People work and play on their own computers, mobile devices and on the Internet. Nowadays, it’s more than just certain applications and/or platforms being available in the cloud. It is about having a person’s data immediately available. The general expectation of most people is that their work follows them onto whatever hardware they are using or wherever they go. No matter where they save their documents, photos or media, they want to be able to read, edit, update or retrieve it from whatever platform they are using at that particular moment. Enter personal cloud storage. The bottom-line goal of personal cloud storage services is to provide people with the ability to access their personal data from ANY device that they are using.
There are plenty of services for accessing and sharing files across your devices. The personal cloud market for the average consumer includes the major tech companies that we know and love: Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Let’s not to forget smaller cloud storage pioneers such as Dropbox, SugarSync and Box or newcomers like LogMeIn’s Cubby. Each offers cloud-based storage for documents, photos and other files. Each service also provides paid tiers for increasing storage beyond the free amounts given to those who sign up. Each one also comes with their own strengths and weaknesses. It is up to the consumer to chose the service that best meets their needs.
This week we saw several cloud storage providers provide major updates to their services (Dropbox, Microsoft) as well as see an established company introduce their cloud storage offering (Google). It can get confusing when trying to choose the one that best fits a person’s digital lifestyle. Both The Verge and CNET provide a great breakdown of the various cloud storage options that are available to consumers.
My advice for those trying to decide which cloud service to use is to first determine what your needs are and then to see what works best with the technology that you use. Just as you would if you were buying a new car, give the different services a test drive to see which one best fits your lifestyle.