Sick of running out of space on your phone? You need cloud storage in your life. What is the cloud and how do you use it though? We've got the answers...
Do you spend most of your time deleting apps just to try and squeeze in one more photo? Or do you need to delete hundreds of selfies just to download the latest game for the commute home? If that sounds all too familiar, it’s time to get cloud storage in your life. So what is the cloud, and how can it help?
What is the cloud?
The cloud is a way of storing your data virtually and has nothing to do with those fluffy things in the sky.
The beauty of storing your stuff online is that it’s easy to access from any device, anywhere you’ve got an internet connection.
How to connect to the cloud
It really couldn’t be easier. Just choose one of the many cloud services that are out there (we’ve included some of our faves below if you don’t know which one to pick, so you’re not left asking ‘but what is the cloud?’!). Once you’ve logged in and chosen what you’d like to save (bigger files like photos, videos and music will help free up space), your device will start syncing straight away.
You’ll then be able to access all your files using the cloud from any device. All you need to do is connect to the internet and log in. It’s that simple!
Having your stuff stored virtually also means that it’s easy for you to share stuff that you might not want to post on social media, like holiday or wedding photos. You have total control over who sees what.
Not only is the cloud great for stuff like photos, it’s also perfect for storing things like device backups. This means, if your device is lost, stolen or stops working, all you’ll need to worry about is choosing which new phone you’re going to pick, and not wondering “what is the cloud doing to help?”! Your photos, contacts, videos and anything else you’ve saved, and will be safe and sound in the cloud just waiting to be synced to your new phone. What’s not to love about that?
What is the cloud service for me?
It can be tricky trying to decide which cloud service to go with so, we’ve put together info on some of our faves to get you started.
If you’re an Apple user, you may already be well acquainted with iCloud. If not, you can use it to store backups of your phone including settings, contacts, photos, videos and music. All you need to do is tap your Apple ID in the Settings menu to choose what to backup. You can see how much storage space you’ve got left and can also change your storage plan there too.
You get 5GB free storage to start you off but you can upgrade to 50GB for £0.79/month, 200GB for £2.49/month and 2TB for £6.99/month. The last two tiers can be shared with your family too.
With iCloud, you can back up your device and settings too. So, if you get a new device, you can log into iCloud and set up your new phone from a previous back up. This automatically transfers your stuff to your new phone with zero hassle.
The Samsung Cloud makes it easy to keep everything backed up. It backs up both your data and settings which means that if your device stops working or gets lost, you can restore everything from your home screen layout to your Wi-Fi settings to your new device.
How to access Samsung Cloud
You can access everything you’ve backed up by simply signing into your Samsung account on your device; you don’t have to worry about signing into a separate app.
Samsung Cloud starts you off with 15GB storage space for free, but if that’s not enough space you can upgrade to get more. You can do that nice and easily through your device Settings menu.
While Samsung Cloud is only available on selected devices at the moment, that list keeps on growing.
With Microsoft OneDrive, you can back up, share and store loads of stuff like documents, videos and photos anywhere, on any device. Like most cloud services there are different storage tiers that you can choose from. They range from OneDrive Basic 5GB which gives you 5GB free storage to Office 365 Home which comes with premium OneDrive features, including 5TB storage for £79.99/year or £7.99/month. It also includes Microsoft Office 365 installations for 5 PCs, 5 tablets and 5 phones.
Google Drive starts you off with 15GB of free Google online storage which you can use to view your files from any smartphone, tablet or computer. With Google Drive, you can share your files and folders and can even invite others to view, download and collaborate on all the files you want without needing to mess about with email attachments.
If 15GB storage isn’t enough, you can upgrade to 100GB for £1.59/month, 1TB for £7.99/month or 10TB for £79.99/month.
Dropbox basic gives you 2GB free storage and access to your files across multiple devices either online or by using the app. You can also share folders and links with friends and family.
If you need more than 2GB storage then you can upgrade to Plus, which gives you 1TB storage for £7.99/month. It also gives you access to your files while you’re offline – no need for an internet connection. Dropbox Plus also gives you priority email support for your Dropbox account and lets you do handy stuff like wiping your device remotely.
Now you’re up to speed on the cloud and how it works, you can relax knowing that your photos are safe and the days of those “send me your numbers” posts on Facebook are far behind you. So what, is the cloud simpler now? Result!