Physical storage has taken many different forms over the life of the personal computer. Floppy disks, CD’s, and flash drives are a few examples of storing data to keep mobile or for backup. Over the past few years, cloud services have popped up here and there, offering services that are maintained off site so that users can keep data accessible from anywhere they can obtain online service. And since physical storage runs the risk of becoming lost or stolen, cloud storage can be beneficial for those having trouble keeping track of their sensitive data. The best part is that small amounts of data can be uploaded to these services at no charge. Here are a few services to look for when surfing for cloud backup.
Amazon cloud drive
Having had a steady track record as a solid online service, Amazon’s cloud service is a good choice for starters needing only a small amount of storage. Amazon allows users to upload 5GB of data at no charge, with an additional service for 250 songs. Additional storage can be purchased from several options ranging from 20GB to 1000GB, which adds up to about 50 cents per gigabyte as an annual fee (for example, 1000GB equals $500/yr.). A benefit for Kindle Fire owners is that the cloud service is integrated into the operating system, meaning files can be uploaded to the cloud, deleted from the hard drive, and saved for later. It’s a good introduction if you’re already an Amazon user and makes the new Kindle Fires, released later this year, more appealing.
If you’re an Apple user, it’s hard to go wrong with their cloud service, which works with all Apple devices. Starting at 5GB for free, iCloud let’s users share data between Apple devices, like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac PC, utilizing a series of apps for documents, photos, and e-books. Files no longer have to be swapped between devices and can be organized in one location for easier organization. Additional storage of 10, 20, and 50GB can be purchased at the same annual cost as Amazon’s cloud.
Ubuntu cloud & Ubuntu one
Ubuntu, a Linux-based software program, offers two types of cloud services for personal and business use. Ubuntu One offers the same free 5GB as the other two services, along with a 20GB service for $3.99 per month or $39.99 per year. Though the maximum of 20GB seems low, the music streaming service allows for users to listen even when there is no connection available, using a controllable cache. Additionally, Ubuntu One works with numerous operating systems, including Mac OS, Windows, and Android, which makes it a good candidate for smart phones users.
Ubuntu Cloud is centered on professional use. Rather than focusing on data backup, Ubuntu Cloud offers services for businesses, such as dedicated servers, network hosting, and application sharing. This can be designed for both public and private use, depending on the infrastructure of the business, and can allow multiple users to access programs from anywhere. The cost starts at $1050 and goes up to $8000 a year for the most advanced service. Though the later of these two cloud services is not for everyone, Ubuntu offers a wider range of capabilities for different consumers.
While there are other cloud services out there, these three offer free storage for those only needing a small amount of backup. All in all, cloud services are a great way to keep backup data safe without having to worry about where it’s at all the time. Choices vary based on what you plan to use it for or what you own, and all services have safe, secure off site facilities, giving peace of mind for sensitive data.