Who Is The Best Cloud Storage You Can Trust?
Best Cloud Storage for Personal Use
If you are individual who wants to store your photos and music to the cloud, the 3 providers below provide one of the best cloud storage solutions around. When you are storing personal data, chances are you don’t need a lot of features like the business owners do, for example the ability to edit files online. Therefore in my opinion it is really NOT necessary to pay the extra bucks and leave the features untouched.
These 3 providers have their own strengths and weaknesses but they share one thing in common, which is their dedications in maintaining a high quality service. You should go ahead and read my first-hand experience with them.
Best Cloud Storage for Business Use
If you are a small – medium business owner, the personal cloud storage is NOT for you. When come to storing your business data (that usually includes sensitive information like customer details, financial accounts, contacts, contracts etc) you need a more robust service with some tailored made features created purposely for business owners. Trust me, those features save your day!
As an online business owner myself, I’m currently using SugarSync to backup my website files, emails and etc. Are they good? Absolutely! I find them not only fit the job perfectly they exceed my expectations. Even now after 6 months of using, I still stumble upon some smart features in SugarSync. No wonder they are heavily awarded in the industry.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage as the name speaks – storage in the cloud! Wherever you go, whenever you want, the cloud is always above, readily to serve you.
Cloud storage works exactly like your laptop’s disk space but it has your data managed and backed up so that you will never lose them by any chance. Cloud storage also makes your data available through the Internet. You can easily access them whenever there’s a network.
What Can You Store?
As of what to store, you can basically store anything and everything to the cloud. The cloud storage could be your media library; document archive and address book. However the best practice is to not store sensitive information like your passport copy and credit card details. Why? Because it’s always good to leave a line between the virtual and the real world. If you get what I mean
The Choices You Have
Generally there are 2 types of cloud storage, listed below. What differ them depends on how they backup your data to the cloud.
1) Archive Storage
Imagine a vault to keep your data. You handpick the individual file/ folder and lock them up inside a vault. The file will be left untouched until the next automatic/ manual backup. That is archive cloud storage.
2) Synchronized Storage
Synchronized storage usually appears as a folder. This storage is meant for files that are modified on a regular basis, for example a doc you are working on. The doc will be updated real time and synchronized across devices immediately. In SugarSync’s term, they call it Magic Briefcase.
Usually providers will include both type of storage in their package; some will allow you to choose which type of storage to subscribe, like LiveDrive.
Choosing The Best Cloud Storage
When come to choosing the best cloud storage, personal experience is very important, regardless of what others tell you, including my reviews. You have to try it yourself. So to get you started, this is what you should look out.
A cloud storage service consists of 2 parts: 1) Storing the data to the cloud; 2) Accessing the data on the go. A good provider will make sure the 2 processes are smooth as butter. With that in mind, play around with the processes and see if you can justify them with the criteria below.
- Great speed – especially the download speed. You don’t want to get stuck when you are on a rush to get a file.
- Easy to use – it should be an user-friendly solution.
- Accountability & reliability – is your data up to date across devices?
- Value for money – if the same thing can be done with $1, why pay $2?
How Easy is it to Restore From Cloud Storage in Case of Emergency?
JustCloud / MyPCBackup
There is a reason that JustCloud enjoys a high satisfaction rating among users; it’s simple and intuitive. Not only is this true in regards to backing up and storing your files, it’s just as easy to restore one or all of your files with a simple click or two.
Note: Since MyPCBackup is a sister brand of JustCloud, the restoration process is the same.
JustCloud gives users three ways to restore files: 1) via the desktop app; 2) by logging onto your account online; and 3) FTP (file transfer protocol).
To use the desktop app, you will have to first install it on your new computer. Then you can select all of the backed up files in your account and they will be restored to the same location, using the same structure, as the original. If you download them using the online account interface, the files will be saved to a default location, usually the “Download” folder (for PCs).
Both of these options take quite a bit of time and computer resources. To perform a full restore, the best option may be FTP, using a free client such as FileZilla. It will still take a while, but the download will occur in the background, freeing up resources so you can use your computer during the process. To learn more on JustCloud please continue reading my complete JustCloud review.
Carbonite offers a couple different ways to restore all your files at once – Mirror Image (only available for Personal Plus or Personal Prime accounts) or Restore Manager (for PCs)/ Restore Assistant (for Macs).
The first option is meant to be used only when your current computer has a failure (this prevents problems due with a new device to a different hardware configuration). When your old device has been repaired, then performing a Mirror Image restoration is the quickest, easiest way to get your operating system, programs, files and settings back in place where they used to be. The final step is to perform an Online Backup, which will restore files that have been changed since the last mirror backup was run.
For new hardware, using Carbonite’s Restore Manager is the best option. Start by transferring your service subscription to the new device and then installing the Carbonite desktop app. Now simply open Restore Manager to initiate the process. More than likely your backup will be “frozen”. Just restore everything and then reconfigure the automatic backup when restoration is complete in order to protect new and newly edited files. Read more at my Carbonite review.
The first option is to go online and choose “Web Download” from your account control panel. This could take a while, as it is depends on your internet connection speed, how many files you need to restore and how large those files are.
The second choice is to download BackBlaze’s Restore Downloader to your computer. This is the best way to begin restoration of all your files to a new or reconfigured computer and recommended when you are restoring more than 1GB of data. Just like a normal backup, Restore works in the background and allows you to use your computer while the files are being downloaded.
But BackBlaze also provides another choice: USB flash drive or USB hard drive. In this case, all your files are added to a physical device which is shipped to you via FedEx within two or three days (available only for customers in the United States). The cost for this service is $99 for a flash drive or $189 for a hard drive, but since it could save you lots of time and frustration, the cost could be well worth it. For more on BackBlaze, read my BackBlaze review.
When you are choosing a cloud storage provider be sure that the company offers an easy, simple file restore process. After all, when you need to restore all your data, you don’t want the process to take too long or be too difficult.