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Online digital storage is a web-based cache where individual users can store different types of electronic documents. Some of these sites are free, while others require a small fee on a monthly or annual basis. Storage sites of this type can be utilized as a backup to other data storage options, or serve as a repository for pictures and other fun documents that the user prefers to not store on a hard drive or CDR. The sites are operated as either free or for-pay services, with all the data housed on one or more remote servers, allowing for easy retrieval from anywhere in the world.
There are several practical reasons why online data storage is so popular. One has to do with easy access to images, documents, and other media by more than one individual. For example, a business that operates in a virtual environment may choose to store employee assignments, various types of company sales materials, or even financial records under password-protected accounts on an online digital storage site. By choosing to store important data in this manner, authorized employees have access to the documents around the clock, without the need to wait for someone to forward them from a central server at the company headquarters.
Individuals can also keep important personal documents stored at online digital storage sites. Electronic copies of living wills, insurance policies, and last wills and testaments can uploaded and kept as a backup to the hard copies. In the event that something happens to the original copies, the electronic versions can be accessed and printed with relative ease.
Online digital storage also offers a practical solution to creating virtual photo albums, saving music files, and in general creating a collection of online media that can be accessed from any computer. For people who constantly move from a desktop to a laptop and then on to a hand-held device, the ability to access the storage site and make use of the media is extremely convenient.
There is some difference of opinion as to whether using this type of remote storage solution is actually a good idea. One of the main objections to this type of remote data storage is the perceived lack of security. Detractors note that even when the sites are protected with passwords and other security measures, it is still possible for hackers to break the codes and access the files stored on the site. For this reason, some companies and even individuals are wary of storing confidential electronic data for retrieval via the Internet.
In general, the free online digital storage sites offer limited storage space per user, and may have little more than rudimentary security protocols. When the electronic data you wish to store such items as music files or your holiday gift giving list, the risk may be considered acceptable. However, if you wish to use the site for digital storage of your most cherished photographs, or to serve as a depository for documents containing proprietary or private information, your best bet would be to go with an fee-based online digital storage site that offers greater security as well as more storage.