Selecting A Cloud Storage Provider: Things Consumer Reports Won’t Tell You
There are hundreds of articles and guides telling a consumer what to look for when selecting a cloud storage provider, but they all say the same basic things: storage size, price, and application. Though these are all valid points, they miss the bigger picture: functionality. If a cloud storage provider has an exceptional price but poor functionality, it is not going to provide a personal or business user with the cloud computing capacity they need. Therefore, users in the market for cloud storage should consider some of these more in-depth shopping tips before committing to any provider.
Consider the Overhead Market
With hundreds of cloud storage providers entering the market each year, prices are low and competitive. Unfortunately, what users do not realize is that too many providers are not always such a great thing. In an overflowing market where competitors are still trying out pricing and overall business models, users are finding that selecting a cloud storage provider is hit-or-miss. Though a user might assume purchasing from an existing or established cloud storage provider is best, even established cloud computing services have failed in the past.
Considering the Multitude of Options
Currently there are two group types for cloud storage. The first type is an all-in-one online hard-drive like system that allows users to store, share and even update files directly from the cloud storage provider. A good example of this type of provider would be Google Drive/Docs. The second type of cloud storage is one that is solely for back up services. This type of cloud storage provider only allows the user to back up their files and data to an online system for data recovery. A user will have to download files to update them and then re-load them into the storage system.
To Download or Not to Download
Some cloud storage providers allow users to download a desktop application for easier access. Some common providers of these types of clouds storage services include Drop Box, Box and Mozy. With the downloaded application, the user can upload, open and collaborate on files in real-time without opening their web browser. In order for files to update, however, the user still needs an internet connection. If the user does not want to download an application to their computer they can still access their files from an internet browser. This will typically take longer, but files are automatically updated in real-time through the online service, which is best for large companies collaborating on the same project.
By KoriLynn Johnston