You have all heard about the horrors of saving your documents and images to the Cloud. Heck, there was even a movie about it! It is no surprise that people are wary when thinking about using a Cloud service for their important files, but there is very little risk about using a service that offers Cloud products, unless you are part of the government and are trying to protect classified documents. Then I would suggest you use a protected server from said government to ensure every step necessary to protecting your document has been taken.
Cloud Services have really taken off in the last decade. More and more people are moving from purchasing flash drives and external hard drives to purchasing a subscription to a cloud service for a year and uploading their documents so that they can access them from wherever they may be. There are three main competitors when it comes to the Cloud market, all of which are great in their own ways, but they also have faults too.
Apple – iCloud
Just like any other Apple product, add a lowercase “i” in front of the the product and you have Apple’s version of it. iCloud is a great service, especially if you have multiple Apple products (i.e. an iPhone, iPod, iPad, and a Mac). The best thing about iCloud is that if you have multiple devices, iCloud makes it easier for you to transfer information across platforms. If you have pictures on your iPhone, and want to move them to your Mac, all you have to do is make Photos linked on all devices under your iCloud service and your pictures will show up in your photos gallery on all connected devices.
The only problem I really see from it is that it connects all your devices, making all of them vulnerable. If your computer is hacked, that means everything else connected to it is also hacked; if you connected your phone and tablet to your Mac through iCloud, you best believe they are no longer safe too. Though this is a problem, it is also a plus side too. If you lose your phone and have to purchase a new one, all of your information from your phone was automatically saved on the Cloud, meaning you did not loose anything other than the physical phone.
Apple makes it easy for you with iCloud purchasing. You automatically have 5 GB of free storage on them, but nowadays, that is close to nothing. In order to get more storage, you must purchase more storage per month. For 50 GB of storage, you are charged $.99 per month, and it only goes up from there. To see a full list of all of Apple’s charges and perks for the iCloud, visit Apple’s official website on iCloud to learn more!
Google – Google Drive
The next cloud service that is a major competitor is run by Google. Of course the media giant has to be involved in the cloud service market, especially since that is all it really is to begin with. For Google, they offer the cloud service of Google Drive.
Google Drive is one of the most widely used Cloud Services today due to it being included in what you get when you sign up for a Gmail (Google Email) account. It comes free of charge for all those who sign up with Google, and includes up to 15 GB of free storage before you have to start paying more for more storage. It gives you a multitude of options when saving information to the Drive, allowing you to organize everything into folders and sections. It also allows you to share your documents with others to edit it and automatically saves the drafts and changes to your account, along with a list of the changes for you to go back if you do not like the changes made.
One of the biggest problems that Google Drive faces though, is its lack of security. Yes, you are using Google, so it is somewhat protected, but if you are using all the free apps that Google offers to anyone, there is a lot less security than you would hope for. Especially since it is Google, a lot of hackers go after the company’s users. Google is one of the biggest organizations having to deal with computer coding and information. If an up-and-coming hacker decides to, they can try to take on Google, which would mean that those users that signed up for all the free apps are the most vulnerable.
Google does a good job at warning people and upgrading their security constantly, so their biggest problem is something they already know about and they do their best to ensure their customer’s privacy. They do inform people about their products and what they do to better them, continuously keeping its users in the know. If you want to learn more about Google and its cloud service, visit Google’s official page on Google Drive and keep yourself up-to-date on what is happening.
Microsoft – OneDrive
The last company that has a Cloud Service option available for its users is Microsoft. Microsoft developed OneDrive after realizing how big of a market Cloud Services could be. The major difference between Microsoft’s Cloud Service and Google’s & Apple’s is the fact that it is not free at all. In order to have an account with OneDrive, you have to purchase a subscription to it, or buy it in a bundle package that includes other Microsoft services.
That being said, OneDrive is a bit more secure right off the bat because you are purchasing a subscription to it. Microsoft has put a lot into their products and has designed all of their products to work well with each other. OneDrive is one of the best products to use if you are also utilizing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook. They all connect automatically, and help you out by saving everything periodically every few minutes to ensure your work will not be lost. With the yearly subscription, you are typically walking away with around at least 50 GB of storage at your disposal, but if you bundle it with an Office subscription, you can get up to 2 TB, which even I cannot use fully!
One of Microsoft’s weaknesses is the fact that it costs money to utilize its product. It is a great product and I use it to this day, but I also utilize Google’s and Apple’s products too, since they are cheap and came with my products already. Microsoft’s OneDrive does help you when you are using other Microsoft products, but if you are looking for just another place to store your information, there are cheaper options out there. If you want to learn more about OneDrive though, visit Microsoft’s official web page for OneDrive to get everything you need to get started.
There are a ton of other Cloud Services out there, but these are the major three. If you want more variety, check out PC Mag’s post containing 50 of the best Cloud Services. You can also check out Sky High Networks for more information about what a Cloud Service is exactly. There is a lot of information out there just waiting for you to utilize, so make haste and learn all you can before you settle with a product based on its brand name.
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Stay Tech Savy!