Successful cloud drives available such as Google-Drive and Microsoft’s Sky-Drive. However, which have better security than other? Let us compare their security features to find out……
When using Google Drive, you will always notice that the prefix is “https”, not the common “http”. This is because the website uses a secure socket layer (SSL), which means that all data traffic between your browser and the Google servers are encrypted! On top of that, the website needs to show a valid “certificate” to the browser, which is signed by a trusted authority such as VeriSign. Certificates have an expiry date, and if the certificate is not trusted, browsers will usually raise a warning to the user. This ensures that “man-in-the-middle” attacks are extremely difficult, where hackers pose themselves as the legitimate server and intercept data packets travelling between the user and genuine server. However, the disturbing thing is that your data is stored unencrypted on Google’s servers, which means that only physical safety of the servers protects your data at their end. While Google claims that this is done so that users can preview their files, one of the key reasons could also be that Google needs to analyze your files in order to serve up target advertising, which is their main form of revenue. Additionally, Drive also offers two-step authentication, where a user has to enter a code delivered by SMS to their mobile before logging in successfully. A critical statement in Google’s policy includes “When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works ..”. This means that Google can effectively use your work and publish it in a different way, which is undesirable.
Dropbox is also one of the most popular cloud storage services around, and it also clarifies
its security features on the website. Dropbox also uses SSL to transfer data securely, and
AES-256 encryption to encrypt user files. Unlike Google Drive, this means that data stored on
Amazon S3 servers already have a level of protection even if they are breached. Additionally,
Amazon S3 storage has extremely robust security protocols, offering SSL encryption throughout
all transmissions internally and externally, and storing data redundantly in multiple locations to
prevent outages from causing disruption of service. Dropbox also offers two-step authentication,
and allows for SMS based confirmations as well as authentication via mobile apps. Google offers
verification through text, voice and also offers a mobile app to retrieve codes.
transmit data securely from the user to Microsoft’s data center. However, like Drive
and unlike Dropbox, SkyDrive also does not encrypt files at rest. Once again,
an advantage is that files can be previewed because they are unencrypted on
Microsoft servers. SkyDrive has two-step authentication, but it is done by verification
through an alternate email address. However, Microsoft does not provide any
proper documentation on the security protocols used to protect data in their data centers.
- If you buy any new Apple device, iCloud comes with it for free. There isn’t anything wrong with free!
- One of the best things about iCloud is that it can store an almost unlimited amount of data for you. With your subscription to iCloud you can store up to 5GB of data, which is a lot. The best part is, everything you purchase from the iTunes store, all your music, apps, shows, books, and more, have unlimited storage, so they won’t come out of the 5GB you’re allowed. You can pay for more storage if you want, but most likely you won’t need it. With all that storage, you can now access your entire music library from any Apple device you have, and you don’t have to worry anymore about picking just your favorites for your iPod.
- The iCloud will automatically sync all of your Apple devices with your Apple content, making it so much easier for you. You don’t have to worry that a song you downloaded on your iPod isn’t on your computer, or vice versa. iCloud will take care of that for you.
- If you download music or files from other sources, you will have to pay an annual fee of $24.99 (around 1350 Rupees in Indian Currency) for Apple to store and sync them. Really, this price is not that bad because it breaks down to only a couple dollars per month. However, it is a drawback to have to pay to use your own stuff, which you might have paid for already from the source you got it from in the first place.
- If you’re new to cloud computing, you might experience a degree of worry while using iCloud. You might worry that somehow Apple will lose all your precious files or your entire music collection, or that somehow your information will be hacked by someone else who reaches into your cloud. While these are reasonable concerns to have, you can rest assured that they aren’t going to happen.
- The nature of the cloud is to protect and backup your data, so it’s safe with Apple. But nothing in life is truly a guarantee, so a little worry might be a con to your iCloud use. If your interest in cloud computing relates to using the cloud for business perhaps Icloud is not your best alternative. The feature set and guarantees involved with data storage relate more to individual consumers.