Remember the time when Gmail has launched with the promise of offering more storage for e-mail users than other service providers. Almost all industry experts rubbished the claim. But look at Gmail today, it is the top e-mail service provider and yet it continues to offer us ‘unlimited’ space.
Cloud storages, a service that many businesses would be crippled without, also promises ‘unlimited’ storage space. We have purposively been quoting the word unlimited because it is important to understand the word and see whether its usage by cloud service provides is a scam, a myth or a reality.
Cloud storage has enabled most of us to keep our valuable data on a secured online server. Online backup has become the need of the hour for several reasons. Continuous security threats, businesses on the move are some of the reasons why more and more people are advocating the use of cloud storage.
What Does ‘Unlimited’ Mean
Do not make the mistake to think that in case of cloud storage, unlimited simply means having no limits. The truth is service providers cannot really provide an ‘unlimited’ plan though they prefer to market it that way. One of the probable reasons why service providers continue to use this word is because our storing needs are increasing day by day. We never really have enough space to store the data. Due to this, cloud service providers are promising us what we keenly want – Unlimited Space. But in reality they cannot and are not offering unlimited space. Let’s elaborate with an example.
JustCloud, of the most sought after cloud providers, promises unlimited storage plans but with a rider. In its TOS, it explicitly mentions that they reserve the right to introduce an alternative pricing plan if you upload more data than an average user. So while they are offering you more space than you should need, they are not promising you that you can empty anything and everything on their server. Sounds fair now, right?
Now that we have broken the myth about unlimited storage capacity on cloud providers, let us look at some other aspects on this matter.
- Storage – When you subscribe to any cloud storage provider, you need to read the TOS carefully. Remember that for them its business and they will have all loopholes sealed. Do not fall into this apparent trap and know what you are signing for.
- Bandwidth – You wouldn’t think that bandwidth could be a problem for cloud service providers but some services do limit your bandwidth. When they limit the bandwidth, uploads becomes extremely slow. When you are signing up with a provider, check the bandwidth capacity carefully.
- File Size – Many providers also have issues with file sizes. Even when they promise ‘unlimited’ space, they do not allow all file sizes to be uploaded. Some only limit certain kinds of files, while others have a more generic rule.
Cloud storages are definitely a boon for small and large businesses. But it is important to understand their terms of service before you start using them.