Thousands of years ago the method of transferring and storing data took place in the form of stories and songs passed down from one generation to the next. Eventually we found a way to record our data in written form by hand, store the information on paper, and whose language could be taught from one person to another and the text itself could be copied by hand for others to use. In the 1400’s a man by the name of Johannes Gutenberg invented the first movable type printing press which established a method of recording and creating copies of data at a rate that had never been experienced before. Ideas printed off the Gutenberg press spread across Europe like wildfire and helped to move the human race forward to shared knowledge and overall enlightenment.

Data storage has come a long way since human kind’s early days of only storing data in memory and transferring it through song and story. The human race is at the paradigm shift of yet another method of data storage that has been a long time coming: Online storage. Being that data can be easily digitized we can now transfer it with ease from one computer’s hard drive to the next, the computer doing all the remembering and transferring for us and leaving us with only having to remember the language and how to operate a computer. Nonetheless, online storage offers a much more reliable and useful method of data storage that a hard drive does not.

Flexibility

Hard drives are heavy and require a decent amount of your computers resources to operate. If you have an external hard drive and wanted to bring your data with you somewhere, you would have to carry your hard drive around and risk it breaking and you losing all of your data. It is a common phrase in investing that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, and saving your life’s data on a single hard drive that is vulnerable to the elements is doing just that. See our 3 types of hard drives review.

Online storage offers secure servers to house your data that can be accessed whenever it is needed and from wherever you have a computer with internet access. It is the equivalent to a virtual desktop in the cloud that you can access whenever you need it, and if you are working as the member of a team, you and your teammates can keep all of the project’s information up to date without the trouble of sending emails back and forth and wasting time having each member of the team update their aspect of the project whenever new information comes in.

Price

A 1 terabyte external hard drive costs around $100 whether or not you actually use it all, but, as mentioned earlier, you also nonetheless have to factor in how much the risk costs you in storing all of your data in one place. For example, if you are working on a project based off a contract you have with a client that is worth x dollars to your business, you have to multiply the amount the client is worth to you by the probability of a hard drive crashing – and if you pay a visit to the review section of Amazon on external hard drives, you will find that a decent percentage of users of even the most reputable external hard drives have had theirs crash, losing all of the valuable information contained within for good.

Online storage companies charge you for exactly the amount of storage you need, and work around the clock to make sure your data is stored securely and that the risk of loss is to as much of a minimum as possible. The risk of loss still exists, but the percentage risk is negligible and can let you sleep at night knowing that your valuable data is being protected in the best way possible.

This is a guest post submitted by Eric Greenwood. He is a technophile whose interests span the range of data management, online storage, business intelligence and much more – Read more of his work at the blog Online Storage!