California Teachers Association

April 2017

Issue link: http://educator.cta.org/i/812811

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W ould you like to have access to your photos, vid- eos, music and files from anywhere in the world, and on any device? en cloud storage is what you're looking for. Storing your data in the cloud has many advantages over the local hard drive attached to your computer, including being able to view your files from any smartphone, tablet or computer that's connected to the Internet. First, cloud storage generally offers much more storage than on your computer or external devices. Second, you'll no longer need to carry an external hard drive to have your most import- ant files with you, or worry that you forgot your USB thumb drive at home. Cloud storage also acts as a backup for your files in case your phone gets lost, or your computer hard drive crashes. Cloud storage solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive constantly keep your files in sync with their data servers, ensuring you'll be able to retrieve a file even if you accidentally delete it. ere are even settings that will allow any photos taken from your phone to be automatically backed up on the cloud. Another highly useful cloud storage feature is the ability to share documents with others, and work collaboratively through the Web on them. For example, many educators use Google Drive's G Suite with their students to share and edit documents, spreadsheets and forms. It's easy to work together on finishing important projects, and to see edits being made in real time. If you're an iOS user, iCloud has the added benefit of keep- ing all your Apple devices in sync, making every photo you take or every song you listen to available from your iPhone, iPad or Mac. It even has a "lost mode" that will help you find your Apple device in case it goes missing. Here's how the major cloud storage providers compare: Storage Solutions Why you should be using the cloud By Terry Ng Free Plan Paid Plan (1 terabyte*) Collaboration Tools Supported Operating Systems D R O P B O X 2 gigabytes $10/month or $100/year Dropbox Paper Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire G O O G L E D R I VE 15 gigabytes $10/month or $100/year G Suite Windows, Mac, Android, iOS I C L O U D 5 gigabytes $9.99/month None iOS, Windows M I C R O S O F T O N E D R I VE 15 gigabytes $7/month or $70/year Office 365 Personal Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone *For comparison only; other plans are available. 40 cta.org teaching & learning tech tips

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