Cloud Wisdom: Things to look for in online storage services

Let’s say you recognize the need for backing up your files, and hopefully, for backing up your backup. That said, I submit to you that your primary mode of backup should be online. Why?

Because using a cloud provider is more dependable and gives you access to rich features (Internet access, file sharing, et al) that you don’t get from standalone hardware solutions. In addition, it’s simply easier to upload files to the cloud than it is to buy hardware, hook it up, and store it securely, not to mention catalogue it. If you’re the typical user, you’d strongly prefer the “set it and forget it” type of storage over the “pain and maintain” model.

So, what should you look for when you select an online storage service? Obviously, it depends on the level of service you’re looking for, but here’s a quick reference list to get you started in selecting the right solution for you:

  1. Ease of use: You don’t want a solution that requires a rocket scientist to use and maintain.
    • Uploading, accessing and sharing files should be a simple point and click or drag and drop operation.
    • Universal access. You want a solution that you can access from any device you own and any Internet connection.
    • As a rule of thumb, you should be able to begin using your account within a few minutes of signing up.
  2. Security: This is always a top priority when dealing with the Web and the Internet. Your solution should provide security and encryption that meets the highest standard, military standard if possible, whether your data is in stasis or when files are being transferred. You might not be the Pentagon, but your files are precious to you, and no level of security is too high.
  3. Help and Support. Does your provider have a helpline, online support, email support? Does their Website clearly point you to where you can get help?
  4. Cost: Many services offer a free service for small amounts of data. This is a great way to try the service out, and may be all you need for the near term. Look for a provider who offers this with absolutely no strings attached, and with no expiration date. And, make sure that when you use up your free storage, you aren’t going to get roped into an overpriced subscription model.

You’ve made the easy decision – it’s time to go to online backup. Now it’s time to make an even easier one; which provider do you use? There are many excellent choices out there, and one of them is ElephantDrive. When you put it all together, there simply isn’t a more intelligent choice.

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