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Is Cloud Storage Right For You?

Today while I was stuck in traffic while on a lovely tour of four of the five boroughs of New York City, my traveling companion was hurling (in a gentle way, of course) suggestions for articles here at MomCrunch. While we chatted about various ideas, we realized that a subject we’d both like to know more about is using cloud storage for things like photos, audio files, movies, and other documents for which you would normally use an external hard drive.

So what is cloud storage? The simple definition is storing files using a web services APIs. That clears it right up, no? Here’s what it is, more simply: it’s storing your data on a server that you can access from any location using the internet.

This is very attractive to me, personally, because while my family uses an external hard drive to store things, particularly our raw photos (taken with a DSLR so they are large files), I hate having to go dig out the hard drive to gain access to older photos. If I used cloud storage, it would be much easier to access those photos and files.

There is no doubt that the trend in data storage is moving toward the cloud, and not just files. One of my clients uses a Google app for the in house email, projects, and calendars so that the staff can access this information from every device that has access to the internet. This summer when Apple founder Steve Jobs launched their iCloud service, he told the New York Times the following:

“We are going to demote the PC to just be a device. We are going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.”

Knowing all this, it’s clear to me that cloud storage is the way to go, but I gotta tell you: it makes me nervous. As digitally centered as my life is, I still feel better with photos I can hold in my hands and printed out pieces of paper. In lieu of paper, a physical device like an external hard drive is comforting. Just trusting the “cloud” could a less concrete term for this exist? feels rather terrifying.

What about you? Do you prefer the “old fashioned” way of using physical devices as backups for your data? Are you moving to the cloud?

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