cloud storage

As someone who is almost always connected to the internet for my job — but not necessarily always on the same computer or device — I've become accustom to saving almost everything on some type of cloud storage.

I love cloud storage!

What is "cloud storage"?

Simply speaking, cloud storage is the opportunity to store mass amounts of information in a secured web-based account via a 3rd party — and then access that information from any computer, tablet, or smart phone with internet capabilities.

If you want a more detailed and complex explanation, check out this one from Wikipedia.

Advantages:

  1. You don't "waste" storage space on your own computer hard drive.
  2. You always have access to the information you need as long as you're connected to the internet.
  3. You don't need to carry a flash drive, portable hard drive, CD, or other physical storage device (that could also then be lost or broken).
  4. You can often opt to "share" certain files with other people's accounts — which is often much easier than emailing large files, photos, projects, etc.

Disadvantages:

  1. You need to be connected to the internet to use cloud storage.
  2. Some people are worried about file security — and I suppose it is a little riskier to store your files on the internet than on your personal computer, but I've never had any issues… and even the information on your personal computer can be hacked.
  3. There can sometimes be a fee for using cloud storage — but I'll discuss several free options below.

cloud storage options

5 Popular Cloud Storage Options

1. Dropbox

  • FREE — 2GB; you can earn significantly more storage with referrals
  • Additional storage available, starting at $9.99/mo. for 20 GB
  • Available for Mac, PC, Linux, iOS, Android

Dropbox is definitely my favorite cloud storage service — and the one my husband and I use almost exclusively. I store almost all our documents, files, spread sheets, etc. on Dropbox and have never had any issues with losing data or security breaches.

2. Google Drive

  • FREE — 5 GB
  • Additional storage available, starting at $2.49/mo. for 25 GB
  • Available for Mac, PC, Linux, iOS, Android

Google Drive is another pretty popular cloud storage option — and one I use on a regular basis for storing AND sharing information via the internet.

For example, I do many of my invoices via Google Drive — which makes it really easy to use an invoice template, update the information, and send it vie email to any other email address. The invoice is always saved there if I need to refer back to it, and I can access it from any computer or device.

I also use Google Drive for sharing recipes via my blog. I can create the recipe card (using a template), copy the URL link for that specific document, and then link to that specific recipe card on my blog. That way, anyone who has access to the internet can find and print my recipe card (which also links back to my blog).

3. Evernote

  • FREE — unlimited storage with 60 MB/mo. upload capacity
  • Additional storage available, starting at $5/mo. or $45/yr.
  • Available for Mac, PC, iOS, Android

Evernote is the easy and powerful way to remember everything, from lifelong memories and vital information to daily reminders and to-do lists.

Evernote offers lots of free storage with more free storage for anyone else you refer to their services. They also have a fabulous App (for iOS and Android) that allows you to pull information and data from almost anywhere (even snapping pictures of kids artwork or your to-do list) and have access to them from your desktop computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Evernote also offers shared account options where you can share certain information with others you authorize, AND it has a ton of really cool new features that have the potential to majorly simplify your business and personal life.

4. Apple iCloud

  • FREE — 5 GB
  • Additional storage available, starting at $10/mo. for 10 GB
  • Available for Mac, PC, iOS

Apple’s iCloud service is Apple’s centralized data service that synchronizes data including photos, calendar and documents between various iOS devices and Mac and PC-based computers. Apple gives every iCloud user 5 GB worth of storage, but iTunes files are not counted against this amount.

Since we're an "Apple family" and use all Apple products, I’ve found that while I still prefer Dropbox for my everyday file storage needs, Apple's iCloud has been very helpful for storing contact information, syncing calendar data, and keeping track of all my other Apple-related purchases and products.

5. Microsoft SkyDrive

  • FREE — 7GB
  • Additional storage available, starting at $10/yr.
  • Available for Mac, PC, iOS, Windows

Skydrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service, available to Windows Live users and integrates heavily with Office’s online functions as well as with the Bing search engine and also has social network integration. I haven’t personally used SkyDrive much. If you are a heavy Windows 7 or Windows Live user, you’ll probably get a lot of use from this particular cloud service.

I'm certain there are many other cloud storage options out there — especially if you aren't necessarily looking for a free option. However, when it comes down to free cloud storage options, I think you'll be able to find at least one that fits your needs via the list above!

As I mentioned above, I am a HUGE fan of cloud storage — both for my business and personal needs.

If you're not currently using some sort of cloud storage, I would highly recommend trying at least one of the options above. You might be surprised how much it helps you to simplify and organize your digital world!

What are your thoughts on cloud storage?

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  • Posted By:Turnstone
  • Date:Nov 8, 2013
  • Category:Uncategorized
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