There was a time when it seemed like cell phones were trending toward the microscopic, while computer hard drives were trending toward the megalithic. Thanks to our growing reliance on mobile technology, phones are getting larger, and it seems that hard drives have stopped expanding. One major reason for this is that people are now using their mobile devices as computers, which means they need larger screens, sharper graphics, and greater processing speeds. They are also storing their data on cloud servers so that they can access them from anywhere at any time.
Cloud computing has become so popular that the average user has hundreds of services to choose from. You can subscribe to cloud services from companies like Microsoft (One Drive), Google (Google Drive), Apple (iCloud) and Dropbox. You can even get cloud storage with your Amazon account.
All of these services have similar functionality, and similar benefits. They also have the same problem: they are all public. If you store a lot of important data on the cloud, here are several reasons why you might want to consider going private:
Public could services are kind of like the bank of lockers at the bus station. You can put your stuff in a locker, and secure it with a key, and it will be fairly safe. But the lockers are highly visible, and highly accessible, which could make them attractive to someone looking to steal something. Also, while each individual locker seems self-contained, that one locker is really part of one huge box with little more than metal partitions keeping everyone’s stuff separate. As a result, someone who wants to break in can find a way to jimmy the locks, or open one locker and break through the partition into another. Even though there are guards working at the bus station, they might not notice anything as wrong until after several lockers have been broken into.
This is kind of how a hacker was able to get into the iCloud and steal private photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities.
This is not to say that these public services are bad, only that with so many people having access, they can be bigger targets for hacking.
With your own private cloud, the only people who know your cloud exists and have access are the ones you trust and designate. This is not to say that hackers will never discover your account, but it won’t be as immediately visible, especially if you take the right security measures.
Control Over Security
With a public cloud service, you have to rely on that service’s security measures. In most cases, unless you have somewhere to look it up, you might not even know what kind of security software or hardware they use, and if it’s up to date.
Also, if you need to run a process, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), you run into security issues with AWS — especially if the cloud service provider doesn’t have AWS security.
When you create your own private cloud, you are solely responsible for your own security. If you aren’t familiar with internet security, that can be a daunting task. But if you are internet security savvy, you can ensure that you have the best internet security you can get, and that it is always up-to-date. Additionally, if you go with a cloud hosting service, such as Microsoft Azure, it is a good idea to add some back up security to that system. For example, Trend Micro offers third party “elastic” Azure security that you can layer on top of the security already offered to you by your cloud storage provider.
An individual working with small amounts of data might be able to get by with a cloud service provider. In some cases, he might even be able to get by with minimum free amount available to every user that signs up. However, as data needs increase, so does the cost of storing that data.
For example, Microsoft OneDrive offers 15 GB of free storage to everyone who signs up, plus bonus storage for meeting certain milestones. However, if you want more than the free 15 GB, you will need to pay $1.99 a month for 100GB, $3.99 per month for 200BG, and $6.99 per month for 1TB or $69.99 per year when you buy a one-year subscription with a 16-percent discount.
Google Drive also offers 15GB of free storage and 100GB for $1.99 per month. However, 1TB of storage costs $9.99 per month (or $119.88 per year). Google also has higher storage tiers of 10-, 20-, and 30TB, priced from $99.99 per month to $299.99.
Cloud hosts like Microsoft Azure can usually offer different payment options, such as pay-as-you go so that you are only paying for what you use.
If you are concerned about security and privacy, and you want more control over how you use your storage, a private cloud server could be the option for you.