The following glossary provides brief definitions and explanations of important online storage terms. If you're considering acquiring online storage space in order to back up your computer files at home or the office, study these terms for a better understanding of what you need and what you can get for your money.
The act of storing computer files on a remote server or external hard drive.
A byte is a unit of information used in computer systems. It is also used to measure the size of a file or piece of data in a computer storage system.
A cloud is a network of remote servers that is used to backup and store information.
Disaster recovery is the use of redundant software, hardware and data centers to ensure that files stored on a computer are not completely lost or destroyed.
A disk drive is a device that is used by the computer to read from and to write computer disks.
File sharing is the act of transmitting files from one computer or device to another computer or device via the Internet.
FTP or file transfer protocol is a standard protocol that is used for the transmission of files between a computer and the Internet.
A gigabyte is a unit of information and equals approximately 1 billion bytes or 1,000 MB
A megabyte is a unit of information and equals approximately 1 million bytes.
The act of retrieving lost computer files and data from the storage device or online storage provider.
SSL encryption also known as Secure Socket Layer encryption provides cryptographic protocols that allow for the secure transfer and storage of data.
A terabyte is a unit of information and equals approximately 1 million million bytes, 1 million MG or 1,000 GB.
The amount of storage you need will depend on the types of files you want to store. Generally, every digital music file (mp3) is between 3 and 4 MBs. High resolution digital photos and video files can range from 5 MB to hundreds of MB. Finally, full-length digital movies usually range from 700 MB to 3 GB depending on the length and quality of the movie. However, many online storage services offer an unlimited amount of file storage so you can store as many files as you want.
Online storage and backup services are secure as they use the same security measures that financial institutions use to safeguard sensitive information. This means that your stored files are as secure as your credit card and bank account information.
Traditionally, your computer files are physically stored on a zip disk, hard drive or CD. With online storage and backup, your files are stored on a ‘cloud’. These files are also physically stored (usually at a secure server farm) but for you it is like your files simply exist between all of the devices you use to access them.
The actual process for file restoration will depend on the backup provider. Generally, it is as simple as logging into your account and downloading the files you want.