How to Use Cloud Storage: a Beginner’s Guide

There are 1.8 billion people worldwide that use some kind of Cloud storage services. And this number is projected to grow to well over 2 billion by the year 2020.

Why is the number so large?

Because the Cloud lets you store and backup data in a secure environment that you can access from any device. This makes the Cloud a useful way of protecting information for both business and personal reasons.

If you’re wondering how to use Cloud storage, take a look at this beginner’s guide that’ll tell you everything you need to know.

What Is Cloud Storage?

Just like normal clouds, the Cloud isn’t a physical thing. But it’s also not a mystical place somewhere up in the sky. Instead, it’s a series of computer servers that allow you to store data off-site.

Think of it as a safe.

When you store something in the Cloud, you’re storing it on a server built by another individual rather than keeping it on your computer’s hard drive or in your phone’s memory. You can then access your stored data from any device in any location (provided you have an internet connection).

Though you may not realize it, there’s a good chance you already use the Cloud in several different ways every day.

How?

Let’s take a closer look.

How Does It Work?

Remember, the Cloud is a place to store data so you can access it remotely from any device. And if you have any kind of social media, you do all the time.

Let’s say you’ve uploaded a new picture to your Instagram. The only way you’re able to get back onto your social media and see that picture every time is because, by uploading it, you have saved it to the Cloud.

The Cloud also houses your web-based email services, like Gmail or Yahoo mail. These services store your emails in the cloud so you can check your mailbox anywhere. The Cloud also gives you a way to recover lost emails if something happens to your primary computer.

Other applications like Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, etc. all make use of the Cloud as well.

How Big Is the Cloud

You might have a storage limit for your Cloud service, but the Cloud itself is limitless. Unlike a computer or phone that have a specific amount of space you can fill up, no one knows if the Cloud can ever fill up completely.

Either way, the Cloud has more than enough space for your personal or business needs.

The Benefits of Using Cloud Storage

Working with the cloud comes with a lot of benefits, the biggest of which we’ve already touched on. The ability to store and access your data remotely means you don’t have to worry about filling up your local storage space or losing important information.

If you’re using the Cloud for business purposes, it gives you a way to run your business in an efficient and cost-effective way as you continue to scale up or down on data size.

The Cloud also gives business a way to store sensitive data off-site in a safe location.

But there are several other benefits that come along with Cloud storage. Here are a few other reasons Cloud storage can be helpful.

1. File Storage

You can store any type of data you want in the Cloud. There’s no limit to what kind of files the Cloud can hold. This includes anything from videos, written documents, emails, and anything else you need to store.

You can access these files from any device, not just your work or home computer.

This can be handy if you’re traveling for business and forgot to bring your main work computer. Instead of trying to coordinate with your office to send you the information you need, you can pull it up on another device.

2. Data Backup

Many Cloud servers provide automated backups. In other words, your files will be automatically saved to the Cloud without you having to do a thing.

If something then happens to your computer (someone steals it, it breaks, you misplace it, etc.), you won’t lose your files. Storing data in the Cloud protects your files, so you won’t have to worry about losing sensitive information.

4. Disaster Recovery

Every business should invest in some kind of disaster recovery strategy, and for smaller business with fewer resources, the Cloud serves as a good form of disaster recovery (view here for more).

Why?

Because it protects your data and keeps it backed up on an off-site resource. If something were to happen to your work system, you can be secure knowing you’ve stored that information in a secondary location.

You can then recover that data and pick up right from where you left off.

3. File Sharing

You can share any file with any number of employees at the same time. Once they get access to these files, each employee can edit or add information to the document.

This speeds up the work process because team members don’t have to print or wait for hard copies of important documents. They can all work on the same copy and see the changes the others are making.

4. Document Control

The Cloud doesn’t just let team members work on the same documents at the same time, it also gives you better quality control over those documents.

When employees have to work on file individually before sending it onto the next person, you’ll end up with conflicting formats and content. You can also control who sees the document. Sending information through emails can make it fall into the wrong hands, which could be a problem.

Sharing documents on the Cloud means you have improved collaboration and a better bottom line.

How to Use Cloud Storage

One of the biggest concerns of the Cloud is safety. Are your files really secure when they’re floating out on a server somewhere?

The answer is yes.

In fact, Cloud storage is more secure than a typical IT system.

The Cloud is a safe way to store important data off-site and access it from anywhere you are. Still wondering how to use Cloud storage? If you’re still using older storage methods, it might be time to switch to something new.

Your Cloud storage won’t mean anything if you don’t have anything to store. Make sure you check out these five tips that’ll grow your local SEO rankings.