Storing and sharing from the cloud is one of the greatest conveniences that has come out of the last five years of digital advances, but of course with convenience also comes risk, and never before has it been as important to protect files and data from cyber hackers as right now. But what if the problem of security and convenience could be solved simply by choosing the right cloud based service provider for you and your needs?
The first thing to look for in choosing the right cloud based service provider is security. With recent news of Russian crime gangs stealing some 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and over 500 million email addresses, security is on everyone’s mind. Storing to the cloud is disheartening to many, especially to businesses and corporations who also store customer data, financial information, and business plans. Even for the average user, storing and sharing from the cloud their personal data, photos, videos, etc. cloud protection is also important. Make sure that you read through all of the security and privacy notices and details from the service provider and look into what actions they take should your files be compromised.
Next, you want to assess your needs. What are you using the cloud for? Are you looking to strictly back-up files or also share them? Do you need to store only documents or also photo and video files? How much data will you need? These are all important questions to consider before shopping providers. There are a few questions to ask when choosing a cloud provider, which can help you narrow the choices. One, ask about the type of services provided as well as the cost. Again, it goes back to what type of files you plan to store and share, and what features you need. You don’t want to pay for features you don’t even need in the first place. Do your research and make a list of desired features and try to find providers with those criteria. With cost, also ask about pricing structure. Is it pay as you go? Pay all upfront? Monthly payments? Will that price ever change? Of course security is the next big question. Questions such as what security measures do you have in place and what happens if my files are lost or stolen are great to start with. If you are a business, you also want to ask about the company’s compliance with government legislation in protecting customer data specific to your industry. Another security question many people may not think to ask is “where are your servers located and what kind of security measures are physically in place?” Other questions to make you help your decision could also include questions on customer service and basic account set-up.
Finally, look at rankings. There are multiple rankings of top cloud storage providers that can offer insight into each provider on a deeper level. Most rankings will look at factors such as visitor’s preference, value for the money, storage options, features, and security. If you follow through with step two, assessing your needs for a storage provider, this final step should be a breeze as you can simply mark off a check list of all of your criteria against popular rankings. Dropbox is one cloud based storage supplier that has been making many of the top rankings, most recently featured by Cnet for its reliability and versatility. Dropbox is great for general storage of almost any file, but if you are looking to store and share photos specifically, for example, other top providers tailored for photo storage include SugarSync, which syncs seamlessly without rearranging files, and Amazon Glacier, which allows you to store up to 40 terabytes in each “digital vault” you create. When it comes to video files, Stream Nation is one the top providers, providing an attractive library for all media, and offering the ability to multi-post on social networks. Photos and videos are also converted as needed automatically, and users can watch movies offline or directly on a TV using Chromccast or AirPlay.
No matter your desired features, level of security preferences, or files to share and store, the bottom is that you should do your research and not compromise. Approach the process knowing what you want and you are guaranteed to find your perfect match.