How Does Cloud Storage Work?

inner workings of cloud storage

Those who are unfamiliar with cloud storage may envision that the technology revolves around satellites hovering above us in the sky. The very phrase itself does tend to lean in that direction considering its advanced technology.

Cloud storage provides users with some fascinating features and capabilities all of which can be undertaken remotely within the comfort of your home while sitting at your desktop computer or while on the road traveling with your mobile smartphone or tablet within convenient reach right beside you.

What Exactly is Cloud Storage?

In defining cloud storage, it may be helpful to make a comparison between the individual physical hard drive on your computer with that of a large network data center, which is often times referred to as a server farm. Cloud storage utilizes the technology of massive computer servers physically stored within a data center to provide users with a way to remotely upload and store their content. Although data stored within the cloud is visible online to users, the content itself is kept in servers linked to the web.

Another way to look at cloud storage is to think of it as a remotely accessed virtual filing cabinet. Cloud storage works by providing users with an alternative method for the safe keeping of all their content regardless of the file type or size. Individuals find cloud storage services appealing as it provides them with a secure way to backup their documents offsite of their own computer, which is a perk if their computer crashes and dies. Businesses like cloud storage as it is an efficient way to manage their data.

What Features Does Cloud Storage Offer?

Although some features and functions may differ between cloud storage providers, there are some similar perks shared by the companies. Multiple file types and sizes are generally supported so you can easily upload all your favorite content including documents, photos, videos, movies, music, and more. After you sign up for cloud storage and upload your content, you can then sync it with your other mobile devices such as your smartphone and tablet for easy access when you are out on the road.

Cloud storage lets you share your content with others. Depending on the provider and available features, benefits include being able to edit documents when team members are working together on a project. Files and folders are uploaded to your cloud storage provider and after you provide access by inviting others, everyone can see and access the shared documents in their account. Additional perks include having access to earlier versions of a shared document to see ongoing revisions and edits.

What Devices and Operating Systems Does the Cloud Support?

Support of specific devices beyond your desktop computer generally extends to mobile smartphones and tablets. Cloud storage providers each have their own guidelines relative to the operating systems that their service will work with. Common platforms that most companies are compatible with include iOS for Apple devices, Android smartphones and tablets, Windows based devices, and Linux. Cloud storage providers generally only support more current versions of operating systems for their service.

You need to download the provided mobile app onto your devices in order to sync your content between your smartphone and tablet. There are apps for Apple’s iPhone and iPad running on iOS systems plus apps for Android devices. Some cloud storage providers offer both desktop apps and mobile apps so you can access your content from any location, including home. Popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Microsoft Edge are supported by most providers.

Is My Content and Data Safe with Cloud Storage?

There are several things that users need to think about when it comes to the safety and security of their content when using cloud storage services. The first item is encryption to protect your content. Most cloud storage providers including those that offer free basic services have built-in encryption that essentially makes your content undecipherable. Encryption works by breaking your data up into fragmented blocks as it is transmitted from your computer and other devices to the cloud.

Two-step authentication is a beneficial security feature that requires users to input a texted code along with their password in order to access their account. Additional ways you can help to protect your stored content is by choosing very strong passwords that use a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters. Never use simple phrases such as names or common everyday terms. The more complex your password is, the harder it is for hackers to gain access.

Does Cloud Storage Provide Restoration and Recovery?

Peace of mind is important when you have all your virtually accessible content stored on a remote server. Users go with cloud storage as it provides them with an alternative place to backup their content. They want to have that reassurance that their content will still be accessible if their computer were to crash, be damaged, or is stolen. Cloud storage providers give you the option to restore your content by linking to your account with any type of device including your smartphone and tablet.

Another feature that is appealing to users is the benefit of restore and recovery for those times when you may accidentally delete documents, files, or folders. Some cloud providers will store and keep your content with all its versions indefinitely so you can easily go back and retrieve older files before you made changes to them. Top service providers will go that extra mile by mailing a flash drive or USB hard drive directly to your home with all your documents and files so you can upload it onto a new computer.

The Future of Cloud Storage is Bright

Cloud storage is an example of how advanced technology provides us with resourceful and innovative methods to manage and maintain our content. You can upload all your documents, photos, and other types of files for safe keeping while being able to access them at anytime from any location on any device. Users can share their content with others and collaborate on projects together. The future of cloud storage is indeed bright.

  • March 9, 2016
  • Blog
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