The cloud is a network of remote servers that store and manage data regardless of the device you are using – you only need a computer or mobile device to access the internet. With the cloud, you can access server functionality anywhere, anytime.
There are public clouds with unlimited access, private clouds that can be used for business purposes, for example, or community clouds that are accessible to a specific group of institutions.
How does an online cloud work?
Online clouds can be described as a portable virtual entity. Providers of such services offer space for storing data such as text files, media files and software. This data does not take up space on a physical device belonging to the user device, but is stored remotely on the cloud provider’s server. The security of the data is guaranteed by the operator. You can access the files stored on your virtual server from anywhere at any time – all you need is a device with an internet connection.
If you want to use virtual servers, you need to find the right provider and choose the subscription that suits you – virtual disks with a larger capacity have to be paid for, but there are also free clouds with less storage space for individual needs. Afterwards you have to create a user account and set a ( preferably strong ) password to access it. Of course, this is all done remotely, via the Internet.
This type of solution is extremely secure, as long as you protect your access rights. Remember that you are responsible for the privacy of your data – do not share your password with unauthorised people. This way you can be sure that your data does not fall into the wrong hands.
How to use the cloud? Why is it useful for both work and privacy?
For storing text files, images and other types of data that you can change at any time, the cloud is definitely a better choice than a traditional hard drive. What is important is avoidance of data loss or misplacement like with physical drives. If your device is stolen, your files are protected and an unauthorised person cannot retrieve your data unless they know your password. If your device is damaged, you can restore your data to another device.
Data stored on virtual servers is not lost accidentally – the cloud network stores and backs up data in arrays. Accessing and working on files requires permission from the administrator.
Many people work from home, so a corporate data cloud is very useful – it makes it much easier to work and share data internally. The virtual disk can be accessed by an unlimited number of users, but the server space depends on the chosen subscription. Cloud providers offer virtual disks of different capacities, so you can choose the right server size for your needs.
If you have a lot of data and download it and upload everyday, a necessity is a strong broadband connection as offered by Atlantek Fibre Broadband where anyone can find an up to 1000Mb/s packages for a very reasonable price.
The most popular cloud storage applications:
Google Virtual Drive is the most popular data storage app. Anyone using a Google account will have found a way to store files in Google Drive. The service is free for those who do not need much space. Only 15 GB of storage is free for every Google Account user.
If you need a drive with a larger capacity, Google offers three options: 100 GB, 200 GB, 2 TB.
Microsoft offers the OneDrive cloud package that is compatible with MS Office. When you sign up for an account, you get 5 GB of free storage. If you need a bit more space, choose 100 GB.
An interesting alternative is to purchase an Office 365 subscription for individual users. This gives you access to MS Office programmes and the OneDrive cloud storage service. With the Office 365 Personal option, you get 1 TB of storage space for your files.
Office 365 Home is useful if you have more than one user, for example a family – you have the option to share the plan with 5 more people who have access to MS Office tools and 6 TB of storage space.
Dropbox like all the other online services has to be accessed by internet connection and with the amount of data users are allowed to store, download and upload, there is a huge need for an ultra fast fibre broadband, which helps in the delivery of the data in an instant.
Dropbox is one of the most popular virtual disk services. There are two individual plans: you can choose 2 or 3 TB of space for your data. In addition to file storage, Dropbox saves your storage history for 30 or 180 days, depending on the subscription you choose.
Dropbox for Business stands out with its Advanced plan, which guarantees unlimited storage space, allows you to transfer files up to 100GB and includes tools for groups. This plan costs €18 per user per month.