Man has always relied on an external medium other than his own brain cells to store and pass information for future generations or to preserve his own memories. From early Neanderthal who used wet clay and mud and carvings on cave walls to the more progressive Egyptians using hieroglyphics to store and pass info. Perhaps it is this innate characteristic of mankind that led to changes (for the better) in advancement of storage media in the world of Information Technology.
Right from the days of punched cards as early as 1725 to floppy disks and CDs DVDs to Hard disks to finally something intangible as the cloud, we have come a long way. And a big reason is the quantum technological leap that media storage has taken. Just a few years back we had to compile all our data in USB sticks and HDDs and here in 2019 even that is slowly taking a backseat.
With the advent of cloud storage getting cheaper and affordable each passing day, all one must do is to remember a password and get access to his/her data. To share the data, one need not physically go to a location as those credentials can also be shared via email or any messenger app. It may sound like science fiction, but the day is not far where human beings would be able to implant storage devices in our bodies and brains to increase and support our own mental short- and long-term memories. But until that day arrives, lets explore this latest innovation called as cloud storage.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud computing, cloud storage and cloud services are commonly used words we hear today. Though the word “Cloud” brings those fluffy white, water vapor filled, smoky like substances to our mind, but in reality, it has nothing to those sky bound things in heaven. Technologically speaking, the term “Cloud” refers to a computer/s with a large storage capacity. All the data is collectively stored on a large network of computers and is easily retrieved through the medium of internet.
Cloud also includes the software and services which run online and involve sending and receiving data from another location. A few examples would include Google docs, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox etc.
A great innovation like cloud has many advantages which has helped mankind to revolutionize work process. Some of the countless benefits include:
Accessibility: The most important benefit of storing data on a cloud server is that it is accessible from anywhere multiple times. There is no need to carry a physical device with data stored on it. All you need is an internet connection and need to remember the username and password.
Specific link and access permission: Cloud storage assists the user to generate limited access and specific permissions of files he/she wishes to share. In other words, a person can send a link to another sharing a file and not the entire storage. Also, the shared files would have specific permissions like “read only” or “read and execute only”.
Cost Efficient: It is always cheaper to save the data by using the technology of cloud storage as compared to physically maintaining a larger server with many terabytes of space. Many business organizations are moving towards cloud storage for the purpose of backup.
Emergency backup: A duplicate copy of files can be stored availing this technology and can be accessed anytime, anywhere using internet. This proves most beneficial in times of an emergency and is recommended by all business to maintain such duplicate records in cases when primary records are not accessible.
Security: The data stored on cloud storage is always safe and locked with a username and password. Only those who possess the knowledge of its credentials would be able to access the data.
Accessibility: The most important benefit of cloud storage turns to its greatest limitation only in absence of Internet. Without Internet, the data would not be accessible.
Software: Accessing your files from any device is a fact but it requires for the specific cloud software to be downloaded and installed on all your devices. Every cloud storage service provider uses a custom software, using which you can access your files.
Bandwidth: Many of these service providers support a limited bandwidth and can charge additionally for supplementary service. However, there are others who have unlimited allowance. An organization’s purpose of using cloud storage must be considered when choosing a service provider.
Privacy: Even if someone gets hold of one of the physical machines where the data is stored, the files will not be readable as it is always stored in an encrypted format. However, Government agencies can legally request for any specific account information and it would not be possible for the cloud service provider to deny that request.
One of the best service providers in the field of cloud storage is Right Backup. The services provided are very easy and simple to use. It is also one of the few services which provide an auto backup of files which are stored in the cloud storage. Some of the features of Right Backup are:
Easy to use Software: Right backup features an easy to use GUI Interface and can be used by anyone. The Software enables you to choose what needs to be backed up and transfers it to the cloud storage. Retrieval of data is also facilitated in two steps. Choose the Restore tab and select the files and click on restore. It also sorts the files into various categories making it easier for the user to decide the type of files that are needed to be stored on the cloud storage.
Cross Platform software: One of the best features of Right Backup is that it can be used on a Windows or Mac computer and on both Android and IOS devices. This helps user to access his files on any device irrespective of its operation system.
Cost Effective: Right Backup is quite cheaper as compared to other services available in the market today.
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There is no doubt that Cloud Storage is the future of storing data. It remains cost effective and safe than the physical pile of devices we have in our homes today. The only major drawback is that the files cannot be accessed without internet access. With 5G around the corner, that worry can be put to an end for mankind is going to experience the fastest internet access ever and that means storing our data on cloud storage would be the same as carrying it with ourselves as I mentioned earlier – implant storage devices in our bodies and brains.
Kindly share your thoughts on safety of your data on Cloud Storage and what other challenges could be faced.