Cloud storage is the way forward when it comes to storage. Almost every small business I know is now using a top online storage service, in order to work more efficiently and cut back costs on having an in house IT team. If you are new to the concept of the cloud, then you might be hesitant about investing in something that you don’t fully understand, especially when there are several free providers on the market. Here’s the thing- if you take data protection seriously and you work with a team of people remotely, then you should definitely buy online storage, rather than using a free service, to avoid problems later down the line. I am not dismissing the fact that there are several great free storage providers available, such as GoogleDrive for example. However, there are several advantages of making the decision to buy online storage, before it’s too late.
If security is one of your main concerns with regards to cloud storage, then you need to accept the reality, which is if you buy storage online, or rather, invest in a paid plan with a provider then the security measures they take are going to be one of their number one selling points. Some of the best storage providers operate using a zero- knowledge policy, meaning that they cannot access your data, as only you have the private encryption key. Also, many of the free providers are obliged to collaborate with government agencies, meaning that if they are subpoena’d to provide the authorities access to your data, they have no choice but to comply. Another issue, is that free storage providers can be easier to hack into than paid services, so imagine your companies data was hacked because you opted for a free service instead of a paid one and by the time you found out, it was too late?
Although it was once argued in a popular song that “the best things in life are free” this does not apply to cloud storage. Many free providers WILL offer you free storage space, but most of them offer a limited amount, which is only suitable for occasional use. Most of them are also rather meagre on the allowances they give you and even if they do have a referral program in place where you can “earn” extra storage space, unless you have a lot of time and friends who want to take you up on this, it’s really not worth the hassle, especially when you can find paid storage plans which are extremely affordable.
I am not talking about a cockroach infestation here, but rather virtual bugs. There have been several reports of free cloud storage services being extremely buggy and overloaded, which significantly slows down speed and performance leading to extreme frustration. Hackers often use these weaknesses to compromise systems. Glitches cause service to stop or compromise privacy. No company is immune to coding problems and even cloud providers run into the issues due to programming issues, especially the free providers.
Ads and Pop Ups
Ever tried to stream a movie online? if so, you will be aware of the countless ads and popups that you have to deal with, in order to get access to the film. Free online storage providers sometimes rely on ads to generate income and this is especially true when it comes to their mobile apps. There is nothing worse than trying to upload something to the cloud, only to be faced with ads and pop ups every two minutes.
Limited Customer Service
If a service is free, then understandably a company is not going to want to invest money in things that require salaries, like customer service for example. If you are using cloud storage for business purposes and you encounter an issue which you need to get attended to urgently, then it is unlikely that a free service is going to offer 24/7 customer service, where you can talk to a live agent to walk you through how to resolve the issue. Most of them will offer a knowledge base, or email support. Some of the better ones will even have a live chat option, but that still doesn’t beat someone you can speak to at the end of the phone.