Category Archives: Cloud Storage

What are the Pros and Cons of Cloud Service for SMB?

Small to medium businesses now enjoy using online backup services. This is all thanks to bigger bandwidth at lower costs. Cloud storage has become a popular option compared to external hard drives and portable media.

Any cloud service for SMB is just like other company tools. It has its own sets of pros and cons.

PROS

It is reliable.

Cloud providers innovate to safely store and save company data. Most services are certified to safely backup, compress, encrypt, duplicate and store files. Providers also manage and monitor your data round-the-clock.

This level of efficiency has financial benefits for SMBs. The cloud provider is responsible for the backup structure. Because of this, the SMB has less to worry about and spend on.

It is scalable.

A cloud service for SMB takes advantage of the vast scalability of online backup. Here, there is no need to shell out more funds. Most providers use a pay-as-you-go system, which greatly cuts budget problems. This method allows businesses to make operational costs easier to manage.

It gives easy access.

Cloud services are a godsend to SMBs. They lessen maintenance needs for their disaster recovery methods. Offsite file copies are accessible from any place or any device. This provides security and added insurance in case of emergency or disaster.

CONS

Data seeding takes time.

The first full data backup can be time-consuming. Of course, this also depends on the storage capacity of the service provider. It may affect production systems of the business during data seeding. This may happen during full recovery of company data as well.

There are size limits.

There are cloud service providers that offer “unlimited storage”. However, most have a limit for daily bandwidth availability. This size limitation may impact backup procedures when the business expands.

Ending a contract takes time.

Ending a cloud contract often involves a lengthy process. This is also true for trial runs. Some cloud service for SMB providers even charge a fee for cancellation.

There are security risks.

Most backup packages provide airtight security. But relying on a third-party service when it comes to sensitive company data can be an issue.

SMBs need to make sure they do business with a reputable service provider. This will allow them to fully enjoy the benefits of online backup.

How Can Freelancers Benefit from Online Cloud?

Contrary to what many believe, freelancers follow a strict schedule to get the job done. To do this, outworkers need tools to help them finish their projects on time. After all, freelancing is a business. And just like any other business, a freelancer needs to invest in the right tools to help the business grow. One of these tools is an online cloud.

Top Benefits of Cloud Services for Freelancers

Unlimited Storage Space

An online cloud is virtually an unlimited storage space. This means a freelancer can have all the space he needs to store and save important files for different tasks or projects. Some cloud services can even save an entire hard drive. This implies saving more than just .doc files, but even large ones like purchased programs, photos, and movies.

Strong, Reliable Security

Online cloud services offer at least two remote servers that store data backups. This means a freelancer has a minimum of three backups (hard drive plus two remote) for his data. It’ll take these three services to die all at once before you can consider the files lost and irretrievable. So if an unfortunate event (ex. computer crash, fire, stolen device) happens, one can still retrieve stored data online anytime.

Automatic Save

A freelancer can set up his devices to automatically save files in the cloud. This is an efficient way to secure data, especially when a deadline is looming and time is the enemy. Also, this feature guarantees that you can save all files on the dot in case of unexpected power shortage.

Work Anywhere

One of the perks freelancers enjoy is the opportunity to work from anywhere. An online cloud is a big help in this case because a freelancer doesn’t have to carry heavy hard copies or a bulky external drive to finish a project, say, from a coffee shop in the neighborhood or a beach in Southeast Asia.

With cloud services, a freelance business – like any other business – can bloom and prosper more seamlessly.

How Can You Retrieve Deleted Files from a Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage services provide a universal service: upload your files and keep them safe. However, accidents happen and the wrong documents can be deleted. Lucky for you, these files aren’t usually gone forever.

There are plenty of cloud storage services today, but the three most visible names for users are Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. Let’s take a look on how these three cloud giants retrieve deleted files.

1. Dropbox

You can’t find a Trash or Recycle Bin on Dropbox. The files are “deleted” but are not moved to a different folder. More precisely, the files are just hidden. To recover a deleted file (or remove it permanently), just go to its original folder and unhide the document.

Click the small trash icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Your deleted file will appear in gray. To retrieve the file, just click the “Restore” button. Naturally, if you want to remove the document permanently, just choose the “Permanently Delete…” button.

Dropbox hides deleted files for up to 30 days.

2. Google Drive

Google Drive features a more traditional way of deleting files, and that’s through the Trash folder. Every deleted file from anywhere on your Drive will be sent to the Trash.

To restore a deleted file, click the “Trash” symbol seen on the sidebar. Select the file you wish to get back by right clicking the menu and choosing the “Restore” option. To delete it permanently, choose “Delete Forever.”

3. OneDrive

Microsoft’s cloud storage moves deleted files rather than actually getting rid of them. The deleted files are sent to the Recycle Bin. Similar to Google Drive, just click the file you want to retrieve, and right click to “Restore.”

Of course, there are tons of cloud storage services out there, but this should give you a general idea on how to retrieve or permanently remove deleted files.

What are the New Cloud Storage Options from MS Office Online?

Microsoft has recently introduced the expansion of their MS Office Online features to several third-party cloud vendors. These include Dropbox, Citrix ShareFile, Box, and Egnyte.

Enterprise users who sign up for these services now have access to the real-time co-authoring features built into Office Online. This allows users to edit files at the same time and check out the changes as they happen.

The real-time co-authoring feature was first released in 2013, but just for Office Online files kept in SharePoint and OneDrive. Today, users who store their documents on Dropbox, ShareFile, Box and Egnyte can work together on documents launched via Office Web apps. This is possible even if they don’t particularly use a Microsoft program to store their documents.

 Integration Features

The esteemed company likewise provides its cloud partners the choice to integrate with Office Online for iOS. This is a follow-up for the same feature introduced in 2014. Using this integration, users can look through MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents kept in a partner’s cloud service straight from an Office app. The documents are updated in the cloud system as they’re launched, created, and edited using Office Online.

At present, the Office for iOS plug-in is only available for Box users. Microsoft guarantees an integration with its other partners soon. This integration with other mobile systems will follow in the latter part of 2016.

Also, Dropbox and Box are being bundled with the new version of Outlook.com to match its present assistance for OneDrive. Users must have the upgraded version of Outlook to use this feature. The upgrade will happen in the coming weeks.

The new Outlook version includes a more sophisticated inbox with the ability to sort messages, provide search suggestions, and collaborate via Skype and OneDrive. It features a new calendar with the latest management and search functions. It also features a brand new mobile web layout.

Some Popular Myths about Cloud Storage

It’s normal for people to jump into the wrong conclusion when they come across something new. Of course, with the rise in popularity of cloud backup in the past few years, it’s only normal to hear that a few myths being passed around from ear to ear.

Here are some of them:

1. Cloud backup is very expensive.

Yes, there was a time when cloud backup was not a practical for personal users. It was mainly a business product, something that would be way out of your budget if you’re only thinking about your personal files. However, as the demand for it grew, the belief that cloud backup is expensive has slowly turned into a debunked myth. Today, you can get an extensive online backup plan for a price that fits anybody’s budget.

2. A single backup is enough.

Sure, you’ve placed all your files in an external disk. You should be safe enough now, right? Wrong!

Remember that as long as your copies are found in physical storages, there will always be a higher risk of exposure to security threats, as well as to natural threats like fire or flooding. No matter how confident you are about your existing backup, investing in a great cloud service could be the best decision you have ever made to keep your files safe.

3. Backing up and retrieving your files takes forever.

Your backup and retrieval process is also dependent on your existing internet connection. Do if you know that your internet connection is stable and fast enough, then you have nothing to worry about in terms of speed of backup and retrieval.

These are just three of the many myths that you might encounter along the way. But no matter how convincing some of the myths are, don’t fall for them easily. After all, the cloud backup industry wouldn’t have gotten this big if others have not yet proven these myths wrong.

What Qualifications Should I Look for in a Cloud Storage Provider?

The moment you decide to pay for cloud storage, you also make the decision to entrust the integrity and security of your files into your provider’s hands. Because of the huge responsibility that you’re placing in their hands, it’s best to have a checklist that would help you make sure that you work with nothing but the best.Here are a few qualifications you should look for in a cloud storage provider:

1. Established Customer Base

Who does your storage provider work with? The bigger the names of the businesses are, the better your cloud storage provider’s reputation is as well. Remember that big, established companies back up even more sensitive data, which means that they would also use nothing less than excellent when it comes to cloud storage.

2. Geographically Distributed Data Centers

Aside from the fact that back up and syncing become faster when a data center is near your location, having a well laid out map of data centers would make all processes more efficient no matter what happens. If one data center encounters technical issues for example, plan B would be easier to execute if there are other data centers within reach.

3. Tight Encryption

Any online connection is susceptible to external attack. Because of this, your cloud storage provider should be ready to push attackers away with the kind of encryption they use. We’re not just talking about your usual average encryption here – it has to be advanced, something stronger than your regular hacker would be able to handle.

4. Financial Stability

The moment you sign a deal with a provider that is not financially stable, then you also run the risk of losing all your data the moment the company capsizes. Remember that financial stability is one sign that a company can be trusted to deliver on their commitment without running the risk of them closing down or pulling out even before your contract is over.

What about you? What other qualifications would you add to this list?

How Necessary is it to Own a Cloud Storage?

We all have something online that we want to keep safe all the time. This can be a bunch of family photos and videos, a folder full of original classic songs, or a stack of corporate documents. We need these data intact, secure, and accessible as much as possible. Thus, the growing number of different cloud storage services.

It is necessary to own a cloud storage for several reasons:

1. It keeps your data secure.

Anything can happen. Your seemingly fine computer can burst into flames in a snap. Your office on the third floor may be safe from the flood, but not from the fire. You can accidentally drop your USB drive into a pool of water. When any of these happen, your online data will be jeopardized. Instead of taking the chance, secure yourself with a personal data guard and use an online backup service.

2. It lets you work anywhere.

More and more companies employ homebased workers. Because online backup storage is located off-site, you only need an internet connection to get your files. This means you can do your work and access your remote files even if you’re on a tropical island or up in the mountains. Also, if you fail to bring your enormous computer to your working holiday, your laptop, tablet or smartphone will do. A remote backup service allows you to access the cloud with more than one device.

3. It makes collaboration easier.

With a remote storage service, you no longer need to wait for your colleague to go back and read the email messages of the group and write his reply. Most online backup services today provide a real-time collaboration feature. This means anyone in the group can make changes in a group file or comment over group data, real-time.

These are just three reasons why it’s necessary to have your own cloud storage service. Try it out and experience the benefits yourself.

How to Avoid Cloud Storage Hackers

Technically, everything online can be hacked. This includes cloud storage services. However, there are numerous steps you and your online backup provider can do to avoid storage hackers. Here are some tips on how to ensure your online data is safe and secure.

1. Choose a reputable cloud storage provider.

Online backup providers who swear that they are 100 percent impenetrable are liars. Those who guarantee they can provide 100 percent data protection are more reliable. Find a cloud storage provider that doesn’t underestimate the power of hackers by providing a more potent and solid protection against possible online invasion. Look for a provider that offers a dependable tech support that can retrieve your account in an event of storage hacking.

2. Play smart with your password.

Passwords keep you in and others out. When setting up your cloud storage account, key in a password that is strong and unique. As much as possible, choose a password far from the basic (ex. 12345678 or your birthdate). The best passwords are comprised of letters, numbers and special characters, all jumbled together. The rule of password creation is this: if it’s easy to remember, then it’s easy to guess.

3. Delete your files online if you delete them on your machine.

You can save and store all sorts of things online. This mainly includes text documents, photos, and videos. If you remove an important file kept in your cloud storage, delete it on all your devices and backup accounts. Hackers can’t trace (or will have a hard time tracing) a file if it’s expunged from all your devices and cloud accounts.

4. Avoid sharing personal data using a public Wi-Fi network.

The favorite hunting place of hackers is a public wireless network. To ensure that all your data is secure, refrain from storing personal information using public Wi-Fi.

Be vigilant and informed. This is the only way to stop hackers from invading your online space.

How to Deal with a Compromised Cloud Storage Provider

Opting to save and store your files online is a big risk. But often, it’s a necessary one. It’s a good thing that most cloud storage providers keep a tight reign in their respective security and data protection.

But what if your cloud storage provider is compromised? What are the steps you need to take to retrieve your files? Will you need legal assistance?

Step 1: Be proactive.

The moment you start to feel that your cloud storage account is compromised is the same time you should contact your online backup provider. For your online data, being proactive can save your life. This is far from being an exaggeration. When your important documents are hacked and displayed for the public to scrutinize, it’s not just your online presence that is violated, but your real life as well. So once in doubt, alert your provider. It’s better to be tagged as an overprotective client than just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Step 2: Work with your provider.

Once your suspicion is verified, work with your cloud storage provider to identify where the breach came from, what files are comprised, and what actions to take to make your files secure once more. It’s a normal human reaction to get upset with your provider. After all, your trust has been broken. But it’s also prudent to work with them to see what must be done to stop the hack.

If the compromised files can damage your reputation (ex. nude photos) or could cause confidential corporate files to spill out, consider taking legal action against your cloud storage provider. Even if you’re still uncertain on how to proceed or if there really is a case to be made, a legal consultation can help you prioritize what needs to be done fast.

A compromised cloud storage is a personal violation you can avoid by being proactive even before the attack happens.