An essential part of any work relationship is clear communication. Since I work from home, file sharing is crucial to sharing progress, next steps, brand assets, marketing materials, photos, files and more with my clients. For years I’ve worked off of terabyte external hard drives, a system that has worked really well so far. But with the increased mobility that comes with working remotely and my increased database of files and images, I knew I had to come up with a more streamlined solution where I could access any file at any time, anywhere.
But before I make any change or make an investment in a product or service, I turn to my handy-dandy list of Pros and Cons. Here was my thought process when approaching a cloud-based storage service.
External Hard Drive Pros:
- Works offline, so speed is fast and no internet connection is needed.
- Easily handles large camera files and documents without lag time.
- Able to work off of Finder which is easier to navigate when moving files in and around programs.
External Hard Drive Cons:
- How many backups to a backup can a gal have? Having to constantly backup manually added an extra step to my already busy schedule.
- The fear of the device falling and losing files (which has happened to me years ago and still haunts my nightmares from time to time).
- If I don’t have my external hard drive, I don’t have access to my files. Accessibility is extremely important to me.
Cloud Storage Pros:
- Access to my files from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Peace of mind for file safety.
- Up to date backups
Cloud Storage Cons:
- Must have an internet connection to upload new files instantaneously. Dropbox acts like a normal Finder window on my desktop. So I have access to all the files that have been uploaded even without internet connection. However, if I don’t have an internet connection and modify a file or add a new one, it simply waits until the connection is back to sync with the cloud database. Not a huge con in my opinion and I haven’t run into any issues with this.
- Since cloud storage is internet based, internet speed is a factor in how fast you are able to work. Nothing is more painful when you’re on a roll and waiting for the computer/internet/cloud to catch up.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to both options. So I did more research to see if I could find a solution that solved the cons of both options. This is what I found!
For the past year, I’ve been using Dropbox cloud storage for my business. This is why I chose it:
- Easy to sync across all devices
- Works out of the Finder window on Apple computers so there is no lag time when switching between folders.
- Easy to share links with clients
- Terabyte storage
Before landing on Dropbox I also experimented with Google Drive and the biggest reason why it didn’t’ work for me is that Google Drive is a 100% web-based program. Meaning, to use Drive I had to have an internet connection and open web browser all the time. I loved the compatibility Dropbox has with the Finder window on Macs and for me, that’s what made the difference.