Does your desktop look like this?
As a consultant who has worked on many people’s machines, I have seen desktops like this one far too often. But with technology today, there is simply no need to take the risk of saving files on your local machine. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard an individual ask IT for help to retrieve a lost or deleted file—and desktop views like the one above contribute to the confusion.
In today’s world, there is a remedy: We have the luxury of “The Cloud” as a place to save files. But exactly what is the cloud?
The cloud provides the means of storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. That means hardware failures no longer have to be the reason for data loss or missing files. With cloud services you can access your files anywhere that you have an internet connection.
There are also a ton of other benefits of using the cloud—from data security to cost reduction. But my main focus for this blog is the accessibility and mobility of using cloud functionality. Stolen laptop, lost power cord, hard drive crash? No problem!
Using the cloud allows you to access your files and applications from anywhere, on any computer, and at any time—simply by having an Internet connection. Employees can also access company files without a VPN connection and without being forced to work within your physical company walls.
Free Cloud Storage Options Abound
There are plenty of cloud storage applications available both for personal use and enterprise use. A simple search of “Free Cloud Storage” will give you many options that offer free storage up to a specified limit. These tools are great for personal use. Enterprise tools are also available a minimal cost. Free options include:
- Google Drive 15 GB
- One Drive 5 GB
- Dropbox 2 GB
- Amazon Drive 5 GB
- Sync.com 5 GB
- MediaFire 10 GB
Enterprise options often offer greater levels of security and functionality. These options include but are not limited to:
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft One Drive
- Citrix FileShare
I have personally used a handful of these, and they are extremely simple to set up. As an example of how easy these services are to use, I signed up for a cloud drive, and within minutes I began uploading and sharing documents. I frequently use cloud drives for several of the projects I have worked on, and it has provided me with the ability to share between groups and others outside of my own organization.
Cloud drives work great when running projects and working with many team members—where we need the functionality of accessing many of the same documents. Team members are also able to update the documents without having to worry about having the latest and greatest version. You are always up-to-date and working on the most recent updated document.
The Comfort of Knowing Files Are Safe
If you have ever felt the anxiety of a lost or deleted file, that alone should lead you to explore one of the options noted above. You will feel a sense of comfort knowing your files are safe, secure, always backed up, and accessible anytime.
I highly recommend investing a few minutes to explore the option of an online storage account and take advantage of cloud applications. But if you need help with your storage strategy or cleaning up your desktop, we are glad to help.
Author: Tom Ilic, Consultant