The 7 Pros and Cons of Cloud Storage

I had talked a lot about the awesomeness of cloud storage so far.

It seems like, there are no flaws in this kind of storage.

Today, I would like to go back to the basic which is the part where we analyze whether you should go for cloud storage.

So, what we normally do when we analyze a solution, system or a product is to learn the good and bad of it.

Let’s start with the good one.

[Read: 4 Most Common Cloud Storage Security Misconceptions]

 

The Pros of Cloud Storage

 

1. Access anywhere.

It doesn’t matter where you are as long as you have an internet and a device capable of accessing the internet, you can access your cloud storage data.

This includes laptop, desktop and mobile devices.

I would picture this kind of scenario is like having a walking hard disk all the time with you.

 

2. Reliable

Cloud storage is reliable in the sense that your data will not be gone as long as the cloud provider is still active.

Why I say so? Take a look at existing storage device.

Hard disk is probably reliable but it is not removable. So this is out of the story.

USB flash disk is small but that goes the same to the disk space as well.

External Hard Disk is bigger but a single free-fall drop to the floor, you can say good bye to your data.

Cloud computing is extremely complex behind where they have redundancy and probably even disaster recovery in place.

As a result, your data is quite reliable over there.

 

3. Works great as a backup

As the risks I mentioned in point #2, other device works great as a backup device as well but when it comes to reliability, cloud storage is still the best.

If you can afford to pay and put all your data to the cloud, I can assure you that you will not face any data loss issue.

So, cloud storage is not just great as a walking hard disk, but also a great online backup to you.

 

4. Save physical space

Using the cloud storage is quite eco-friendly I would say because you don’t use any physical space.

All the physical storage device will be handled by your cloud provider.

What you need to have is just an account of username and password to access the cloud.

 

The Cons of Cloud Storage

 

1. Internet reliability

One of the disadvantages of cloud storage is that it relies on the internet connectivity.

Although it is very unlikely not to have internet these days especially in medium to big cities, but it is still a risk.

Let say you are travelling to some internet-less places and unfortunately had your laptop broken, I’m sure you will not get all your data back until you have the internet back if you rely completely on cloud storage.

 

2. Security concern

Most cloud storage can be access by just a combination of username and password.

Although Dropbox offered two-factor authentication, it is very unlikely to see people using it as it is a hassle (but this is usually the case when better security is implemented).

As a result, if you had your username and password compromised, you will lose your cloud storage data as well.

You might not have it completely deleted because good cloud providers will keep a copy of your deleted data somewhere but what I concern here is data theft here.

 

3. Cost

Cloud computing might be cheap in certain point of view but to afford a big amount of space, the price is going to be ridiculously high.

So, I will only say that cloud storage is cheap if the requirement is to store about 100 GB of space.

Otherwise, home user like us will still prefer to have our data hosted locally.

[Read: How to manage and obtain 39 GB of free cloud storage]

 

Conclusion

There are always good and bad no matter what we product we use. In the end, it is up to us to decide what is best for our own self.

I would say that cloud storage is good but we should always have a backup plan as well which is to use external hard disk storage.

This means more job such as synchronization from PC to a disk and PC to the cloud.

However, if the data is really this important, I bet you will not regret this action.

Why I Use and Pay for Amazon S3 Cloud Storage

Yes, I use Amazon S3 and I didn’t say so just to promote the product for affiliate commission because Amazon don’t provide affiliate program for their S3 storage service.

As mentioned, there are lots of good free cloud storage around and even with the combination of them, I could go as much as 39 GB of cloud storage for free.

But why I am still using Amazon S3 here? This doesn’t make sense!

Of course I am here to tell you why but before that, let’s make things worse here by addressing the disadvantages of Amazon S3.

 

The Disadvantages of Amazon S3

  • No Official Desktop Application. You can’t sync your data automatically like those Dropbox desktop application as far as I know. It is not a big problem because there could be 3rd party application that can do it but definitely not Amazon themselves for now.
  • The Price is the Same. Since the price of Amazon S3 is not really cheap, this made them a disadvantage. The price of 100 GB in S3 is almost the same for 100 GB in Dropbox. So why not go for Dropbox that is more feature rich.

 

So now, Why Amazon S3?

The main reason I selected Amazon S3 is because of the ‘Pay As You Go‘ concept.

My problem with paying for cloud storage are:

  • I need more than 5 GB (Average free cloud storage space) but not more than 20 GB.
  • Minimum subscription for Dropbox is 100 GB for $9.99 per month but I don’t utilize completely.

As a result, Amazon S3 solved my problem because I can utilize more than 5 GB freely and best of all, I don’t have to commit $9.99 every month.

 

The beauty of ‘Pay As You Go’

By going for ‘Pay As You Go’ concept, you don’t have to under utilize your subscription.

Imagine that you only need 20 GB of cloud storage, you will need to pay the following:

  • For Dropbox – $9.99
  • For Google Drive – $4.99
  • For Skydrive – $10.00
  • For Ubuntu One – $2.99
  • And finally Amazon S3 – $1.43 (Amazon Calculator)

So back to you now, what cloud storage do you subscribe to? To all Amazon S3 users and fan boys, do give a Like or Tweet to this article ;)

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