What is Online Storage

Whenever a file is saved to your computer’s hard drive, the data is locked away until it is required again. You can still use the file, update it and so on, but it remains on the drive until you delete it or move it from there to, perhaps, a floppy disc. Online storage can be thought of in a similar manner to a hard drive, which is applicable when your computer is connected to the Internet. Once online, you can recall, use or alter the data, just as if it were being stored on a hard drive.

The online storage is usually a hard disk, with non-removable media, and the “backup unit” is usually a tape drive which uses removable media cartridges

In reality, a company specialising in storage allocates “blocks” of space to each individual user that signs up (usually of 25, 50 or 100Mb) to store their files. Each particular company determines the amount of storage that is available to you. Online storage is usually free, providing you don’t mind seeing advertisements on the screen while you work.

Many companies offer space-based incentives, such as an extra 5Mb per friend that you might recommend, or 10Mb for frequent visits to your online storage, which are handy if you have a lot of data to secure.

The primary reason for backing up your data and documents is to protect them from the failure of your primary storage device. Other reasons for backing up are: permanent, archive storage of data so that it can be deleted from the primary storage device (to save space), to have a “snap shoot” of your data on a specific date (i.e. end of year), recovering from fire, vandalism or other disasters that destroy your computer system, and to be able to recover from running a procedure that corrupted/modified your data.

What is the most important factor when you're choosing a cloud storage/ online backup provider?