There are many online cloud storage providers in the industry compared to a few years ago. The difficulty comes in choosing the best service provider for individual or business needs. While it is important to select the best service provider there a few key factors when trying to select a service provider which are not always based on price or service offerings.
Let us review the main differences between cloud storage and online backup. There is some confusion in the marketplace today due to the terminology. Once the service types are clear a decision and selection of a service provider can be much easier.
Cloud Storage can be seen as a memory stick or flash drive connected to the internet. It is offered in varying sizes just like memory sticks and can store any type or size of file. It will keep a copy of files until they are deleted. Some service providers like TAPNET will keep deleted files for up to 30 days. Since it is not a backup it is treated just as a storage location, so it will not retain a version history when a file is modified. Online backup however is designed to copy a group of files and/or folders from a computer and be stored in an online backup storage space. Online backup is designed to check files for changes and copy the file again after it has been modified from a local drive to the online space. TAPNET online backup will retain up to 30 revisions of every file. This is handy when a file from some time ago needs to be restored because it was over written or there was content from a previous revision. Files that are backed up onto the online backup space is not the space that cloud storage occupies. If viewed as containers, they are separate containers, where a file copied into the storage will remain there and if the same file also gets backed up, the 2 files would be in separate places. If a file is then modified in the cloud storage space, the local version that is being backed would not contain those changes.
There are many benefits to online data storage, primarily to make files available from multiple locations. With the recent growth in mobile devices such as netbooks, iPads and even smart phones, the demand to access, view and even modify files remotely has grown significantly. The features to support these new demands is also growing. The main benefit of course goes back to individuals and businesses that have the requirement to access documents from different computers. If a student at a university is working on a term paper, now they can work on the document for example from a home computer and then save it to their virtual drive. Then from an internet connected school computer download the file, modify it and then re-upload it back to the storage. While at a home computer the cloud software can be installed making it more convenient to drag and drop files easily. On a public computer such as at a university library they may limit the installation of the cloud software. To gain access to cloud storage on such a public computer the web portal will need to be used. After logging into the web portal files would need to be downloaded to a local folder, modified and then it is vital to re-upload files back to the storage space. This can also be done using the web portal. While a personal laptop or netbook used as a mobile device can have the cloud software installed making this extra step unnecessary. Cloud storage can also be great when students working on a group project need to share files. Instead of keeping copies or emailing them to each other which often confuses as to which file is the most recent, with 1 TAPNET Cloud Storage account, all the students could use the same login account and would all access the same storage space. Essentially creating a shared folder online.
For businesses, someone might install the cloud software on a home computer, work computer and even a laptop. By doing this they would have a virtual drive on each computer and any file that is copied into the virtual drive will be visible and accessible from any of those computers almost instantly. One can even modify a document, re-save it and then almost instantly open it from one of the other computers and the same file with all those changes will be there. Although the sharing can occur in almost real time, the same file can not be opened at the same time because it will not synchronize simultaneous changes.
Cloud storage also offers the ability to share files with others very easily. Initially this demand was satisfied by such service providers as DropBox. Now even TAPNET offers the ability to make files public or shared only with individuals by creating a unique link to the file that would only be known to those that are furnished with the link. For larger files this can be much easier and faster than emailing the files across the internet and potentially being blocked because of the size. Large files can also fill up a persons inbox preventing them from receiving other important email, or even being too large itself and would not be received without any notification. It is also possible to email files to storage by emailing attachments to a unique email address. These attachments are separated from the email message and then copied into the Cloud Storage space.
Where these features differ from online backup should start to be clearer now. Files stored on a local computer should have a reliable backup such as TAPNET online backup. Both Cloud Storage and Online Backup services can act as a backup, but the online backup service cannot act as the cloud storage. Cloud storage can be treated as an off site storage location and also serve the other features discussed. TAPNET provides all the software required to be installed on computers as well as mobile apps for the Apple iOS and Android platforms. To use Cloud Storage as a backup space a manual copy of files is required to be moved to the space. Once installed TAPNET cloud software will add a drive letter (by default L:). To automate backups to this drive it is possible to utilize other backup software applications to copy changed files to this drive letter on a schedule or automatically when modified. Alternately of course, it would be possible to subscribe to TAPNET Online backup for the backups. To get the best of both worlds, TAPNET offers a Storage Pro package that provides the ability to manage backups and utilize cloud storage space. Still in separate containers, but having both services available.
We hope we have succeeded in comparing the advantages of Cloud Storage as well as making the differences with Online Backup apparent. While these two services cover almost all the needs of data storage, if you require something different or unique contact us a 1-888-590-0201 or through our website at TAPNET Online Backup to discuss a solution that fits your unique requirements.