Cloud networks are really popular these days, and surely, they make our lives so much easier. According to the projections, there will be more than 100 Zettabytes of data stored in the cloud by 2025. By using cloud, we don’t need to carry our data with us all the time, but simply log into our chosen cloud service and all of our data will be there. Download it, and you’re ready to use it. The only thing you’ll need is an internet and a solid device that could make use of the data in the cloud.
However, Cloud computing comes with its own pros and cons, regarding security and accessibility. If you are using Windows 10, you are probably using OneDrive cloud storage, so this might not be an unfamiliar topic for you. With that being said, let’s check the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
1. Easy setup and access
As we said, cloud computing comes in many shapes, and all of them are very simple to set up and use. Let’s say that you’ve read the whole article and want to become a cloud computing expert. All you need to do is choose your favorite cloud service, visit their website, create an account using your email, and choose the best deal you can find. It’s all there you have to do, and you’ll have full access to your data at any time and anywhere. Cloud systems are often encrypted, so it’s safe to say that your data is secure. More about that in the next paragraph.
2. Reliability of Cloud systems
How reliable are cloud systems and cloud computing in general? Well, from many people’s experience, including mine, cloud computing is a pretty SAFE way to go. Why bother buying expensive hard disk drives, implementing them in your PC, and then doing various stuff to set them up, when you can just buy your own cloud space and enjoy? Cloud computing always takes advantage of heavy encrypting, because your files can be sensitive and there are hackers trying to get access to them, and that’s not good. You can put passwords and PIN codes on your files and account to make it more secure and reliable.
3. No hardware dependency
In my opinion, this is the key benefit of cloud computing. Hardware can be very expensive, it needs physical space and proper maintenance whether it’s on your desktop PC or a laptop. To eradicate the need for that, you can use cloud computing to your advantage, and since the best cloud services support smartphones, you can use them to access your data, as I am sure you are carrying your smartphone often with you. It’s all nice, clean, and smooth with cloud computing; no more hardware or risk of accidentally damaging your data.
4. Greater possibility of recovery
Classic hardware storage like SSD or HDD tends to get to the point where they can no longer be used or get completely damaged. Your storage can easily be disrupted at any point; it can be broken in a case of an accident, it can be corrupted, and much more.
Thankfully, if something goes wrong with a particular cloud service where your data is stored, it’s much easier to get your files back, as the admins of the cloud services will do that for you. And believe me, these happen almost NEVER, which guarantees the safety of your data. Never had any experience of losing my files from a cloud space because they often keep multiple copies of the same drive.
This can be extremely useful when it comes to cloud data storage services, where you store the important data that you cannot afford to lose.
5. Cloud is pretty cheap
I’ll not elaborate here too much. Just take a look at the prices of cloud services, and you’ll see why cloud computing is so popular. You can have over 1 TB of space for a very affordable price, and 1 TB of space is really a lot. But every single service may not be like this. Take your time, and choose carefully.
6. Easy data backup and restoration
Cloud computing offers an easy avenue to back up and restore data. Since the technology allows users to access remote servers, they can easily store data on off-site hardware. Doing so will save their storage space. Data stored on a cloud is much safer than stored locally. Local devices are prone to theft or malfunctioning, making the stored data vulnerable. But there are no such issues with cloud computing, as the data is stored elsewhere and can get restored with a simple click.
The ability to store data off-site has allowed various web services, such as Gmail, Google Photos, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc., to grow in recent years. We covered a list of the best cloud backup services to help you choose one quickly.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
1. You are no longer in control of your data
When you own a physical hard disk, you know that it’s yours and that those files’ safety depends on you most of the time. Well, in cloud space, you are uploading your files to someone’s server, which can be a little uncomfortable, especially if you have business files, sensitive data, or other kinds of files that you cannot afford to expose to others. Thankfully, many cloud services have live help desks that will help you to determine if there is an issue with your data or information. But still, you no longer have complete control over it.
2. Features depend on the Cloud service provider
Features… it’s mostly about the features and functionalities in the end, right? Well, some cloud services will offer you cool features for less, and some for more money. Also, some of them will be more expensive while offering amazing features, so you need to think twice about this downside of cloud computing. That’s what I said earlier; if you aren’t sure what to pick up, just try to search online and see other people’s experiences with various cloud services. So, decide what you need before blindly picking a service.
3. Occasional technical issues
Cloud services can occasionally run into some technical issues, regarding bandwidth and overall performance of that service, especially if we are talking about more popular services. If there are a lot of users, it can get slow over time, given that you are on a shared cloud provider. However, as we said, these happen very rarely in this day and age, as those more popular cloud services usually take care of their servers with the help of hundreds of cloud experts, so it’s often fixed in no time.
Yes, there are several encryption methods used to protect your data, but what if someone succeeds in accessing your data? Remember, every system has its weaknesses that can be exploited if someone takes his time to do that, so the encryption you’ve used might be worthless if that happens. Also, such popular services are out in the wild, making them the target of almost every hacker out there. Luckily for us, this happens only very rarely because of the advanced security measures taken by the providers. At least, it didn’t happen to me in my cloud computing journey.
5. Unexpected costs
A big disappointment in the cloud world that still worries me is the inability to control the costs. Or, let’s say, cloud service providers are taking advantage of the inability of users to constantly monitor the costs or inexperience in configuring the services properly to avoid unnecessary costs. Even though they provide a billing alert to get notified when the cost exceeds a certain amount, still most of the popular cloud services doesn’t actually provide a way to completely limit the usage beyond a certain amount. So, be sure to look for that if you don’t want to receive a $10000 bill overnight.
6. Internet dependent
While cloud computing has revolutionized the web, it has a critical flaw. And that is its dependency on the internet. As efficiently as it can, no web service can work without the internet. Generally, this dependency is not much obvious, as access to the internet is much more common today. But on the off chance a user loses a net connection, he would find himself stranded, as most devices run apps or web services that are internet dependent. Thus, cloud computing is only as good as network connectivity.
Being software, cloud services have their own weaknesses and strengths that we mentioned, but one thing is sure; cloud computing is the present and the future of using storage. It’s, by far, one of the most important aspects of computing, with millions of users using it all around the world. My advice would be to try it if you haven’t already.
There are tons of free cloud services that can do a very good job, and if you like it, you can transfer most of your data to a cloud service, making it accessible from any of your devices. But, before you indulge more in this matter, you need to learn about its benefits and drawbacks from our article.