In 2021, there are so many different cloud storage providers that finding the perfect one for your company can be challenging. The most important factors are cost, server location, capacity, and security. Follow our advice to help simplify the process.
Picking the right cloud storage provider for your business can be a tricky decision. The cloud storage industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, which has flooded the space with a range of different companies. Most of these platforms have limited track records, and every one of them attests to deliver fantastic service, but is that the reality? Let's discuss how to select the best cloud storage providers while eliminating the poor operators.
Breakdown of Cloud Storage and Why Is It Popular
Cloud storage sounds pretty fancy and super high-tech. You are probably imagining your pictures and documents floating about you in a fluffy white cloud. If only this were true! In simple terms, cloud storage refers to the ability to access your data whenever you want through the Internet, thanks to third-party storage.
Professional cloud storage companies have massive data and service centers where they store everything and anything you need. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can view, edit, download and upload data (and documents) to these remote servers.
Of course, security is a significant issue when using cloud storage. The best cloud storage providers use encryption to safeguard your data for storage and retrieval to mitigate security concerns. Providers also protect your data from erasure or corruption.
Cloud storage has become so popular because it solves two commercial issues: lack of space for data and difficulty giving everyone in their company access to said data. With cloud storage, companies don't have to worry about slowing down their systems and managing vast amounts of information. Instead, they can outsource this task to professionals who run data centers.
Cloud storage allows any employee with the Internet and the correct password to access data immediately. This practice keeps all employees up to speed and allows them to coordinate and work on projects together.
Should You Pay for Cloud Storage?
When picking the ideal provider, a significant decision lies between free plans and paid options. By only choosing free cloud storage providers, you severely limit your options: Many cloud storages only have paid versions or a free option that is highly restrictive and offers minimal space. However, if you only need personal cloud storage or have a small company with only a few employees and limited data requirements, then free might be the way to go.
Google Drive, also known as Google cloud storage, is a popular option if you require a free cloud storage provider. Google provides lots of free space, as much as 15GB, and a simple and highly responsive front end.
Businesses typically decide to choose a paid cloud storage provider because they require far more data capacity than free options and fast upload capability. A medium to large business will quickly use up the free space when using standard cloud storage deals.
Another critical benefit of paid cloud storage options is the additional technical support they offer. Providers go out of their way to keep their paying customers happy. This means if you ever have any issues, you can quickly contact customer support, and they will restore your data or solve any other issue you may be facing. Most free platforms do not provide customer support, and there is no way of contacting them. To illustrate this, imagine getting ahold of Google support.
Businesses that opt for paid cloud storage options will likely be overwhelmed by the number of companies. The industry-leading cloud storage companies are Google Drive, SugarSync, Idrive, and Dropbox. Cloud storage pricing can vary substantially based on your required data capacity and how many users to which you need to grant access. Fortunately, the cost has been declining over the years, and now you purchase a terabyte for under $200 per year. The prices can shoot up if you require more space. 10TB at Google starts at $600 per year.
Security is a critical factor when deciding if a provider is right for your company. This is because when using cloud storage, you are handing over your sensitive data to an outside company and trusting that they will guard your information. Before selecting a company, make sure you study their systems and examine their technology to determine their ability to safeguard your information. It is wise to consult IT support professionals, especially when trying to judge a provider's encryption protocols.
Cloud storage creates some strange situations because your data may be held in data centers located in countries that have vastly different laws to your home country. These differing laws represent a risk to your business as they could block you from retrieving or protecting your data from corrupt governments. When choosing a company, you should research where the data is physically stored. The best option is to choose a cloud storage company that operates in your country or a similar country. It is strongly recommended you consult IT experts and lawyers before hosting your sensitive information internationally.
A business often considers hosting your data in the cloud because it lacks the capacity and expertise to manage its data on its own. If that is the case, there is no point in choosing a provider who can not physically handle your data storage needs. Ideally, you want to find a cloud storage company with which you can form a long-term partnership. The last thing you want to do is swap companies as there is a chance of data corruption. It makes sense to select a cloud storage operator with the capabilities to help take your venture to the next level.
Selecting the right operator requires a significant amount of time and effort. Your first step in the process should be deciding to either go down the free or premium path, then studying the contenders, their location, and their safety protocols. The points we've discussed can help you choose a provider capable of safeguarding your data, but you still may want to consult a professional. Contact us with any questions along your cloud storage journey.
Emily Moore is an English and programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes current space investment and research should focus on conserving our planet's resources. With satellites in orbit, it is easier to obtain relevant data on any changes in the environment. This, in turn, should help people quickly solve any problems.