You might be fine, a light computer user who doesn’t download and store much stuff on your machine. But if you have kids or love downloading movies, you might find you soon run out of storage space. You could buy a bigger hard drive. Or use external storage devices in the form of CDs or thumb drives. But cloud storage could be your best and cheapest bet.
What is cloud storage?
Cloud storage lets you save your files, photos and documents safely online instead of on your machine itself, saving your data in an off-site storage system maintained by someone else, in a remote database. All you do is use the internet to access your files.
It has plenty of benefits compared to traditional data storage. You can get to your stuff from any location with internet access, without having to carry a storage device or take your machine with you. Some cloud systems let you invite other people to see your data, say if you want to collaborate on something with friends or family – you can, for example, create a photo album together after a family holiday or celebration, each uploading your images to the cloud.
Best of all you can get cloud storage free, with most reputable providers offering a free allowance. It isn’t a lot of storage – usually somewhere between 2 – 5 Gigs. But it should be enough to store your most crucial data. Bear in mind 1 Gig is usually enough to store around 500 photos.
Once your data is on the cloud, you can relax in the knowledge that it’s held safely, even accessible if you lose your computer, it dies or gets stolen.
How to choose the best cloud storage
Many providers offer free test storage, so how do you decide which is the best for you? Luckily the excellent consumer organisation Which has done the hard work for you, with recommendations about how to choose the best cloud storage
Best value cheap cloud storage
Which also provides a fab guide to the best value storage, listing the costs in an easy-to-use format so you can compare prices at a glance. For more reliable options and information, try Money Saving Expert