In the first part of this series, I told you about some of the advantages of using a physical SD card to increase storage options for your smartphone or flip phone. While this option is really convenient, it’s simply not for everybody—iPhone users, for instance, can’t use these at all. So here in Part 2, I’ll take a look at another terrific option, which is available to anyone with an Internet connection: cloud storage.
With cloud storage, your photos, music, videos and other personal files are uploaded to remote online servers. There is no physical component to it; instead, files are saved in “virtual warehouses.” Once your files are saved to the cloud, you can open them on any of your devices and in any location as long as you have Internet access.
The cloud offers virtually unlimited storage, and using it means you’ll always have a backup solution in case something goes wrong with your cellphone or tablet. There’s no need to worry if you accidentally delete a photo, for instance; if something happens to any of your files, you can access the cloud to retrieve data that may have been deleted or damaged on your device.
To get started storing files to the cloud, you’ll need to choose an app. Every iPhone includes iCloud for free, which provides up to 5GB of storage for contacts, photos, or messages. Once it’s enabled iCloud will automatically backup your files, and update regularly to add new ones.
Millions of Android and iPhone users have come to rely on Google Photos as a handy, free way to store pictures. It offers unlimited storage of photos and videos under 16MP each, and can also be set to automatically backup your files. Best of all, with both of these apps, once files have been saved to the cloud, they can be deleted from your device, freeing up space for more things.
There are plenty of other free options to choose from. Google Drive lets you store and easily share documents; Dropbox also offers easy storage and sharing of documents and photos, plus it allows you to edit files right from your phone or tablet. Amazon Prime members receive access to 5GB of free cloud photo storage using Prime Photos as part of their annual membership.
Both of the options we’ve examined in our series offer unique ways to conveniently store your personal files, and give you more flexibility with your device. I find both of them simple, secure, and easy to use—and you’ll love the way they give you a little extra “closet space” for all your important information!