As Internet use becomes ubiquitous in daily life, the status of data is also changing. It also becomes useful to be able to access your data anytime and anywhere, or to share it with others.
For this reason, cloud storage has become an increasingly efficient solution for many of us.
How does cloud storage work?
In its simplest definition, a cloud storage service offers the ability for a user to send a copy of his files to a remote machine called a data server that stores the received files.
The user can then access his files at any time, either through a web browser or a dedicated application.
In practice, each step of this operation is much more complex and involves many technologies to make the service reliable, secure and easy to use.
In particular, the storage system often consists of hundreds of servers. The data is replicated on several independent servers so that the data remains accessible to its owner, even in the event of a failure or other concern on one of the servers.
Advantages of cloud storage
Online data storage has many advantages over local storage on a physical medium.
Simplified access to data
Today, a user often has many devices connected to the Internet: work computer, laptop, phone,… The synchronization of data in the cloud offers the possibility to access it from any of these devices.
Transferring your data from the work computer to a USB key so you can work from home is no longer necessary, and the many problems that this caused can be forgotten. No more need to send each other important documents by email.
To go further in this direction, your data becomes accessible even if you have unexpected needs. An Internet connection and a simple web browser are all you need to access your data from anywhere.
Synchronizing data in the cloud also provides a great tool for sharing data. Indeed, it becomes extremely easy to give other people controlled access to a selection of your files.
This sharing feature greatly simplifies collaborative work.
Sharing features differ significantly from one provider to another. Some propose to set an expiry date for the sharing, or password protection for example.
Reduced risk of data loss
Computers can break down, break down or be stolen. The same happens with other physical storage media such as external hard drives or USB sticks. These weaknesses make traditional data storage difficult and robust.
Cloud storage services often have several copies of the same file on different servers. This redundancy greatly reduces the risk of data loss. Indeed, if one of the servers is deficient, the data remains accessible since it is not dependent on a single physical medium.
Doing the same thing with local storage is complicated to set up and painful to manage. In particular, it assumes that copies of the data are stored in different places to avoid disaster (what happens in the event of a fire if the media are in the same room?).
Cloud Storage Concerns
The concerns involved in storing data in the cloud are usually related to the reliability and security of the service.
No one wants to entrust their data to a company without the certainty of being able to retrieve it when they need it.
With regard to online data security, all storage providers are implementing certain measures to improve their systems. These practices include data encryption (or encryption) and demanding authentication methods.
Data vulnerability is a major issue that must be addressed carefully. It is interesting to note that the most generalist and well-known providers (such as Google or Apple for example) are not necessarily the most demanding in terms of protecting your privacy. Other companies dedicated to cloud storage are often much more demanding in this area.
To learn more about the best services for security and privacy, see the article on online storage security.
How to choose a cloud storage provider?
Depending on your needs, choosing a suitable storage service is not an easy task. There are many parameters to consider, among which we believe that security should play a major role.
To simplify your choice, we believe that pCloud currently offers the best compromise on the market. The offer is very well positioned on all possible functionalities, including:
- a free 10GB plan for testing the service,
- robust security and a paid option for private data encryption (to ensure that no one but you can access your data, including pCloud),
- a Swiss company with a very good reputation,
- the only supplier to offer affordable lifetime payment offers (you pay only once and have access to lifetime storage space).
For more choice, use our cloud storage search tool to filter suppliers according to the desired features.