Laptops can be lost. External hard drives can be damaged. But cloud storage can keep your files—whether they are photos, music or documents—safe and sound. Pair that benefit with the ability to access files anywhere you have internet access, and the use of online storage seems like a no-brainer. But these aren't the only benefits to using the cloud.
Work with others easily. Just as you can access your most important files from home, at work and on the go, so too can other people, as long as you provide them with secure access to your cloud. This makes sharing content extremely easy. Additionally, you don't need to worry about sending that large file through your email server any longer.
Exploit unlimited storage space. While you might have to pay to increase your amount of storage space, the sky is really the limit. The amount of data you save isn't confined by the amount of memory on your computer, nor is confined to a finite amount of space in a storage unit. Save large files and small, and don't worry about taking up too much room.
Get automatic backup. Most cloud storage services will perform automatic backups for you. That means you don't manually need to set up backups or even download your files to an external hard drive or CD. Your backup files will live in the cloud, and as such, you can still easily access and search even your oldest files.
Forget about syncing. Unlike iTunes, cloud storage automatically syncs your files for you. For example, if you are working on a file at the office, it's automatically saved so that when you open it at home, you're opening the most recent version—with nothing extra that you need to do. (An extra perk? You don't need to download or install software to get this functionality.)
Cloud storage works on multiple devices. Just as you can access your cloud anywhere you have internet access, you can also use any device to do so. Many clouds are compatible with more than just computers, whether Mac or PC; they will also work with handheld devices, including iPhones, Androids and tablets.
Figure out your best cloud storage options. Before you choose a cloud storage service, do your due diligence, which includes checking the company's history with network security, and whether it performs automatic backups. Other considerations are how much storage space it offers at what price points, if it features a mobile app, and whether or not you can access older versions of your files. Current popular clouds to consider include MiMedia, Carbonite, Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox and Google Drive.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she's scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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