Having a dedicated storage center doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re an individual entrepreneur, dedicated storage is a good alternative to keeping sensitive data locally. The trouble is that volume hosting often costs a great deal. The type of storage that you choose is what will drive your costs. Do you need Terrabytes worth of storage and 24/7 support with guaranteed uptime?
For most individuals, the answer is no. Even small businesses would struggle to contain that much data on a remote server. Finding alternatives to expensive cloud storage comes down to identifying what you want.
Some of personal cloud storage solutions factors to consider
Hosting or Backup?
In some situations, you can forgo cloud hosting altogether in favor of a local backup. An external hard drive often costs much less than cloud storage and will protect data all the same. The difference is that you’ll need to carry that storage with you everywhere you go. Cloud storage offers access to you all over the Web. Students can use it to bring work to and from campus and home, workers can exchange data remotely and collaborate in real-time. Cloud storage also removes restrictions on file size that email might hinder, allowing you to quickly move large files from one machine to another.
That flexibility makes cloud storage a concern for everyone on the Web.
- Depending on what you want to host, you can find a variety of free solutions with premium upgrades.
- Flickr is an image hosting site backed by Yahoo that offers photo storage as well as an attractive photostream.
- Google Drive allows storage of document and spreadsheet.
- Microsoft SkyDrive competes with Google in Office document storage
- iCloud stores applications and purchases made with your Apple device
- Amazon also offers free storage for your purchases of music and video
The disadvantage is that you segment your data to different sources.
Web hosting is a valid method of storage, but there are a few concerns. First, if you store your data then it will be open to linking by default, allowing public access to the files you store. You can take security precautions, like encrypting a directory or password protecting data, but that may require additional resources.
You also share your storage capacity with your own website, which only becomes a concern if your site has a lot of moving parts or hosts video. Flash and video streaming are huge bandwidth killers, but media files and downloads present storage problems too. If you plan to use your hosting as a storage solution, make sure you minimize the amount of data your Web page consumes to load.
The positive to Web hosting as storage is that it’s easy to back up your data multiple times, so when server movers perform migrations, or maintenance leads to a crash, your data is secure.
Cloud hosting stores your data off-site. It’s very similar to a local hard drive, but you’re actually harnessing the power of a cluster of servers. These terminals run a minimal operating system to devote as much space as possible to storing your data. The largest benefit to remote hosting is that you don’t have it locally. It’s more secure to store data remotely because you’re protected from theft and the hosting company provides some support.
Paying for Hosting
If you’re considering paying for hosting, here are a few tips on what to look for:
- Uptime: not just that the company has 24/7 uptime guarantees. You want to know that servers are responsive and that your users won’t be waiting for documents to transfer
- Security: what does the host do to guarantee that your data stays private?
- Storage space: What do you need to host? Can choosing a specialized provider for a specific type of media save you money?
Cloud hosting will give you more mobility, save you space and give you greater freedom to manage your work load without worrying about securing it.