Cloud Storage – Pros and Cons

With the price of cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive dropping all the time storing or syncing your data to the “cloud” is becoming more and more of a viable cheap backup solution and increasing mobility and portability of data. For personal use these can be really easy and a cheap solution but when comparing them for business use with multiple users they can present some issues, this is not to say that they can not be used for business, you just need to make sure that it is the right solution.

Cons

Upload time with large amounts of data

With ADSL2 you will have an upload speed of around a megabit if you were to push a TB of data up it would take around 100 days, even with the NBN plans with a 5mb upload speed it would take around 20 days. That is still a considerable amount of time to sync to the cloud, those figures are based off optimum network speed as well so if you are using the Internet for other things it will slow down.

Where is data stored?

With many cloud storage providers you are not in control of where your data is stored and there for some data is not allowed to be stored using these services (eg. Some medical and legal data must be stored in Australia)

Annoying issues

Every now and again you will get a computer that will have trouble syncing, I have seen these issues with all of the major cloud storage players.

Security control

For a multiuser environment it can be difficult to control security settings for users compared to the traditional file server model.

Cost

While cloud storage is cheap for one user when using them for business the costs can add up, when you compare a solution like google drive to an on premis NAS for 10 or so users it can become more cost effective to have hardware.

Pros

Synchronisation / Mobility

Data can be synced across devices so no matter which computer/tablet/phone you are using you have the same set of data and can easily pick up your work from anywhere you are.

Backed up

Although I would not recommend these things as your only method of backups, they can be used as a good second level backup on top of your primary backup.

Sharing large files

Email just doesn’t cut it for large file sharing, his is where cloud storage can be extremely useful. You can usually just email somebody a link to a file for them to download directly from the cloud to their computer.

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