What is the cloud? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Believe it or not, cloud storage isn’t actually in a cloud in the sky, it’s in servers that are accessed via the internet. Cloud servers are located all over the world in data centres and are increasingly becoming the norm for storing and accessing data. Here we provide a brief overview of what the cloud is, together with some main advantages and disadvantages of using it.


Examples of cloud storage

Social media utilises cloud storage, when you switch from your tablet to your laptop, to your phone, everything on your social media will be there on every device, this is because it’s stored on the cloud. Email also utilises cloud storage in a similar way, multi-device access is important in today’s world where most of us have more than one device of which we need to access our emails on. Dropbox, Google drive and various other file storage applications make great use of cloud storage, with many businesses using them to share files with ease between teams.


Why use the cloud?

Users of the cloud, whether it’s a business or an individual, can access large amounts of data storage without having to manage the physical servers themselves, potentially disregarding the need to have in house I.T engineers. The removal of both staff and physical servers can save a business both money and time.


The cloud can be accessed from almost any modern device that has an internet connection, allowing reliable storage of the same files and data across a field of potential electronics, no physical devices needed.


Pros and cons of cloud storage

The cloud is becoming a crucial part of a lot of individuals’ home and working lives and for good reason, it’s such an easy way of remotely accessing everything you need. That’s not to say there aren’t disadvantages to the cloud, for example an internet connection is required to access the cloud and there’s a risk of data confidentiality, however as a whole, in most cases, the pros outweigh the cons. Below are a few advantages and disadvantages of using cloud storage.


Advantages of using cloud storage

Lower costs – Using traditional physical storage can be expensive to set up and upgrade. Cloud storage works out a lot cheaper per GB of storage space than using external hard drives.


Accessibility – The ability to access file and data from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.


Data recovery – Cloud storage provides a perfect backup solution for local or physical drives. In of data loss, your files can be accessed via the cloud.


Data syncing and updating – When using cloud storage, any changes to files, new ones created, or files being removed will be updated across all devices.


Security – All major professional cloud storage providers offer very secure data storage. Utilising encryption technology ensures a high level on security, vastly minimalizing the chance of your data being breached.


Scalability – As your business or home data requirements grow, cloud storage is easily expanded by increasing your plan. Similarly, if for some reason your requirements reduce, you can easily reduce the amount of space you need accordingly.


Disadvantages of using cloud storage

Dependence on internet connection – Cloud storage and accessing your data is entirely reliant upon an internet connection. If for some reason you cannot access the internet, then you will be unable to access files. Also, if your connection is slow, this will severely impact your ability to access, download and upload files quickly.


Physical storage – Although cloud storage is accessed remotely and over the internet, the systems are also reliant upon physical storage and some providers also still require physical hard drives.


Privacy and security – Relying on cloud storage effectively hands your data over to a third party. Despite the high level of security that providers use, data breaches unfortunately do still happen.


Increasing ongoing costs – If you are a heavy data user and will continually be increasing storage, then this will obviously have an impact on the price you pay.


For more information on how your business or home network can benefit from using cloud storage, contact our team on 01633 357260 or support@cambrianconnect.co.uk.

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