Features to Look for in a Cloud Storage Provider

cloud storage

Whether it is used for business or for personal use, cloud storage is a great option for access, storage, and mobile computing. Millions of people have already begun to transfer their files to cloud storage so they have access from just about anywhere. For file sharing, cloud storage offers a secure and manageable way to share your pictures, videos and music. However, what should you look for if you are planning on making the move to cloud storage? With so many options it can seem overwhelming.

Cost:

If you are looking for a cloud storage solution for business or personal use, cost should always be considered. Without the proper shopping, you could end up spending more for less and still not get all of the features you desire.

Prices are often based on the amount of space you need and the amount of users you want to grant access for. Before you can begin comparing prices, you will need to know your needs. Although the cloud is scalable, meaning you can add or remove space and cost when you need to, you don’t want to start out paying an arm and a leg for space you won’t use. Take the time to determine which files you will be putting into your cloud storage and how many users you want to grant access to. Then you will have a better idea of the storage plan you need.

Accessibility:

One of the most attractive features of the cloud is accessibility. As smartphones, tablets and laptops offer mobile computing options, you want to be sure your cloud storage service offers the same mobility. If you access your files through your phone, be sure your storage has an app for that. This will allow you to reach the important documents, pictures and videos you need when you need them and where you need them.

Security:

For businesses, security is always an issue. However, with many households going paperless, financial information, personal information and sensitive documents that an identity thief would love to get his hands on may also be stored in the cloud.

Check each storage provider and the security included with their storage plans. This will help keep your identity safe, reduce the risk of data loss, and assure only those with logins will be able to access your cloud storage.

Up-Time:

Having cloud storage is only useful if you can access it when you need to. Not all servers are created equal and some companies offer more up-time than others. Usually a storage provider will offer their percentage of up-time if you ask. Choose the service with the most uptime and you won’t be left waiting to access your storage.

File Sizes:

As technology increases, so do file sizes. If you plan to upload pictures and videos, it is important to be sure your cloud storage provider allows large file transfers and uploads. You can usually find this information on their site or by calling customer service before you sign up.

Cloud storage is a great option for mobile computing, file backup and file sharing. As with any service, you need to do your due diligence and shop around before you choose a provider. Taking the time to make sure you are getting everything you want will help assure you have a great cloud storage experience.

About the Author: Jason Hunter is a blogger and videographer who utilizes cloud storage services to securely send files online.

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  • While most cloud service providers have met minimum requirements around encryption, backup and security, anyone considering a major move to the cloud (especially businesses) should press providers and vendors on how data is protected at all layers in the security stack. Will data or credentials be cached and stored in the clear in order to optimize product performance? Will the vendor provide and manage the encryption keys that provide full access to that sensitive data? Are the right controls in place to prevent users or employees at the vendor site from unauthorized access? Visibility into data access practices will help differentiate between vendors when AES-256 encryption at rest and 256-bit SSL encryption in transit have since become the norm. With this information, businesses will be better prepared to choose a cloud vendor that will provide them the best security for their needs, helping them reduce the risk of data loss. – Anthony Kennada, Symantec