There is no cloud in the sky holding files, photos, music, applications, etc.
There is, however, a multitude of servers in places with storage on them located throughout the world on solid ground for you to store your files, photos, music, applications, etc.
The term, "cloud," was used to describe the storage that you transmit files electronically to because everyone knows what a cloud is, right? Duh. They're fluffy, puffy cotton candy-like thingies that float around in the sky and they can bring rain. Okay, so I didn't do well on the cloud lesson in science class. But? I can identify a cloud when I see it, and that's what matters.
However, it's not a good term to use to denote storage, right? When you stop to think about it, clouds don't store things very well at all. In fact, grey clouds tend to be loud and leaky.
Not exactly a great way to describe something that's supposed to store your most precious of items like digital files of old photos, audio interviews with loved ones, and stories about your ancestors.
Storage places like filing cabinets, files, treasure chests, trunks, garages, attics, basements, boxes, safety deposit boxes, and physical storage unit facilities would have been better visual descriptors. And they would've made more sense than loud, leaky, puffy thingies that float in the sky.
If I had been consulted about this whole cloud analogy business, I would've nixed the idea. I would've called them storage unit facilities and rented out storage unit space basing the price not on square footage space, but on gigabyte [GB] space.
And maybe I would've offered the first month free. You know, to hook you in.
Admittedly, it's not very sexy.
But it's simple and familiar.
Further, just like physical storage units are not free, cloud storage, or digital file storage that is offered online, is not free. Sure, you might get some storage for free so that you can try the service and see if you like what it offers, but eventually you're going to have to fork over some cash to store more files. ['Cause, like, servers aren't free and they aren't free to maintain.]
I mean, would you rent a physical storage room where they advertise first month free, then after that first month, move everything to another storage facility that offers the first month free as well just to avoid paying the $100/month storage fee at the first place? And then the next month do the same thing? [Of course, they have rules about that so they aren't scammed by folks who don't want to pay.]
No, you wouldn't. Unless, of course, you were dissatisfied with their service, or you have a whole lot of time on your hands.
And would you only store your precious junk in storage facilities that offered free space? That's hard to say. At the very least, you'd be wondering, "Why is it free? What's the catch? If they're free, they can't be good. There's gotta be a catch."
If you're being honest, you'd be skeptical and research it out.
What about if the free part of the storage unit was only big enough to store only half the junk you've accumulated in your garage, attic, and basement? Would you throw away the rest of the stuff? Pay for more space? Take the other half of the stuff and store it across town at a facility that offers just enough free space for the rest of it? Leave it in your garage? How would you pick which pieces of precious junk to store safely?
It's the same idea with digital file storage offered online. Open up an account, use up their free space, then start using another one that offers some free storage leaving your files willy nilly everywhere. Were you using a particular one for photos? Did you run out of free space? Did you purchase more space? Or did you then start using another service for more photos and then use yet another one for documents?
Eventually it becomes apparent that maybe you should have had a plan instead of being seduced by the word, FREE!
Check the Competition
And because you haven't won the lottery yet and your eccentric Great Aunt Bernice left all her money to her pet llama, Harry, you probably have a pesky thing called a budget which means you're going to have to call several storage places to see who has a better deal money-wise for the features they're offering. I mean, one might be a little higher-priced, but they may have a free moving truck that you can use [and you need it for all your junk], but the other place you called doesn't have that.
And it's like that with file storage offered online as well. You need to check all the companies online offering file storage to see what they have to offer and their pricing. [Thanks Harry-the-rich-llama.]
Some only offer certain types of file storage and some offer to store whatever you want. And their pricing is all different. Some offer a little free storage and others offer you way more. Some are better for collaboration and yet some are better at handling music files. And then there are some who offer to back up your computer completely.
So. Which one to choose?
My answer? It depends on you and your situation.
But? No worries. I've done the research for you. And in the next edition of the Genea-Tech Newsletter, I'll be going over many of the digital file storage companies, their features and benefits, and their pricing along with all the other fantabulous links and info that I usually share in the Genea-Tech Newsletter. So, all that will be left for you to do is to decide which one is the right one for you and your situation.
Don't miss the next edition of the Genea-Tech Newsletter which will be going out this Friday, November 2nd. If you haven't already signed up, sign up below.
Happy Researching! =)