Should I Trust “The Cloud” or Make My Own Backups?
No one doubts that “the cloud” has revolutionized electronic data storage. Named for the icon that those in the computer industry use to represent it, the cloud is a network of servers. What you once saved in the physical memory of your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can now store in the cloud. But should you trust the cloud or should you make your own backups? Consider the following when answering that question: data criticality, cloud service reputation, and ease of access.
Think about the data that you’re saving. What happens if you lose the data or files? Will you experience personal or professional hardship? Some data and files are more important than others. Your doctoral thesis or client files are much more difficult to recreate than your favorite recipes from your cookbook collection. Backing up data takes time and storage space. Ask yourself if it’s worth your time and the storage space to save the data in your device’s physical memory.
Cloud Service Reputation
Cloud storage companies build their reputation on how well they can protect your data. Cloud services that lose your data or fail to protect it from hackers take a huge hit to their reputation and ultimately their bottom line. That’s why reputable cloud storage companies invest in cutting edge data protection technology. In addition, they use layers of redundancy. With redundancy, the cloud service stores your data on multiple servers in multiple locations. If one server or one location goes down, others are still running and you can access your data. As you decide whether to make your own backups, research the cloud service you’re using. Has it had data breaches? Does it have multiple server locations?
Ease of Access
Finally, consider how easy it is to access the data or files stored in the cloud. How long does it take to download from cloud storage? Does your service limit you to how often you can access it? Some services charge fees if you exceed the access periods in your storage agreement.
Most experts consider professional cloud storage to be safe and reliable. However, it’s a good idea to backup essential data and files.