Many of us use some sort of cloud service, whether we know it or not. Whether it’s just storing contacts across computers or if we use Chrome’s cloud login to save data, the cloud is quickly becoming a valuable and integral part of the internet. There are a number of services, like Microsoft Live Skydrive, Amazon’s Cloud Drive, Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox, that allow users to store their own data on centralized computers so that you can access it whenever you want. Many of them offer unlimited storage (for a price, of course). If you’re already paying for one of these services, here are some tips on how to get your money’s worth out of them. If you haven’t used one before, these benefits might just sway you into making the investment.
Digital Media Streaming Library: If you’ve collected a large amount of digital media, whether personal creations or downloaded content, you know how much space it takes up, especially as it accumulates. If you use a cloud service that supports streaming, such as Amazon’s or SugarSync, you can access your content from wherever you are without the drag of having to fill all your various devices with it.
Now, with this much data, you’ll probably be expected to pay a pretty penny for your cloud service. If you’re already using something that offers unlimited storage, you can leverage this to your advantage. Also, many content providers, like Google Play, Amazon, and iTunes, don’t count content that you’ve bought from them as using up space on your cloud storage. Just make sure that your media is compatible with your cloud player’s application before you convert to a cloud storage solution. Most of the time it’s best to stick with whomever you have purchased the most content from.
Share with Others: Many businesses are always using cloud accounts to collaborate on projects. Most of us don’t have too many group projects outside of work, but we do love to share things with our friends and family. Sometimes we don’t feel like just posting them on Facebook – after all, pretty much anyone can access those pictures. If you want to be able to share video and photo with your friends, you can use a shared cloud account. Dropbox is the leader in this – they’ve made it really easy, plus it integrates with programs like Evernote and Quickbooks. However, if you go over the 2GB free limit, the storage is more expensive than most of its competitors. When picking a service, just make sure that you can share certain folders.
Collaborate Easier: Now if you ARE working on a group project, whether for work, school, or for a family member’s surprise party, cloud services can make this much easier. Instead of emailing around documents that everyone has about thirty copies of, everyone works on a single centralized document. You can track changes, see who made which edits, send notifications when the file is updated, and password-protect your documents to make sure no one else can get in – even people sharing that computer, in the case of a surprise party.
Remote Access: If you’re away from your main computer a lot, and need to fetch files on it, SkyDrive has a feature called “fetch.” Even if you haven’t transferred a file to your cloud account, SkyDrive can retrieve files from your computer as long as it’s on and SkyDrive is running. Now, SkyDrive does have limits on the size of the file you can upload, so if you have a lot of video files, it’s not ideal.
Now on top of all this, a cloud account can really help if you ever need computer repair. Even if your hard drive fails, you can restore backed up data from the cloud.. It can certainly help defray the cost of computer repair, as data recovery can get pretty expensive.
If you need any more help with setting up cloud storage, or need some advice, contact me at http://www.callnerds.com/andrea