessibility: cloud storage allows you to access the cloud via PC, mobile, tablets, netbooks, etc. Without any doubt, accessibility brings much convenience for both life and work. You can store your travelling pictures to the cloud via your smartphone when you outside home and do not take your PC.
Security: storing data in the cloud is much safe. Cloud storage providers will encrypt your data during data transferring process from your device to the cloud. When the data is in the cloud, providers will also keep it safe by backing up and encryption as well.
Low-cost: external hard disk drives are expensive. Especially for businesses that need to store and back up many files and much data, external hard disk drives are not cost-effective. Instead, cloud storage offers big space at low cost. Some cloud storage providers have free plans for people, generally fit for individuals. Moreover, cloud storage does not occupy your physical space (like in your office) as external hard drives do.
Besides above reasons, people choose cloud storage service also because of automation, no server maintenance, disaster recovery, and so on. From these reasons, we see that cloud storage service indeed brings much convenience. Employees can work anywhere. We can upload our pictures anywhere via any device. We do not need to worry about data loss ever.
Best Cloud Storage Providers
After learning cloud storage basics and why a lot of people favor it, do you want to give it a try? Do you want cloud storage to surprise your life? If you do, you had better know the 5 best cloud storage providers in the industry, which offer high value products at low cost.
As people have to buy papers and hard disk drives (usually computers) for storing data, cloud storage providers charge for space that people use. Fortunately, there are free cloud storage solutions as well. All 5 best providers in below just have free cloud storage plans or free trials.
One Drive: this is a project offered by Microsoft. One drive currently gives free cloud storage services including 15 GB storage space. The paid plans start at $1.99/mo with 100 GB space. Furthermore, One Drive designs plans specifically for businesses, which are lowest at $5/mo and have a free trial.
Google Drive: it provides more plans than One Drive. But the similarities are that Google Drive also gives 15 GB of free space and paid plans charge from $1.99/mo, 100 GB space included.
Box: this cloud storage company attracts more than 39 million people and over half of the Fortune 500. Box offers a free Personal plan with 10 GB storage and 250 MB max file size. Besides, its paid Personal Pro plan is $10/mo, featuring 10 GB storage and 5 GB max file size. Box Business plans start at $5/mo/user with richer features.
Dropbox: it has a client base of 400 million, in which 100 thousand are businesses. Dropbox also has one free cloud storage plan, including 2 GB storage space only. The paid plans offer 1000 GB space at least and charge from $9.99 per month.
SugarSync: this provider does not have any free plan, but it gives 30-day free trial for all its plans. The entry-level plan has 100 GB space, billed at $7.49/mo.