Should I move my hard disk to the cloud?

Silver Linings in Clouds

Perhaps the most attractive feature of cloud storage is that it gives you lots of options when it comes to retrieving your data. Typically, cloud storage services require that you create a password-protected account with a unique user name. Logging into the service through a desktop program, smartphone app or Web browser gives you access to your files.

That means you don't have to keep track of various drives or devices. You can open a file on one computer, make some changes and save it to the cloud. Later, you can access the new version of the file on a different computer by logging into the cloud service. There's no need to e-mail files or save them to a physical medium like a flash drive.

Another positive feature of cloud computers is that any reputable service will ensure redundancy by storing your data on multiple servers. That way, should one server suffer a failure, you'll still be able to access your personal files without interruption. Most cloud networks have computers that take on the task of making sure every server holding your data has the latest version of the file.

Have you ever lost a digital file or had a hard drive go bad? It can be a stressful experience. You may have to bring a hard drive or computer to a data retrieval specialist and even then you may not get everything back. That's why backing up your data is important. It creates redundancy -- should one drive fail, you can still access the data on another system. Whether you prefer cloud storage or an external drive in your possession, consider backing up your data. It has the potential to prevent a huge headache.

Storing your data in the cloud also protects your information in case something should happen to your physical machine. Disasters like floods or fires could destroy all your information. A good cloud storage network will house servers in a secure location with failsafe systems in place to protect the machines.