The file wouldn’t open, is the new “the dog ate my homework”. Most students today will do most – if not all – of their assignments in a digital format, and this can bring its own host of perils and potential problems. Corrupted USB sticks, accidentally deleting files, lost or stolen devices – how can you keep on top of the safety of digital files for your Spanish class? Being a college student can be very stressful, and the last thing you need is to lose all your hard work and have to start over. Luckily, there’s an easy way to keep a secure copy of your files, and have the added benefits of easier collaboration and access from anywhere on any device: cloud storage.
Why cloud storage?
Cloud storage involves uploading and saving work to a remote server maintained by a company on the Internet, rather than the local drive on your computer. Many businesses are already moving to cloud-based storage systems because of the many benefits it provides – and most of these are applicable to students too.
- Items saved on the cloud can be accessed on any device capable of connecting to the Internet. This is great when you’re on the go between lectures, the library, and study date, as you can access the same file on college computers, your tablet, and your friend’s laptop without having to keep track of a USB stick.
- Collaborative working features provided by many cloud storage companies mean that group projects are much easier to organise and pull together.
- Cloud storage means you have a secure backup of your files – often with a version history available – protecting against loss or theft of your device, corruption of the files, and accidental deletion.
So what should you be looking for when choosing your cloud storage?
Compare several different companies, and talk to fellow students who are using cloud services. How much you are willing to pay will impact how much storage space you get, what collaborative features are available, and how good their user interface and support is. Many companies will offer a certain amount of free space to begin with, so think about how big your files are and how much you can afford to pay if you go over the limit. Another good feature to look for is offline editing, allowing you to make notes and edit files in areas without a good internet connection, with your changes being synched up once you reconnect.