Cloud Hosting or Cloud Storage is the norm in the digital world now. From web hosting, to email and sharing files with friends, cloud hosting is dominating. But what is Cloud Hosting?
What does “cloud storage” mean?
Cloud storage is part of the cloud computing model. In general, people from all over the world can use the internet to store and retrieve data from these storages. You can also set up your home PC to work as cloud storage or use a NAS drive as cloud storage.
Cloud storage is very helpful when you need to retrieve your data from another location, do file sharing, or transfer bigger files without carrying any physical devices.
Suppose you have 1 terabyte of image and video files that you want to store and retrieve later. If this is on your home PC or on external storage, then you need to carry the hard disk with you. But if you have uploaded the file to cloud storage like Google Drive or OneDrive, then you can get the file downloaded on any device if it has an internet connection.
Some of the most popular cloud storage providers include Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc.
Cloud Video Hosting Sites:
Do you know that video-sharing sites are working as cloud storage for your videos?
When you share a video on YouTube or Facebook, you can download and view the video from any device and from any location. All you need is a stable internet connection.
YouTube is the most popular video-sharing site in the world. Every day, millions of YouTube users upload videos containing music, podcasts, and educational materials.YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users as of 2021.
You can upload and share your videos or hold them as private videos on your YouTube account. There is no limitation on how many videos you can upload.
So, it is not necessary that you only share raw files via cloud storage. Cloud storage has many more applications.
Although Facebook in general is a social media site, people do share a lot of videos on it too. You can watch them while lying in bed or surfing through the traffic in your car. Facebook lacks one feature that YouTube has: a video search option. Also, YouTube has a watch history option that Facebook doesn’t have.
Vimeo is another splendid cloud video-sharing platform. although they are not free. They offer various plans to subscribers. The very basic one is free. This is where Facebook and YouTube are doing their business. They are giving away unlimited storage for free.
Dailymotion is a large video-sharing site, but its user base is not as big as YouTube’s. Mostly, when I browse the site, they share entertainment and political news. Still, you can host your videos for free.
In 2022, TikTok took the web world by storm. The short video-sharing idea became popular among the young generation. Shorts were also added to Google and YouTube’s feeds after the rise of TikTok. Despite its popularity among the old giants, it has little intellectual value.
Mostly because the videos don’t share much value like YouTube videos and people use them for entertainment purposes only, this is not going to be an ideal place to share your videos.
You can also check out some lesser-known cloud-based video-sharing sites.
These platforms offer cloud-based storage and hosting for your videos. Some of these also offer additional features like video editing, analytics, and monetization options for creators.
Cloud-Based File Sharing
Let’s list some of the cloud-based file-sharing systems. Our priority is to list the free ones first. Most popular cloud file-sharing sites offer limited storage for free, and you can upgrade when you need more storage.
People love flexibility, which is why Google Drive is the most used free cloud storage on the planet. Google has a limit of 15 gigabytes of storage for each account you open. They sell business plans with higher limits as well.
The best thing about Google Drive’s cloud storage is that it is free and fast. You can browse, share, and upload files from almost any device. Another popular one is Microsoft’s OneDrive. So here is the list:
- Google Drive (15 GB)
- OneDrive (5 GB free)
- iCloud (5 GB free)
- Dropbox (2 GB free)
- pCloud (10 GB free)
- Mega (20 GB free)
- MediaFire (10 GB free)
- Amazon Drive (5 GB free)
- Box (10 GB free)
- IDrive (5 GB free)
If you are an Android user, then you are familiar with Google’s cloud services. The Photos app, Gmail, and Google Drive apps you use are all within this 15GB limit. Google Drive is the number-one choice because of its speed.
OneDrive is another good option with both desktop and mobile apps. You can share almost any file from your PC via OneDrive.
iCloud is designed specifically for Apple users. You can’t share any files via iCloud with other services like Google Drive or One Drive.
Before selecting a cloud hosting provider, you should consider the speed, app interface, and free quota they offer. On top of that, the security of your files is also a great concern if you store sensitive data.
Although, to be honest, most of our online data is secured in the cloud storage, banks, national IDs, passports, driving licenses, social security numbers, etc.—and the list goes on.
Can cloud storage be hacked?
Yes, cloud storage can be hacked. While cloud providers generally have strong security measures in place to protect data, no system is completely invulnerable to hacking.
Your security is mostly in your hands. Always use strong and unique passwords for each account, enable two-factor authentication, and keep software and security systems up to date in your system. I use the Google Authenticator app as a second layer of protection for my accounts.
Additionally, it is a best practice to regularly monitor for unauthorized access and suspicious activity on your cloud storage account.
Will cloud storage ever run out?
Unless the world is destroyed by war or alien intervention, it is highly unlikely that cloud storage will run out.
Cloud storage providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have invested billions of dollars in building data centers with hundreds of thousands of servers to store data. Additionally, these companies are continually investing in new technologies to increase storage capacity and improve efficiency.
In the future, the cost will even decrease for end users of cloud storage. More convenient technology and devices are going to be on the market sooner than we expect.
Which cloud storage is best?
You can’t pick a winner among cloud storage providers. Cloud storage servers have different purposes for everyone. Some might need it for storing images and files; others might need it for cloud computing and gaming, whereas an organization will store large chunks of data and access them remotely as per their user base.
If it serves your purpose, then it is good to go. There is no best in cloud storage. Some popular services I have used are:
- AWS is very popular with its Simple Storage Service (S3) for object storage and Elastic Block Store (EBS) for block storage.
- Microsoft offers Azure Blob Storage for unstructured data, Azure Files for file storage, and Azure Disks for block storage.
- Google Cloud Storage is a highly scalable and durable object storage service that can store and retrieve any amount of data at any time.
- Dropbox is very flexible when I want to share files securely with my clients. They have a great mobile app too.
- iCloud is embedded in the iOS system, so users can store files and photos and backup data on the cloud.
I even shared files with MEGA cloud storage and found it quite charming. So, the one that is best for you will depend on your needs and the pricing model it offers.
Cloud Storage and the Future of Gaming
In the future, everything we share and own will be hosted on the cloud or a remote server. Using cloud storage is convenient and beneficial both economically and money-wise.
Google Stadia was a project where you did not need to have high-grade PC equipment on your end to play new games. Everything was installed on the cloud machines. You just need to buy the game subscription to play on any device.
This project has shut down as of January 18th, 2023, due to a lack of growth, but I am assuming it will come back in a new form very soon.
As an entertainment industry, gaming has already suppressed the movie industry. The assumption is that by 2040, cloud gaming will be the main focus for streamers. Think about it: you do not need to buy and set up a machine; you can play from anywhere, and you can do all the things you do on your PC or console, just remotely. All you would need is a stable internet connection and interface to log in to the cloud.
Right now, the multiplayer games we play on our mobile, console, and PC have locally downloaded maps and files, and we connect with the cloud to interact with these maps. In the future, everything in the game will be on the cloud; you won’t need to download anything.
The future is going to be amazing with cloud computing, or it already is!