Will Your Data Disappear When Your Online Storage Site Shuts Down?

You can never have too much digital storage, and the day will come—sooner than you think—when you won’t be able to squeeze a single new file onto your computer’s hard drive. And if your primary computer is a laptop or an all-in-one desktop, you won’t be able to solve the problem by opening the case and tossing in a supplemental drive.

One solution might be to rent storage space in the cloud, but buying a hard-drive’s worth of capacity is prohibitively expensive: 500GB of storage on Dropbox, for example, will set you back $499 per year. If you need just storage, as opposed to a service for file syncing or collaborating via the cloud, buying a portable hard drive is far more economical. For less than $200, you can get a 2TB drive that supplies four times the capacity of a Dropbox account. Pay for that storage capacity once, and you’ll own it forever—and you can take it with you wherever you go. Before you can choose the right drive, however, you have to identify your needs, wants, and budget.

Have you thought of the possibility of your chosen Online Storage Site Shuts Down? It has happened in past. Online storage services that have announced closings in the past include big names in tech: AOL (Xdrive and AOL Pictures), Hewlett-Packard (Upline), Sony (Image Station), and Yahoo (Briefcase). Plenty of lesser-known online storage firms also have kicked the bucket, including Digital Railroad and Streamload and MediaMax, which turned into The Linkup.

Using these sites used to be a no-brainer--you just uploaded your summer-vacation pictures or your business files and then shared or used them anytime you wished. Now you have to wonder: Will my information still be around tomorrow?

The failures of popular online storage services are giving cloud computing a black eye. For years Internet companies invited people to store photos and data online, promoting the services as smart alternatives to storing data on a local PC or backup drive. AOL once stated in its Xdrive service's marketing literature: "You'll never have to worry that a computer crash or virus will destroy all your files because they will always be safe 'n' sound up on Xdrive." Xdrive officially closed in mid-January 2006. This has happened once.. can it happen again?

Now cloud storage has much bigger names in service such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Windows Azure, and Rackspace Cloud Hosting which are offering a number of benefits. For starters, they don't involve a significant capital outlay, and you won’t need an IT staff to manage the server. You won’t need to worry about the equipment or software becoming outdated or obsolete, either. In the days when businesses relied on big-iron mainframes, this strategy was called "time sharing." And the cloud is burdened with many of the same limitations as that model was.

Even if the company does not close its business, It’s not difficult to find instances of security breaches in cloud computing, of course. On the other hand, you can’t entirely eliminate risk from any computing environment. Intruders may hack into files stored on your business’s own servers or hard drives. Hard drives may fail.

Fortunately, Stellar Phoenix stands ready to help you recover your data no matter where you store it and no matter whether its loss resulted from a disaster or an accident. Our friendly, expert data recovery specialists will find everything that can be found and get your information back to you.