Cloud storage (also known as online storage, file sharing service or file hosting service) is a widely used technology today. It is integrated in certain operating systems like in case of Windows RT and Windows 8.1, and it is also available separately to consumers free of charge or after paying certain amount of money. If you have shared something over internet after uploading it to any online storage service, congratulations, you have utilized a part of cloud computing.
Cloud storage is the part of cloud computing. Like other technologies, cloud technology is also getting advanced with the passage of time. Now, many corporations offer exclusive features among with their cloud storage to their consumers like the facility to create documents, presentations, drawings or spreadsheets online and directly sharing them with people. Many of these companies also offer free applications to install on mobile phones or computer and utilize the cloud storage directly without going to their websites.
No matter what advantages or benefits cloud storage offers, it has numerous disadvantages especially when someone uses it as a primary or basic storage for storing his or her digital life. If someone thinks that having a spare personal storage device like flash card, flash drive, SSD or HDD is not preferable anymore when cloud is available, I would say he is making a big mistake. Come on, use some common sense and think about it what you are doing. Every technology has its own charm but is that technology as equally beneficial as it should be? The answer could be yes or no. But in case of cloud storage, it is ‘No’.
I myself use cloud storage but I consider it a pure stupidity to use it as a primary storage for the precious data which I do not want to lose ever. When I say precious data, for me it is ‘memories’ in the form of photographs and videos, my blogging skills and all sorts of creativity which I regularly archive on my computer and not some hobo cloud storage which some private corporation owns. I have fairly good backup system of my own at my work place where I keep my data away from getting spied, inspected by someone, and also safe for the future use. I know number of people who are “wise” enough to use cloud as their first and only storage and brag that there is no better alternative than this cloud technology. Oh really? Well, long story short, I have pointed out some major disadvantages and drawbacks of cloud storage which one must consider before making some wrong choices which might result in unrecoverable losses.
1- Since, you do not own the data centers of corporations who offer cloud storage, you are not the one who sets the rules. Companies which govern this business can ban your account for any violation of their ‘terms of services’. When you have to store data at their provided storage, you have to abide by the rules imposed by them.
2- Cloud storage is not accessible without internet. No internet; no cloud storage. Think you are at a place where you do not even receive the phone signals. And you desperately need some files. Now, since you have developed a bad habit of using only the cloud storage, how are you going to get those files? If you had made them available on some of your personally owned hardware then you would have those required files instantly available to you offline.
3- Cloud storage is slow because the internet is slow. Slow in the sense when you compare it with the speed offered by hard drives or solid state drives. So, if you want to backup a very large file or many files and you have the internet connection which is capped or crawl slower than tortoise, think how much time it will take to upload all that data, and in the mean time, you might also exhaust all of your internet volume allocated by your ISP. Also there is no guarantee that the files which you are uploading will get uploaded successfully or may get stuck at some point while uploading them.
4- It is expensive when it comes to storing a lot of data. You will have to buy more space to store all your data because storage space which is offered free of charge by companies might not be enough for the ever increasing demands of digital files. The packages which are offered might be costly as compared to buying a personal storage hardware.
5- Cloud storage is open to the corporation who owns the servers of cloud computing. They can use your data without your consent for any purposes they want. You will be an easy prey of NSA spy if you have your data stored at cloud drive. Do you want greedy corporations understand your psyche and let them invade into your privacy?<
6- Data is always vulnerable to loss. If you have free storage, companies do not guarantee that the data shall not be deleted after a certain period of time. Even if you have paid for the storage, still there is no guarantee that they will retain your data after your package plan has expired. You will always have to pay them to insure that your data remains safe.
7- If a company goes bankrupt or into the loss, you might lose your data as well. Similarly, if a natural disaster destroys the data centers and servers owned by the corporations and they do not have the backup facility at any other place around the world, chances are there that your stored data will also become the victim of that disaster.
8- Hacker can gain access to cloud storage if they get their hands on your password or if they invade into the network of cloud computing. This is the least but still possible scenario in which you can lose your data or your data gets leaked over internet. Companies try to make their networking software hackers proof but there are always brilliant minds out there who use their God gifted skills for negative purposes.
So, this is my perspective about cloud technology. I shall always recommend to use it for the limited purposes like when you need some files instantly available for some official purposes or if you want to share files with your friends and family over internet, then in that case, cloud storage is extremely beneficial. But when the requirement is backing up the data or having a secure personal storage, portable hard drives, flash drives and portable SSDs are extremely handy and safe for that purpose. As two is always better than one, use two storage devices for backing up or storing the same data. If for some reason, one device fails or you lose that, you can always recover your data from the other one.