TechnoByte - Cloud Storage Services Explained

Cloud computing is the new buzz word in the word of technology. Don't let it scare you though.

It is basically a metaphor used by geeks to describe computing applications done anywhere but your computer.

The reality is that cloud services have massive benefits for business and consumers. In fact most consumers are probably already using cloud services already without realizing it. Anyone who has a Gmail, Hotmail or even a Yahoo email account uses a cloud service, as none of your emails are stored physically on your computer.

But for consumes the most exciting Cloud service is probably Cloud Storage services.

It is incredible the amounts of information human beings are creating today. Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt summed it up recently when he said that every two days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003, which calculates to around five exabytes of data. That is a five with 18 zeros at the end or 5 billion gigabytes.

With mobile phones and digital devices we are creating more photographs, videos, recording music and posting on numerous social networks thank ever before.

The problem with creating so much digital content is how do you share it?

This is where Cloud storage services come in handy. There are some great choices for consumers to choose from.

The great advantage of cloud services is that users are able to create and collaborate as well as store content up in the Cloud and access that content securely from any device, anywhere in the world. Another advantage is the ability to back up computers and important documents. Cloud storage services sync your devices or folders that you have selected to make the content available from any device anywhere in the world.

There is nothing worse than losing a computer and not having your data backed up.

Most Cloud storage services offer users a certain amount of storage space for free and charge a nominal fee if you want more storage space.

Essentially they all offer pretty much the same thing with some providers allowing you to do more. For example the types of file formats that one can store, how easy it is to move content from device to device, the level of file encryption, and whether one can stream content directly from your storage.

There are a plethora of different services out there.

One of the most popular services out there is Dropbox but offers users only 2GB for free.

This week Google launched their Cloud storage device called Google Drive offering users 5GB of storage for free with upgrades for more space available at a cost. It also supports many more different file formats than the competitors.

Another great alternative is Microsoft's Skydrive which offers users 7GB free.

Sugersync is another cloud storage service that offers an initial 5Gand is compatible across many platforms.

Another big advantage that these external storage services have is the ability to share big files across the internet; we often try and send an email attachment that is too big to send.

Apple has iCloud making storing data and backing up very easy across all Apple devices.

When choosing your Cloud storage service, check the compatibility with your operating system and how much extra additional storage will cost. Also find out if there is an app for your mobile device and computer, it makes it so much easier to share content.

But be warned every time you upload and download content from these services you are using data, and that could be costly when doing it from a mobile device over a 3G network.