The 5 Downsides of Cloud Storage
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Why you should back up your important documents and media content is unquestionable especially when a natural disaster strikes.
Though I wrote and review a lot of cloud storage and online backup services, it’s not always the best and good side of it. I had the obligation to inform you guys of the bad or downside as well.
A good check and balance are what make us the “Authority”.
There are always two sides to the same coin.
Now the issue may arise as to whether you should choose traditional software methods or newer online resources in order to carry out this task.
Even when the online backup is faster and less expensive than a regular one, you should know there are several drawbacks, too.
1. Slow Data Restoration
Depending on the bulk of the data that needs to be restored, the process may be slower than when using traditional methods.
This is mainly due to connectivity issues and is the main issue on the downsides of cloud storage.
If bandwidth speed is not the best, the process may take a while.
Check out our fastest cloud storage experiment here.
In addition, failure to restore files via the internet may result in the need of having a disk shipped from the online service backup provider.
This will eventually take a couple of days; a major turn-off if you are in a hurry. Not to mention the additional cost for the shipping.
Yes, usually you’ll have to pay for it to ship to your doorstep!
This is exactly true when speed matter to a different country as what had been presented at the research for Malaysia cloud storage here.
Broadband speed and encryption features play a very vital part in giving you the best experience when it comes to online backup or even cloud storage services.
2. Business Instability
Online service provision is a somewhat unstable business. This is especially true for minor players and big industry player charges premium.
The truth is that many providers come in and out of business and there is always an underlying risk that data privacy may get compromised.
This is one of the major reasons why clients are urged to encrypt the files in the first place.
If your service supplier sells the company or goes bankrupt, accessibility to your data may be interrupted and charges may vary considerably.
In this sense, traditional backup systems are safer and less risky. Local storage vs. Cloud storage as we discussed here.
Always do a double backup for your important stuff, better safe than sorry as they said!
3. Losing Files
This is known to have happened with automatic services that users hire online. If the password to encrypted data gets lost, there is no way to restore the info.
Get a free password manager to help counter the problem.
This is one of the reasons why it is often better to turn to managed services that will provide the means for password restoration.
Conduct a check-up from time to time of your cloud storage services or online backup to make sure that all your files are intact.
If needed, do a restoration even you do not need them now.
A useful tip: use cloud services only for miscellaneous files like photographs, videos or mementos. Use company services for more important documents and files.
4. Is it really cheaper?
One of the alleged advantages of remote backup services over traditional ones is their cost. They are supposed to be more inexpensive.
But, is this really so?
If you consider the costs of a hard drive disk over the costs of monthly online backup service, you will realize the former is much less than the latter.
In fact, an online backup service provider can cost as much as 20 times more than traditional methods in the long run.
But you did not include the maintenance cost of your local drive. If something happened and you need to retrieve the data from your spoilt drive, it might cost you thousands of dollars.That’s why we recommend a lifetime cloud storage solution.
5. It doesn’t always work 100%
The downside of cloud storage that many people don’t know about is efficiency.
The ability to use the service efficiently on a daily basis.
Nobody tells you that some residential internet connections set limits that may hinder the backup process.
Since this is supposed to be done at night, without you even noticing, it may be possible that backups are not always complete.
Also, residential services are usually asymmetric. This means that the connection user-network used to back up data is usually much slower than the opposite -network-user- connection used to restore saved data.
In conclusion, storing data with remote services may be advantageous, but remember the downsides of cloud storage, as well.
Conclusion – Are They all that terrible?
For starters, there are cloud backup and storage providers that don’t even guarantee that your files will be kept private even from their employees.
Fortunately, most service providers offer data encryption, making sure that your data remains incomprehensible even if someone manages to get hold of it.
Now, you may have some standards you stick to when you’re backing up your data locally. With a service provider taking care of the backups and storage for you, you are passing that responsibility to them.
Perhaps you maintain your backups yourself, encrypt them, and make sure they are secure.
When you upload your data to the cloud, these become someone else’s responsibilities and it’s hard to tell if they operate with the same security and availability standards as you do.
Also, there’s always the possibility that your cloud backup and storage provider goes out of business or gets acquired by a different organization.
Whichever the case, the accessibility of your data could be affected and the cost of the service too probably.
Questions to ask
Since you are dependent on the cloud provider. Here are a couple of things you need to ask:
- How will you get your data back?
- Will the cost remain the same since you’re a long-time customer?
- Do they use a proprietary format for the backups?
The last question is important as some providers do use a proprietary format for backing up clients’ files.
If your service provider goes down this route, it will be harder for you to get your data back. Or move it to someplace else.
Also, you might be tied up to a backup provider for say 2, 3, or even 7 years.
This could prevent you from changing providers when things aren’t going as smoothly as promised.
These are the downsides of cloud storage too.
Performed your due diligence on your selected cloud storage provider or have a look at our 7 selected best cloud storage.