Definition of Online Storage

Online storage refers to the service offered by numerous online businesses wherein users can upload, keep, and share every type of file such as video and audio, documents, and photographs. This service is alternatively known as Internet storage, hosted storage, or “cloud” storage.

Once uploaded and stored in the host’s servers, the user files can be secured with a password or a combination of passwords, or they can be shared to other specified users and even freely to the public depending on the user’s choice and the nature of the contents.

Online data storage caters to both individuals and businesses that need to store, manipulate, or simply back up important files conveniently. This method is an alternative to the more familiar means of storing electronic data through devices such as external drives, tapes, and flash drives.

Several online storage providers offer free services for smaller storage capacities, as well as paid storage for larger space requirements and more functionality. The prices for storage services vary as well depending on the space, duration of the service, and other features provided by the host.

Many people opt for this method of backing up or storing data for several reasons. Data stored online in the safety of a remote server is free from the risk of loss from natural disasters, fire, theft, or accidental deletion. Moreover, data stored locally in the user’s computer is vulnerable to loss or damage caused by computer crashes, virus attacks, or other forms of malfunction.

It is also easily accessible from any location with an internet connection. This is especially useful for travelers or people who work on several computers. Users who store large amounts of electronic data can also benefit from online storage since suitable alternatives such as higher-capacity hard drives might prove more expensive and relatively cumbersome to use.

When it comes to the exact amount of space that an online data storage host provides to its subscribers, again there are numerous options. Most of these companies offer a minimum of one gigabyte and a maximum of around one thousand gigabytes or one terabyte. Generally, such options work well for the personal data storage needs of individual users. For businesses, online storage companies typically offer unlimited space to accommodate greater amounts of data.

The price for storing or backing up data online usually corresponds to the amount of space provided and the particular arrangements entered into by the host and the user. Thus, free storage services mostly provide limited space and other features such as sharing or downloading options. Conversely, paid services provide greater storage space and other important functionality such as extended customer support, automatic data backup options, and the like.

In online storage, the data is uploaded to the host’s servers, which are securely located and constantly connected to the Internet for easy access and data retrieval. Incidentally, the user benefits more if he or she has a high-speed internet connection.

The security provided by online data storage is relative and dependent on the user preferences and options provided by the host. Companies that engage in this type of service provide ample protection for their clients’ data in the form of servers that are physically safe from exposure. These servers are likewise kept secure through the application of the latest encryption and password technology, and proactive electronic theft prevention software.

Nonetheless, the user is still responsible for breaches caused by careless password sharing or other inadvisable practices that lead to his or her online data being accessed by unauthorized individuals.

Photo via curiousyellow

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