Tuesday, November 24

Cloud Storage

Storing your stuff in "the cloud" has nothing to do with the weather, luckily. It's just another term for "remote computer system," otherwise known as "the internet."

Most Windows computers these days come with some form of Microsoft account with storage. At the moment, it's called "OneDrive", and offers several GB of free storage.

Google's software is pretty much built as a cloud-based system, and again their free accounts usually come with a decent amount of storage for emails and documents. The email account alone can hold up to 15GB, which should last most people many years.

You might want to consider expanding your storage if you're wanting to deal with lots of photos and videos. When you have several thousand images to deal with, then 15GB just isn't enough. I've used a free account with Dropbox for a few years, and a while ago I upgraded in order to have 1 Terabyte of storage available.

When it comes to storing video though, you do need to consider upload speeds, as well as the fact that you'll need a large amount of storage. Most professionals simply use several large hard drives, and hopefully make copies of what they think is the most important stuff.

For me, systems like Dropbox have three uses:

1 - for transferring files to other computers and people
2 - as a backup for my important files
3 - for synchronising applications like Evernote

I guess that last one is the one I think about most often. I use Evernote and YNAB on a daily basis, and the files are synched easily between my Mac, my Windows laptop, and my iPhone. It means I'm always using the most up-to-date version of that particular file that I need.

Although I mentioned Dropbox as a backup, I don't use just that one system. I also use Livedrive, who give you completely unlimited storage for a small monthly fee. It also runs on Mac and Windows system, and you can backup as many computers as you like; just check the upload settings though!

Cloud computing then, is just storage on the internet, and there are many ways to use it. Many times these days it's just part of a new application, but it's well worth investigating the options to see if there is something better that suits your situation.
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