So you’ve been hearing a lot, a LOT, about cloud storage of lately. Even with the latest news about Apple’s iCloud system, just about every major name brand has their hand and foot into this arena. By now you should already know all the benefits of cloud storage right? No, let me give you a quick run down:
- Free storage space
- Easily accessible from most popular browsers
- Access via mobile devices
- Easy to share files and access
Now before I give you my reason for why the idea sucks, let me tell you about the one service I use. Dropbox. It’s a great service that offers free accounts that start with 2 gigs of online storage. You can install their free application on mobile devices and your PC or Mac computers. When you add or change a file that’s within your Dropbox folder, it automatically syncs the change across all your devices (so long as they’re powered on and online). Sure there are others out their but between my colleagues and I, we all use this the most if not exclusively.
So why do they suck? Well for one, not many have been around for a really long period of time. Also space is quite limited for the free ones. I remember years ago Yahoo used to have a “Briefcase” feature that offered free space up to a certain amount of megs. It wasn’t much, maybe like 10-50mb in space if I remember right. I stored resumes in there, pictures, and other files. Well a company as big as Yahoo, who would have thought they’ve ever get rid of that. Well they did. That void was quickly solved by thumb drives and portable media. So what if:
- Your files could be lost if you forget to pay for your online storage
- Security breaches could leave your secured files vulnerable
- Must have an internet connection to access your files
- Could take more time to sync large files than its worth
- Your files may be subject to the Patriot Act
- Storage company could fold without warning
- Servers could go down temporarily or for a long period of time
- No recycle bin for deleted files
- Encryption may be limited
- Lack of available technical support
Again, storing some of your data in the “cloud” is a great benefit. I think eventually it will be a much bigger market as more major brands incorporate storage in their devices and software. Cloud computing is getting bigger by the day and there doesn’t seem to be a ceiling for it as of yet. For me, its like having an old school floppy disk. You can work on your 15 page biology report on it for days at the library and as soon as you take it home to your own computer, the disk is unreadable. And just like that you lost all of your time and effort by relying on one medium for file storage. Use cloud computing and accompany it with your own physical storage device. It may be a bit of a task but you’ll thank me later if/when that online website gives you a 404 error or server not found message.
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