Will cloud computing replace the hard drive, the flash drive and the DVD drive? It might. Google laptops and iPads don’t have hard drives, and similar technology is coming down the pipeline. Tech writers like Jeremy A. Kaplan of FoxNews.com believe that physical drives will soon be obsolete, and artists, scrapbook fanatics and photographers are tossing away their flash drives and DVDs in favor of hosting their photos on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. These sites store photos (and more) to the cloud.
What is cloud hosting? It’s an online storage system that allows you to back up data over public or proprietary networks on an offsite server. There are several types of cloud backup services that people use in their daily activities without even knowing it; iCloud, iTunes, Evernote and Facebook are a few consumer favorites, and Google, Amazon and Dropbox also offer cloud storage solutions for individuals and companies to store and share large files. If you haven’t considered using these cloud backup services yet and you’re still saving your data to your hard drive or on CDs and DVDs, find out why the rest of the world is moving to the cloud.
There are a number of reasons why IT managers and computer users would want to push for cloud storage solutions to replace other means of storage. For starters, cloud storage solves the data-access problems brought on when natural disasters (think Hurricane Sandy) strike. Without a secured backup plan, important files, photos, music and personal data could be lost forever.
PCworld.com’s Ian Paul encourages users to take things one step further and encrypt the files they save to their cloud storage space. One service Paul recommends is SpiderOak, which enables users to encrypt their media and content, save it to their online backup and then sync this encrypted data to all their devices, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop.
If you’ve ever experienced the horror of having your bank account or social media account hacked, then you probably already know it’s a good idea to change your password every three to six months. Keeping track of all of those password changes can be difficult to manage; Lifehacker recommends that you use an encrypting program, like PCWorld’s TrueCrypt, and storing the encrypted data on KeePass or Roboform. Then sync these programs to your other storage databases.
Cloud backup solutions like DropBox and Google Drive enable users to easily share content and media files that may be too large to send via email. You can opt to allow only specific users to have access to certain files, make them all public or make files completely private and password-secured. The great thing about both of these backup solutions is that they’re free and easy to use.
It is really something to see how far computers have come since the ’70s, when guys like Steve Jobs first envisioned a home computer for everyone. Advances that were barely imagined, such as virtual reality and streaming media, now play a regular role in our lives. No one knows what new technologies will emerge in the next few decades. One thing is for certain, though: The cloud is here to stay.
About the Author:
A financial consultant and advocate for cloud computing solutions, Kevin is always looking for intelligent ways to simplify his clients’ daily business operations.