July 29, 2017
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How Much Storage Space is Enough?

One of the hardest parts of picking a good cloud storage plan is working out how much space you will need. From tiny documents to large multimedia files, every user has a very different definition of 'enough space.' Thankfully, the top cloud-based storage companies offer a wide variety of plans to cover every user's needs.

Calculating the amount of space that you'll need to back up your files depends on several factors. The first is whether you plant to back up all of your files, or simply back up a small fraction of your files. In most cases, users simply want to create an online backup of their essential files - the files that they really can't live without.

If this is the case, you'll likely only need several gigabytes of online storage. Most text files and spreadsheets are relatively small, allowing you to easily back up all documents and financial files without requiring a great deal of space.

If you have large amounts of HD video and personal photo albums, however, you will likely need far more storage space. Video, particularly RAW video that hasn't been compressed in a video editing suite, can frequently take up tens of gigabytes, making high-volume online storage necessary.

As such, the amount of space that's 'enough' for you may be significantly higher than the amount of space that's 'enough' for another person. Many cloud storage services have been built to accommodate this variance in user requirements, offering a flat amount of cloud storage to users in exchange for a monthly fee.

If you need a large amount of data, these services are the ideal option. Not only will you pay no more than the average low-volume user, but you'll also be able to store your large files on a secure online storage network that's frequently backed up on its own in multiple locations.

For users that need minimal amounts of storage space, however, low-volume online backup services such as Dropbox are a better option. Dropbox offers users 2GB for free, allowing for a simple, secure, and free backup of your essential files and critical information. Larger amounts of storage are available using Dropbox's paid plans.

If you're a very heavy data user, particularly someone with several terabytes of data that needs to be stored, it's worth considering how mission-critical your data really is. Backing up high-definition movies that you purchased on iTunes, and thus own the rights to download once again, isn't a productive use of cloud storage space.

Likewise, backing up a music collection that you can easily download again using a retail music application like iTunes or Netflix isn't wise. Getting the most from your cloud storage service means cutting out any unnecessary files and focusing on the few files that are of maximum importance to you.

Whether your critical files take up two gigabytes or two hundred gigabytes, finding a cloud storage service that meets your needs shouldn't be difficult. From Microsoft SkyDrive and Google Drive to Dropbox and MegaCloud, there are hundreds of cloud storage companies out there, each offering large amounts of online storage space.