When the web turned 25 years old earlier this week, many of us reflected on bygone storage technologies. Remember floppy disks and zip drives? Now we’re storing more and more data in “the cloud.”
What does that mean, anyway?
"The Cloud" isn't a physical destination; rather it's a network of computer services all working together to provide scalable, virtual and, most importantly, available software and storage for connected users.
We all use the cloud and may not realize it. When you upload a photo to your Facebook page, it doesn't go to a single computer in an A/C'd room in Menlo Park, Calif. and when you play Xbox Live, Microsoft doesn't tabulate your scores in a backroom in Redmond. It's all stored on 'the cloud'.
There are quite a few players in the “storage wars”. Microsoft has OneDrive, Amazon sells CloudDrive, Apple users are familiar with iCloud. Many have used DropBox or the enterprise-friendly The Box to transfer those too-large-for-email files.
Yesterday Google slashed prices for their cloud-based storage product and you can be sure the other major players will take note in the battle to be online care-taker of your data.
You can now store one gigabyte (that’s about 500 ‘selfies’) of data on your Google Drive account for a single penny per month. The new paid plans start at $1.99 for 200 gigabytes.
Google was able to cut prices for Google Drive prices so much because of “a number of recent infrastructure improvements,” Google’s Scott Johnston said in a company blog post.
Here are links to some of the more popular cloud storage providers:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive (formerly “SkyDrive”):
- Amazon CloudDrive
- Apple iCloud