So how does this sound to you? Carrying all your important files and documents, anywhere and anytime you want, without having to carry any external storage devices, like hard disks, pen drives and memory cards? And that’s not all, what if you could access these files on any of your fancy devices, like your Tablet and Smartphone, or even simply on your friend’s computer, using something as minimalist as an internet connection. Does this not appeal to you as a pleasant change?
Yes! Exactly like your email, Facebook and Flickr accounts, where in a way you can store all of your important documents and pictures, what if all of your other important files like your excel sheets, sound files etc. can be stored on a website, which only you can access and that website keeps that data safe and secure for a long time, will you not be interested in that? Well of course you’ll be, unless you love the Stone Age and you want to go back to that nil stage if by any chance your hard disk crashes and you lose all your data.
The answer to all of these questions is Cloud Storage- a slang for Online Storage.
Cloud storage is a new name given to a similar old school technology (email), which is nothing but some off-shore huge data storage devices connected to each other via internet and has an interactive user friendly platform for its customers, and the customer can store and retrieve their files from that platform anytime and that platform is nothing but a website or an app which has a library like arrangement with upload and download tabs.
These days we spend a lot of time downloading new stuff on to our little gadgets which do not have that much storage capacity, unlike National Information Center We do face storage problems and as a way out we end up sorting out our data and deleting old folders from our computers or hard disks daily just to make enough space for the new data.
Good thing, some wise men gave this a thought and innovated a new concept of Cloud Storage which redefined storage in terms of capacity, data portability and security.
So how exactly does Cloud Storage work?
Lucky for us, it’s not rocket science Its just some big data storage unit attached to a server which is connected via internet to the other end- user or customer’s end.The user gets the privilege of an Interactive website, on which he or she can upload any kind of data, may it be her 16th birthday photographs or his scanned copy of academic certificates or it may even the monthly budget excel sheets. These files are transferred to those data storage units and later when the user needs those files; he or she can retrieve them from that Interactive, library-like website even if he or she is sitting on top of the Mt Everest (buy an Ncell connection in that case, it supports 3G on top of the Mt. Everest).
How is the data maintained?
A well maintained cloud storage company ensures that the entire database is copied on to multiple machines because we all know how the computers go faulty every time and if the practice of redundancy is not followed, the company might end up losing a lot of data. This is why a user should choose an appropriate service provider and a good level one among all the options.
Apart from storing the information on to the multiple machines, these companies also make sure these servers have copied information on different power sources and not just one particular place to avoid the data loss if any of the power supplies fails.
Reliability and Security of User’s data:
Normally websites encrypt the data with complex algorithms to encode the user’s information which is not easy to hack into as it needs a lot of processing. For users, a proper authentication is required to log into their account, which is done by their username and password which they get when they register for the services, just like what you do for your emails or Facebook account.
A cloud storage company has a large team of people working for them: technicians, engineers and administrative staff who might have access to all the data. So you might be thinking what if the security is already compensated for? Well, to prevent that companies encrypt their user’s data, which even their staff cannot access without proper authentication.
So, overall it can be a valuable asset in the near future. There are obviously some risks attached, but it all depends on which service provider you choose. Many of us might already be using this new technology on Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Microsoft’s Skydrive etc. These companies have various plans based on quantity of storage, but almost every company also has a free plan which gives about 5 to 10 GB of online storage space. I can confidently say that I’ve had a good experience with these plans.
And the last problem is of course the Internet. I try to make the best use of the Internet at my office. It’s fast and free for me. So go figure out which internet connection you are going to exploit for uploading and downloading the files onto your Cloud Storage. Or else learn how to hack into a private WiFi but make sure you are in good relations with your neighbours!