Cloud storage is becoming increasingly popular in the business world. Although you may have heard about “the cloud”, you may not be aware of exactly what it is and how it could benefit you. Once you learn about cloud storage, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
A brief history of file storage
Although we can go back thousands of years when talking about file storage, let’s just talk about file storage during the computer age.
- Punch cards, which are considered the first form of digital storage, were used by computers until the 1970s.
- Punch tape, which was used until the 1990s, basically used the same technology as punch cards.
- Magnetic tape was introduced in the 1950s. A single reel of magnetic tape could store the information contained on as many as 10,000 punch cards. Cassette tapes are an example of magnetic tape storage.
- Other forms of storage that you may be familiar with are floppy discs, laser discs, hard discs and flash drives.
File storage options for the modern world
Hard discs can now store an incredible amount of data. The drawback is that you have to maintain the hard discs and are also responsible for backing up the data. You also have to worry about security. Storing your data on CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs isn’t very practical. So what’s the best option for your file storage needs?
Most likely, it’s the cloud. Using the cloud as your file storage option gives you access to your data from anywhere at any time. You also cut down on storage costs. After all, you don’t have to buy any additional hardware for storage. You also don’t have to worry about maintaining any hardware. Most file storage hosts allow users to store large amounts of data for free.
So how do you choose the best storage solution for your business?
You don’t want to rely on hosts that use technology that isn’t secure. Since you will need to be connected to the host to send and receive data, you want a host that offers fast transfer rates. Sending large files to multiple computers can be a nightmare if your host has slow transfer rates.
FTP, as a method of sharing files with people, can be insecure. It’s not encrypted and it can be difficult to establish the proper permissions for multiple users. Managed file transfer, on the other hand, is encrypted the entire time, and allows users to share whole folders or specific files with specific people. Users can also limit the amount of times a file can be downloaded.
Make sure that the host that you choose meets industry and federal regulations. There are hosts that take shortcuts and that could cost you in the long run. For example, look for a host that follows the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). You will know that any credit or debit card numbers and payment data are secure if the company follows the PCI DSS standard.
As you can see, there are many benefits to cloud storage. You’ll save money, and you’re also protected if something like a fire happens at your place of business. All your files will be safely stored at a remote location. You will also save time because you don’t have to worry about maintaining your storage equipment or making sure that it is secure. Cloud storage is clearly the best storage option for people who are running a business.