How to choose a file storage solution
that’s right for you
You already know you should be backing up your files and keeping digital records of important documents. But with all the personal storage options out there, how are you supposed to know which one is best for you? Should you be keeping everything on a handy thumb drive, or using online cloud storage? Should you have your own external hard drive or subscribe to a backup service? The answer will become apparent once you answer three simple questions:
- What do you want to store or back up?
- How frequently do you need to access your files?
- Do you want to share any of your files?
Are you archiving old documents or emails that you don’t need to access frequently and don’t need to share with anyone else? A simple physical backup solution like CDs, USB drives or external hard drives might do the job. Just keep in mind that these solutions are not generally that secure (depending on where you keep them) and may be subject to physical failure, breakages, loss and theft. Another option is to use an online backup service.
Private data and precious memories
If you are looking to store wallet information, health and medical records, tax and legal documents, or files with sentimental value like family photos and home videos, you will want a highly secure personal vault offering bank-grade security features. And since these types of files are not the kind of thing you want to send by regular email, look for a secure sharing feature. For details on what to look for, read our article Top 5 Security Questions to Ask Your Prospective Online Storage Provider.How frequently do you need to access your files?
Do you want to store documents that you access or update frequently from different devices? Look for a service that offers synchronization, or sync for short. Sync allows you to back up your files automatically, then access and sync them across multiple computers and devices. Files that you work on on one computer are automatically updated on your other computer.
look for a highly secure solution offering bank-grade security features.
Many online storage and backup services allow you to share files with others. But before you jump in, examine security and privacy practices carefully. Some companies employ more secure sharing approaches than others. Ask yourself if what you are synching and sharing is highly confidential and let your answer inform your decision.