Whether you are a business dealing with loads of information or an individual saving personal files, data is an integral part of the day-to-day activities. Handling data is a standard process, and as you collect, save, and share information, it is essential to use convenient services.
For several years now, cloud services have been offering storage, sharing, and retrieval services for data. Cloud allows for the sharing of information over internet-enabled devices. The cloud services provide a platform for access to files in real-time. The cloud has features that support different content, such as videos, documents, pictures, and music.
All the information you load or retrieve in the cloud is stored in data centers. Data centers are managed by third parties whose role is to ensure the systems are always up and running. The data centers are situated all over the world. The centers have computer servers with web interfaces that make it convenient and safe to share files.
Through the web interface, you can remotely access files through a smartphone, tablet, computer, or other internet-enabled devices. The data centers are well managed, and every information you share has a back up in different centers. The storage of data in different locations ensures easy accessibility in case of natural disasters, cyberattacks, or theft.
So, the next time you share a file through the cloud, lookout for a service provider that offers reliable backup and recovery solutions. It is essential to understand the security risks for the data you share, especially if you are dealing with sensitive information.
To be on the safe side, learn how cloud sharing works. Do your research on the availability of the service providers and their knowledge and integration with the latest technology. You should choose a provider whose services align with your needs as a business or individual.
Google Drive allows for private and public sharing of files. The files can be shared through the four apps available on the drive; Google Docs the word processor, Google Sheets the spreadsheet, Google Forms the organizer, and Google Slide the presentation app.
Google Drive offers free and paid services for cloud sharing. When you first sign up for a Google account, you get 15GB of free storage to use across the various apps. If you require more space for extra files, you can upgrade to the Google One plan. But if you are a business looking for more features and other business-related add-ons, then the paid Drive Enterprises is your best choice.
The sharing of files through Google Drives begins from the main page. To start, click on the share icon at the top of the page. The button directs you to a page that allows you to enter names or emails of people who can access the file. You can also get a link and share it with other users you want to view or collaborate on the file.
By default, the file is in private mode and users can only access it using the link you share. To grant more privileges to the users, change the settings on the dialog box to read “Anyone with the link” to allow persons with the link to access the file. You can also change the settings to allow users to either view, edit, or comment on the file.
There are other ways you can share a file on Google Drive. If you want files to be visible in the web search results, select the Public On Web option and set it ON. The option allows for the files to be ranked for Google searches and available to anyone with internet-enabled devices. Google Drive is most preferred for cloud sharing because it enables real-time collaboration between users in different locations.
Dropbox allows for the sharing of files through a shared link or request shares through the folder. When sharing files using the Dropbox request option, either party may or may not own a Dropbox account. First, the sender invites someone to share a folder. If the file request is accepted, the file downloads to the receiver's account. If either of the parties makes changes to the file, it automatically syncs on all collaborative accounts.
It is recommended to use request shares for collaborative files where different people need to view, edit, and comment on the same file. A point to note is that free accounts do not offer enough space and features for the sharing of large files. A paid version is, therefore, necessary if you are a business handling loads of data.
Another way you can share your Dropbox files is through a shared link. Start by clicking on the Dropbox menu in the file explorer tool on your PC. Next, right-click on the list and select the share link option. This copies the link to your clipboard and you can share it with someone or post it on the web. Sharing it on the internet allows anyone with the folders’ URL to access and download the file.
OneDrive shares almost similar settings as Google Drive and Dropbox. To start, open the OneDrive menu on your browser and right-click on the file you want to share. Click the share button to reveal the different options you can use to share the data.
You can choose to share by inviting people through emails. Begin the process by entering the email addresses of people who should receive the file. Next, select the privileges you wish to grant the users. You can let the recipients view, or edit your file. You can also decide on whether to allow access only through the Microsoft accounts. Once the options are set, anyone with the email invitation can check the files.
Another method for sharing is through the shared link. First, select the folder you want to share. Click the share button and select the Get a Link option. Select the privileges you wish to grant the users by allowing views or edits only. Once done, click on the create link option to generate a link. Once the link is ready, copy and share it with the intended persons.
While the cloud services offer a variety of security features, care should be taken to ensure all security checks are observed and up-to-date. You can check and confirm that the service provider encrypts your files before they are sent out. The role of encryption is to keep your data safe from intruders.
Better still, is to opt for a service provider that allows you to choose your encryption keys. This way, the information you share cannot be accessed even by their employees. Other security services you should be on the lookout for include: password protection, file authentication, backup features, and companies' privacy policies.
A reliable cloud sharing service should save several versions of your work so you can retrieve them in case you delete or want to access the file later. File versioning enables you to compare different versions of your edited files and revert to older files if necessary. Various file versioning services offer different backup versions for your work. It is essential to check the number of versions and days a folder can be saved when selecting a cloud sharing service. The more the versions and dates, the better it is for you.
Every business is unique in the amount of storage space they need. Most choices are based on the size, business type, and growth plans for the business. Luckily, cloud services offer different methods to cater to small and big-sized businesses. When selecting a cloud sharing service, consider your occupied space, future storage space, and backup folders. Choose a storage plan that caters to your needs both in the present and future.
If your business involves more collaboration between team members, then ensure your cloud service offers automatic syncing. Automatic syncing allows for instant updates of file edits, thus ensuring every member of the team gets up-to-date information. Automatic syncing allows for scheduled backup and offline access to already backed up files.
A business needs to select a service that offers 24/7 support. Cloud services are vital for a business, and having someone answer your needs in the fastest way possible is essential. Even with all the information available online, it is still necessary to have an expert assist, especially if the issues are urgent.
Most of the work involved in the sharing of files in the cloud happens in the background. For most people, all that is required is the click of a button and the files are shared with other people in various parts of the world. But even so, it is still important to learn how cloud sharing works to ensure your information is shared and received safely.