How Much Storage Do I Really Need?

Most of us conduct just about all of our daily interactions online, using our computers for both work and play. It’s therefore vital that we have some kind of back up system in place to protect important data. Consequently, you are faced with a choice between external hard drives or some kind of online backup plan. In our opinion, online file storage wins hands down, and it’s just a matter of making sure you choose the appropriate plan for your needs.

Why is online data storage so popular in the first place? The answer is very simple. It is an efficient, safe and cost effective method of storing and protecting your files. Compared to actually purchasing data storage devices like external hard drives and USB memory sticks, online data storage is surprisingly competitive. With bandwidth prices decreasing, online data storage is an extremely viable proposition. The leading data storage companies invest in huge data clusters and servers, thereby driving the price per GB of data space down. It also has the huge additional benefit of storing your information remotely, which is ideal if anything untoward happens at your primary location to damage your electronic equipment.

There is also very little reason to be concerned about security with an online storage provider. Often, your files are safer with a data storage service than they are in your own computer! This is because all of the top storage services use the same or greater level of encryption as a bank.

There are quite a number of very reasonable services available to you, once you determine precisely what your personal needs are. This article will help you to work out just how much online storage space you actually need, so that you don’t end up paying for a service you won’t fully use.

Things to Consider When Calculating How Much Storage You Need

  1. What are you actually planning to store?

    How much storage you need and the kind of plan you end up purchasing all depends on what you mainly want to store and/or share with other users. Just to give an example, a high-definition bluray movie can take up around 30 GB of space, so if you are wanting to store your film collection online, a 10 GB monthly plan will not get you very far! Conversely, if you just intend to store miscellaneous work documents, like Excel sheets, Word documents, Pdfs, etcetera, then a 10 GB plan would probably suffice, unless of course you are running a mammoth operation with several other employees.

    Audio files and photos require more space than normal work documents. To give you a rough indication, one minute of music generally requires about 1 MB of space. A 4 minute song therefore takes up 4 MB, so 1 GB will usually hold about 250 standard-length songs. Similarly, one picture taken with a 7.2 megapixel camera also takes up between 3 and 4 MB of storage space, so 1 GB can hold between 250-330 pictures, approximately.

  2. What are the features that you need from your online data storage service?

    It’s important to weigh up the amount of file storage you need against the additional features you’re looking for in your service provider. Some services will offer unlimited storage for less than $10.00 per month, but do check the details of how they operate, because some providers do not have file versioning, search facilities and mobile access, for instance. The ability to share the data that you have stored is something that most businesses find indispensable, so it’s well worth checking that your provider makes file sharing both possible and easy. Another thing to keep in mind is the issue of customer support. Sometimes, it’s worth paying a little extra for the peace of mind that access to a 24/7 help desk brings. A free service is less appealing if you find you can’t get the answers you need if you run into problems.

    All in all, there’s quite a lot to consider. One of the most convenient online backup comparisons of the top data storage providers on the web can be found here. This site lays out information about the different storage companies in an easy-to-compare chart. You can even select the specific companies you want to compare.

  3. Your online data storage can always expand.

    Don’t think of online data storage like a hard drive; it’s not. Suppose you run short of space but suddenly have to store a set of important documents. Usually it’s no problem to purchase additional online space. We recommend you go with a service that makes this kind of thing as easy as possible. You may not know what the future holds, but you don’t want to be stuck paying for a huge amount of storage from the outset if you are not initially using it.

  4. In Conclusion

    As long as you are clear in your mind about the type of data you need to back up, as well as the additional features you require from your service provider, you can’t really go wrong in your choice of an online storage service. Choose one that’s flexible and has good customer support, and increase your peace of mind today!

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