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Online data storage serves four main purposes. It serves as an additional flexible source of data storage, it provides a backup mechanism, and it functions as an easy way to share data with others.
Although physical, local storage is inexpensive, online data storage is easy to expand. When you reach capacity, simply purchase additional space. Without this convenience, it would be necessary to purchase and install additional storage hardware.
Data storage on the Internet is a convenient sharing mechanism for individuals and businesses alike. You may use it for something as simple as sharing electronic vacation photos with family members, or if you are a small business, you can provide password-protected access to business files to partners or customers.
Online data storage also allows the user to access data from any location that has internet access. With the availability of internet cafes worldwide, you can access your data from almost anywhere.
One of the greatest advantages however, is backup. Unfortunately, conducting regular backups is one of those things everybody recommends, but few people actually do. And when a backup is done, more often than not, the backup data is stored in the same place as the computer. In the event of a disaster, both the computer and the backup could easily be lost.
Internet data storage services should be secure, and password-protected. Some prefer to add an extra measure of security by providing users with a password token, which generates a password that is used only once and then discarded. It is typically very easy to use, and provides an easy, web-based interface from which to work. And of course, it can be accessed from any computer in the world, so long as you are able to authenticate into the system.
An online data storage vendor typically has a fully managed and secure solution with 24x7 support and monitoring. The facility itself should have its own redundant backup.
There are different levels of online data storage. For non-sensitive data, basic storage and access is adequate. If sensitive data is being stored, additional security may be required, such as encryption, or two-factor authentication. Even though data is being transmitted across the internet, strong encryption technologies will make sure the data stays private.
For organizations engaged in heavy data processing, live offsite data storage will provide real-time backup. In this strategy, transactions are posted simultaneously to your main computers, and to the backup site.
In the event of lost files, recovery is easy, usually requiring only a few mouse clicks. In the event a large number of files have been lost, the data storage operator will usually provide the option of shipping the data on a CD to the customer.