Most people are suckers for anything free. That is one of the reasons so many companies are able to lock-in customers using free services, betting on the inevitable need-based growth which converts into a loyal, paying customer-base. This freemium approach has been at the forefront of the digital age and is very typical of cloud and online application services. Surveys have shown substantial increases in this type of business model, especially as willingness-to-pay has decreased. Nowhere is this freemium model more prevalent than in the world of online storage.
The big names in web-based backup including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Dropbox, and Mozy all lure in potential customers using a pitch that rings something like this: “sign up now and get __ GB in free storage.” Given that many web-users regularly use multiple accounts with the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft, it would seem obvious to the cheapskate to simply sign up for as many free accounts as possible, completely maxing out all the potential cloud-based storage solutions one could possibly acquire. It would be like the man who amassed over $9 million in credit just by signing up for every credit card offer he received in the mail.
If you’re actually in need of 100 TB of online storage, it might be worth the simple convenience to simply pay the monthly or annual fee. On the flip side, if you don’t feel comfortable backing up thousands of gigabytes of data with a single provider, it could be wise to begin signing up for multiple free accounts. The question is, how many gigs do you think you could actually bilk out of these cloud computing behemoths for free? My guess is enough to save some on those pesky monthly residual fees.
My personal take: just go the free route. Unless you are a commercial entity needing massive redundant backup, it’s not worth paying a monthly, recurring fee, especially when you can purchase massive external hard drives for so cheap.
For the digital document hoarder, amassing various free online storage accounts will probably suffice. For the HD videographer who loves to snap high-res pictures of his family, you’re probably going to need to shell out a bit more coin. But just think, if you’re familiar with your multiple free accounts when it comes time to make the decision on a provider, you can make it with complete confidence.
Author Bio:- Nate Nead is the marketing manager for Online Storage, a company focusing on enterprise online backup solutions. He works directly on lead procurement and lead management for medium and large-sized companies.