Remote storage, alternatively referred to as cloud storage, is a description of storage accessed over a network (remotely). For example, a networked computer may utilize remote storage to hold video files that take up a lot of disk space. Remote storage may also be used as a place for offsite backup.
External storage vs. remote storage
Although remote storage is external, it should not be confused with external storage. External storage does not require a network and is any storage medium that's connected to your computer but is removable. A USB flash drive is a good example of external storage. See our external storage page for further information and additional examples.
Advantages of remote storage
Remote storage is a lower cost alternative to buying physical storage devices like SSD and hard disk drives. Many popular remote storage services, including iCloud, Google Drive, and OneDrive, are available for monthly or annual subscription fees.
Another advantage of remote storage is the ability to access your files from several devices. By logging in with a username and password, you have access to the same content on a multitude of platforms. In addition, files can be shared with other authorized users, allowing them to add, edit, or remove files for collaboration on projects.
Disadvantages of remote storage
A drawback to remote storage is its reliance on a network connection. If you're experiencing Internet issues, you have no way of accessing files on the storage network. If your connection is slow, you may also have trouble backing up your files as quickly as you would be able to on a local storage device.
Security is also a potential disadvantage. While most large services are protected with features like two-factor authentication, there is potential for unauthorized users to access your files when they are stored over the Internet.