How to Choose a Cloud Storage Service

By John Reynolds
May 4, 2013

 

So now you’ve finally decided it is time to move your files into the cloud. That’s a good start. But now you see that there are so many cloud storage services that are very difficult to distinguish. How much cloud storage do you really get? How fast are those services? Are they really secure? These are some of the questions you might have before sending your files over. In this post we’ll cover the basics of how to choose a cloud storage service in just a few easy steps.


Step 1 – How much storage do you really need?

Before starting to scour your options for a potential cloud storage service you should investigate how much data you have that you need to store online. This assessment helps you identify the best cloud storage offerings for your needs.

There are different strategies when it comes to how much storage you need for your data. Of course, you could go ahead and say that you want to store everything you have on your hard drive. Fair enough. This is by far the easiest way to choose an online storage service. However, you might wind up paying more than you actually need.

That’s why recommend my clients (or friends) to always check how much storage they actually need by investigating their hard drives and digging through a couple of files. If you’re like most Windows users your filesystems organized in different hard drives. For example, many people store all of their files on a drive with the letter C. Then, you could go ahead and right click on the drive and select properties.

That will tell you exactly how much space your operating system and your files take up on your hard drive. Remember, that most of the cloud storage services do not allow you to backup operating system files: you will only be able to back up movie files, photos, documents, presentations and other files.

Backing up system files is not necessary. Most of the time it is easier to just reinstall the operating system and then downloading your files from the cloud storage service. There are a cloud storage services that offer a so-called bare metal backup, however, those are too expensive for consumers. So, after right clicking on your hard drive you’ll know how much gigabytes you need more or less for your cloud storage service.


Step – 2 Choose a cloud storage service

Next you can go ahead to our cloud storage comparison chart and type in the amount of gigabytes you need. That will give you a selection of the best services that meet your criteria and you can have a good overview of the features that are available to you. I have made the best experience with a service called JustCloud.

JustCloud is an unlimited cloud storage service that will immediately transfer all of your files into their cloud storage system. You only need to download a client and install it on your PC or Macintosh. If you like, you can exclude files that you do not want to backup in order to save bandwidth.

JustCloud is very easy to use, and offers a file synchronization feature as well. File synchronization means that if you have two computers you can select a folder whose contents will be Available on all machines.

See? It is not that difficult to choose a cloud storage service although there are a variety of options. You can take my recommendation and choose JustCloud or head over to the comparison chart and have a look at some user reviews as well.