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Online Data Storage

Internet Virtual Storage

Companies that offer online storage allow the users to store their files (documents, mp3s, pictures) on the Internet. This mimics other forms of external storage such as external hard drives, USB drives, CD-RW, etc. These services are great for anyone who needs more space for their personal files for later use. In short, Virtual Storage is a simple solution for accessing, sharing, and backing up files at any time. It is a convenient, fast, and affordable way to store for users to store their files.

Specialized Storage

Some companies specialize in specific types of storage; for example, many storage websites are targeted towards people who want to store and share their pictures online. Usually, these types of companies offer additional services as well, such as creating organized virtual albums or scrapbooks, slide show viewing, and ordering prints directly from the company. Similarly, some services are targeted toward music junkies, and offer storage services to store a large amount of mp3s and other audio files. These services also include playlist capabilities and syncing with other mobile devices. Some Internet virtual storage services are geared towards small business that require ample amounts of extra memory for company data and information.

Difficulties

Just like with any other online service, users will encounter difficulties. One difficulty is that the user may be confused as to which service he or she should use; it is hard to differentiate which service is right for the individual. Some offer more storage space at a higher monetary cost, while some offer just enough space for free. Some companies have better services and are easier to use.




Advantages

Internet Virtual Storage does provide advantages for most users, especially people that travel a lot for business.
  • It makes it possible to recover quickly from disasters caused by weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, flooding, etc), acts of terror (like on 9/11) or war. It's essential for any companies Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).
  • If you have a presentation that needs to be made in another state or at another location but you cant make it there to present it they can pull your presentation off this virtual storage site and present it themselves
  • It relieves the user from having to lug around a bulky external drive
  • Ease of access from any computer in the world
  • Most of these sites are free, some charge a small fee to store more data
  • You can store anything on these sites from documents, text files, images, videos
  • Most sites to back up all the information you store to secure servers
  • You can store and access your files in less time because the data travels faster.

Disadvantages

There are some disadvantages to the Internet Virtual Storage
  • If you are unable to connect to the Internet then you will not be able to retrieve your document off the site.
  • If the storage site you have all of your information backed up on is down you will not be able to pull up your documents
  • There is the risk that hackers could hack into the site where your information is being stored and steal your information
  • The maximum storage space for each storage provider varies and if you need more space than what is offered by that provider, you are going to have to pay for virtual storage.
  • Some free storage providers do not allow users to share files with other users of that same provider.
  • Most free and paid storage providers do not have FTP (file transfer protocol) access.

Internet Virtual Storage Providers

Here are some links to a few online data storage providers that offer a wide variety of common and specialized virtual storage capabilities.