Pros and Cons of Using Cloud Storage Services
Cloud storage services are sprouting like mushrooms. Among the many cloud computing services, cloud storage is one that the common public is very familiar with.
Just like cloud computing, there is a host of definitions on what cloud storage is. Probably the most common one is that it refers to online storage services accessed via the internet. However, there are those also available via a wide area network.
Cloud storage services are usually available for a fee (though some are offering ‘Free’ plans). Many providers offer a range of plans to allow users more choices to better find one that suits their needs. Dropbox, for instance, offers Basic (2GB, free), Pro 50 and Pro 100 (50 to 100GB, paid). Box.net, on the other hand, offers Personal (up to 50GB, free), as well as Business and Enterprise (500 GB to Unlimited, paid).
The reason why cloud-based storage services are popular is because they offer many benefits. Users find that: a) they are low-cost, b) provide backup services and recovery systems, c) do not need energy to power or cool them, and, d) they don’t require manpower to manage.
There are, however, a number of concerns related to cloud storage services. Most concerns raised by consumers are on the privacy and security of the information handed over to the cloud storage providers.
Because most providers have a large number of clients, there is concern that one customer’s information might be sharing the same storage space with that of another. If one customer’s information is compromised the possibility is there that the other customer’s data will be affected.
Another issue is on the use of authentication and encryption processes. Clients are concerned if the provider makes it a point to use different encryption keys for each customer. This is a concern since the decision rests (so far) on the cloud storage provider.
And, some consumers are hesitant to take advantage of cloud storage services because they deem it risky in the light that the infrastructure currently available has yet to be proven reliable.