Cloud Computing Tips for College Students

College students have enough on their plates without having to worry about getting overcharged for their cloud services or having their backup storage fail at a critical moment (like finals week).

In truth, most students are likely unaware of the many benefits (and potential drawbacks) that exist in the arena of cloud computing. Since it is still a relatively new development in the world of online storage and communications, it is improving all the time. But this can make it difficult for busy students to keep up with which cloud networks offer the most useful services at the best price.

And most college kids simply don’t have the money to overspend on services they aren’t using. So if you happen to be looking for the storage, sharing, and even communication services that are offered by many cloud networks, here are just a few tips to help you find the one that will best suit your needs.

For starters, you need to think about what you want from your cloud service. Are you just looking for storage so that you can move those bulky HD movie files off of your laptop’s hard drive? Or do you want a service that allows you to share files with friends? Perhaps you want a cloud network that offers extras like the ability to edit stored files (without having to download them first) or even one that allows for email and calendar functionality.

And you almost certainly want a cloud that comes with great security as well as the customer service options that will allow you to address any connectivity or data corruption issues immediately (live chat and open ticket services are not available from every cloud provider). Once you have determined what is important you can start to compare services.

The next thing you’ll probably want to consider is whether or not the cloud you choose will be compatible with your devices. Although most cloud networks will interface with any computer console, many are made to work with specific mobile devices. Google’s cloud service, for example, works with Android gadgets, the iCloud is best used with an iPhone, iPad, or

other Apple device of your choosing, and Amazon’s cloud network is made for the Kindle (probably why they offer no email or related services – these options aren’t available on the Kindle). Then, of course, you’ll want to know the price, and here you will find a wide range of options.

Both Amazon and Apple offer users 5GB of storage space free just for signing up. But from there Amazon offers their services on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no minimum for additional storage, while Apple will make you purchase chunks (5GB, 10GB, etc.) if you want to add on. And other services each come with their own pricing structure (although lately prices have been coming down as services try to undercut each other).

You’ll notice that some of the cloud networks that charge more also offer a lot more features, but it doesn’t take a master of public administration degree to know that if you’re not going to use them there’s no reason to pay more.

In short, you simply have to pinpoint your needs and find the most affordable service that offers them. With so many options in cloud computing right now, even broke college students can find a plan that’s just right for them if they know what they’re looking for.

Evan Fischer
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. He enjoys writing about the latest tech news for a variety of companies and discovering new and innovative gadgets.
If you wish to write for techchai, you can get in touch using the write for us form above.

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