Tag Archives: online storage providers

How much storage space do you need?

The free option from a cloud storage provider can sound pretty interesting, but with the vast amount of data that most people accumulate it’s hardly sufficient. In determining what amount of storage space you need, you must take into consideration the following factors:

  • If you’re planning to upload your entire digital photo collection, take into consideration the total file-size of all your photos and what you’re expecting to add the following year. With digital cameras still up-sizing their megapixels per photo, the average file-size of a picture has steadily increased these last couple of years. A couple of years worth of family photos could easily add up to anything between 10 or 30 Gb.
  • Are you planning to use your cloud storage space for adding video’s? These could be video-files from your camera or uploaded movies. An average high-definition video file (1080p) of 2 hours could easily be as big as 15 Gb.
  •  Are you planning to update your music collection. A music collection in  MP3 could easily use up a couple of Gb’s, let alone if you store your music files in a high definition format (.flac for example).
  • Are you planning to use your storage space for work purposes, for example storing powerpoint presentations or backing up your complete email-history (.pst outlook files).
  • Do you want to back-up your entire hardrive or maybe the harddrives of a couple of computers for security reasons? How large are these hard drives?

How safe is cloud storage?

One of the most frequently asked questions concerning cloud storage is ‘how safe in my data’. A few things are important to mention when we’re talking about security.

The first one is password-related. If you enter your cloud service with a password (for example through the website login) keep the following things in mind.Passwords can be hacked. This doesn’t mean that passwords aren’t safe, it just means that they’re vulnerable to dictionary and brute force attacks. Brute force attacks means the trial and error method of hacking passwords, meaning the hacker tries to generate every possible combination to gain access.Another way to hack passwords is to use a dictionary attack, a program that inserts common words into password fields.If you choose a cloud storage solution that relies on a password to access your data choose a password that’s difficult to hack with dictionary attacks and change your password often to reduce the chances of success from brute force attacks.

The other thing to mention is the possibility of your data being captured en route. Fortunately the best cloud service providers will encrypt the data while it’s traveling back and forth, making it impossible for someone to read your files in the case that person intercepts the data. You need to check if your cloud storage service uses ‘https’ instead of ‘http’ in the address-line when you’re accessing your files through an internet webbrowser. The ‘s’ in ‘https’ stands for a secure connection. If you use an desktop or mobile app for accessing your files, check if the cloud provider uses some form of encryption with internet exhanges.

One of the most important rules is to never give away your password to someone. It almost never happens that for example a technical helpdesk agent asks for your password. They will only require a minimum of personal information to establish who you are before they can help you.
Look for the following things when comparing different Cloud storage providers:

  • A company with a reputation for excellent physical and network security.
  • Multiple-level redundancy, meaning there are multiple copies of your data to prevent loss in the case of a single disk or server failure.
  • Redundancy across multiple geographic locations, so when a natural disaster destroys your data at one location, that same data is still available elsewhere.

The conclusion is that yes cloud storage is safe, just do yourself a favor by choosing a safe password and give extra attention to security aspects when comparing cloud storage providers.