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How does cloud storage work?

Nov 15, 2019

Have you ever lost your precious files due to a hardware malfunction? Or are you tired of having to constantly delete your photos when the “insufficient storage” message pops up? Cloud storage could be a solution to those problems. It’s a great way to keep your files all in one place since it’s widely available and does not require extensive technological know-how.

But what exactly is cloud storage, and is it safe to use?

How does the cloud work?

Cloud computing is the method of sharing data storage and computing power by using remote servers. Users or companies might access these online services remotely by using relevant software. They don’t need to physically maintain all the infrastructure to perform required operations as third-party providers do that instead. It’s especially convenient for businesses, as they pay just for the amount of storage they use rather than maintain a load of servers without using all their capacity.

Social media, email applications, and streaming services frequently employ cloud computing. For example, Twitter and Facebook keep their infrastructures in the cloud. It allows many users to use the same service simultaneously, and they don’t need to download and maintain software.

What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage keeps your data in remote servers rather than in your hardware. When you store your files in a cloud, you no longer need to worry about your hard drive getting damaged or running out of space.

So how does cloud storage work? It is pretty straightforward — a cloud service provider maintains a number of physical servers. You can access them remotely, either through your browser or by using special software. It will most likely ask you to register and log in. If you want lots of space for your files, you will have to pay for it, but there are also lots of services available for free.

Large providers usually have loads of servers situated in different countries. In case one server goes down, there is always a back-up, so you can still reach your data. Providers are also responsible for implementing strict security measures so that the data would not be leaked, stolen, or intercepted. Also, if you are handling sensitive data, always make sure that your provider’s servers are not situated in countries with inadequate privacy laws. It might pose a legal threat to your information.

How to access the cloud

You can access cloud services easily via certain apps or web services. There are lots to choose from. They allow you to upload and download your files easily and usually have pretty simple interfaces. Google Drive and Dropbox are some of the most popular free and easily accessible cloud storage services.

Why should you use cloud storage?

There are a few pros and cons regarding the usage of cloud storage:


  • It saves space on your hard drive;
  • Your files will be safe in case your system experiences a crash, or you lose your device;
  • If you handle larger amounts of data, you no longer need to maintain expensive server infrastructure;
  • You can access your data from anywhere. You no longer need to carry or USB flash drive or external HDD;
  • It enables social media and streaming platforms to offer us easily accessible content online.


  • You have less control over your data as its safety relies on a third-party provider, which might experience attacks, leaks, sell your data, or just go bankrupt. There is also a human factor involved as your data can be accessed by an unethical employee, or a thief might snatch a server from the warehouse;
  • You cannot access your data without an internet connection;
  • Cybercriminals might intercept your data en-route if there are no proper encryption mechanisms;
  • If you sync your cloud account with various devices, it increases the possibility of a breach in case one of them gets stolen or hacked.

You might get around most of these vulnerabilities if you encrypt your files before sending them. NordLocker provides powerful end-to-end encryption for your data. It uses high-end cryptography to lock your files so that only you can open them. By using NordLocker, you can be sure that your data stays safe — no matter what.

John Sears

John Sears

Verified author

John believes that the best things in life are simple. He uses the same approach when he’s writing about online security. John says that his #1 pet peeve is phishing scams. Ironically, his favorite non-work related activity is fishing.