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What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage is a technology that allows you to store data on the internet through an online server that is always available. In it, the user can store files, documents and other information without needing a hard drive on their computer.

In this article, you will learn more about cloud storage and how technology can be useful in your day-to-day activities at study, work and leisure. You will learn:

What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage is a recent technology that allows internet users to store all their data on an online server.

You can store, edit, share and delete files, documents, photos, videos, contacts and apps freely.

Cloud storage eliminates the need for local storage. Whether on a desktop computer, a notebook, a smartphone or a tablet, it is not necessary to have a physical HD (hard disk) to store information.

Everything is stored and available in a digital environment.

To access these files stored in the cloud, the user just needs a stable internet connection. It is used to manage and edit files and folders stored on the online server.

This can be done from anywhere away and at any time of the day as long as there is internet to use.

How does cloud storage work?

You already know what cloud storage is. It’s time to learn how the technology works, which has conquered more and more users.

Big technology companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple maintain data centers with thousands of servers running 24 hours a year all year round.

These servers, which have very high storage capacity and are located miles away from the user, are connected to the internet.

When the user accesses a cloud storage service, he enters at least one of these servers. In it, you can send your files over the internet and have them safely stored in a matter of seconds.  

Uploaded files are automatically saved and distributed on several different servers. So, if one of the servers fails, the user is never without access to his files available on the other servers. And you never lose what you keep there.  

Benefits of using cloud storage

Below, check out other advantages and facilities that cloud storage technology offers.

  1. Reduced costs and fewer devices . Storing files on physical hard drives (HDs) is no longer in vogue. In the cloud, everything is on a digital server, which means that the user does not have to spend buying new electronics or accessories to store new files. The result is less expenses, fewer devices and more space received, often without paying anything for it, including.  
  2. Dynamism and mobility . Using a cloud storage service guarantees a lot of practicality, dynamism and mobility in everyday tasks. You can access files from anywhere and from any type of compatible device. 
  3. Data security . One of the biggest concerns of users regarding cloud storage is data security. Nobody wants to jeopardize their personal and professional files. However, in the cloud, only the user has access to their own material and not even the companies that offer these services know what these contents are.
  4. Collaborative projects . If the user wants, he can allow other users access to his files. This is a way to share and develop collaborative projects that need a lot of people involved. And project participants don’t even have to leave home to work, as everything is done together over the internet. The gains are in productivity and task agility.
  5. Business scalability . With reduced cost, agility, security and the possibility of several people working at the same time, business can be developed more easily. Without any restriction on the amount of data and concurrent users, it is possible to focus all of a company’s efforts on the digital environment and scale quickly.
  6. Feature Customization . While many of the cloud storage services are free, there are customized plans for single users and companies. If you need more space and more functionality to manage a project, you can always subscribe to a more robust package. Of course, in this case, there will be more costs as well.
  7. No installation . The vast majority of apps and software require installation on the user’s device to work. You can access spreadsheets, text editors, calendars, calendars, image and multimedia editors without having to install anything.

5 free cloud storage services for you to use

You have already learned what cloud storage is and how the technology is advantageous to store files on a virtual server without needing a physical hard drive. But did you know that you can store all your files, data and documents in the cloud without spending anything?

Below are some free cloud storage services that you can start using right now.  

Google Drive

Google Drive is Google’s cloud storage service. As soon as the user creates an email in Gmail, for example, he already has access to Google Drive. Since using Google’s email service is free, you also get access to the cloud storage service without paying anything for it.  

Key Features

  • 15 GB of free space to use. You can expand this amount by subscribing to monthly plans (100GB for R$6.99 or 1TB for R$34.99).
  • High compatibility with operating systems for desktops and (Windows, Mac, Linux) and mobile devices (iOS and Android).
  • Access security linked to the user’s primary account, which can set sharing permissions with other users.  
  • Access to stored files anytime, anywhere, in a simple and intuitive way. The user just needs to be connected to the internet to access the latest updates.
  • Possibility to edit files offline. Changes are made smoothly and when the user connects to the internet, updates are made automatically.  

OneDriv

One Drive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service. The service is free to use once the user subscribes to the Office package, which offers text editors, spreadsheets, presentations and access to collaborative projects over the internet.

Key Features

  • 5GB of free space to use. This amount can be expanded to 50GB, 1TB and 5TB depending on the type of plan the user pays for. Prices range from R$7 to R$29 per month.
  • Compatible with desktop and mobile operating systems.   
  • It is possible to create and edit files from the Office suite without having to be connected to the internet. When the user goes online, the changes are automatically updated.
  • Files can be accessed from anywhere, anytime and from any compatible device. It does not require installation on the user’s device.

Dropbox

Dropbox is another option for storing content in the cloud for free . With just one registration, the user has access to a free account and can start saving their files, data and information on an online server at no extra cost.

Key Features

  • 2GB of free space to use. The user can subscribe to plans that offer from 1 TB of space to the unlimited required. Prices reach up to US$ 20 (about R$ 67) per month, depending on the contracted package.
  • Customized plans and features for individuals and professional business groups.
  • Access to stored files from anywhere, anytime and device (either desktop or mobile) and without the need for internet. Changes to projects are updated when the user connects to the network.  
  • Project management by several simultaneous users, with the possibility to recover data and files accidentally deleted.
  • All plans have an advanced security system, which includes a data encryption infrastructure and two-step verification of file access.  

Mega

Formerly known as Megaupload, Mega is also a free cloud storage service. To use, just create an access account that the user will soon be able to save and share files, documents and folders on an online server.

Key Features

  • 50 GB of free space to use as you wish. If you prefer, you can subscribe to monthly plans that offer up to 8 TB of storage for prices as high as € 30. There are discounts on annual packages.
  • Compatibility with operating systems for desktops (Windows, Mac and Linux) and mobile devices (Android and iOS).
  • Automatic encryption system for data protection. Only the users who own the files can access, edit or delete them.
  • File manager with synchronization of all data stored in the cloud or selective synchronization paths between folders and directories.
  • Built-in download and upload accelerator, which works without the need to install apps.

iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive is Apple’s free cloud storage service. The tool is preferably compatible with branded products, but it also has a version for Windows. It is a very useful service because it is free and can be used with the entire ecosystem of Apple devices.   

Key Features

  • 5GB of free space to use. If you prefer, the user can join the paid plans, which offer up to 2 TB of storage for up to R$ 29.90 per month.
  • Simple plans for single users and starter projects and family accounts with up to 5 connected users and collaborative projects.
  • Data synchronization and automatic backups of not only documents, files, photos and videos, but also documents, contacts, calendars and applications.  
  • Compatible with Apple electronic devices that connect to the internet. It includes the lines of computers and notebooks, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It can also be used on Windows.    
  • User data protection encryption system, in which only the owners of files stored in the cloud can access and manipulate them as they wish.  
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