Free Isn’t Always Better: Do Your Homework before Jumping into the Cloud

By Lisa Reeves

Would you trust your child’s care to someone you didn’t research?

There are many services in life that people are willing to pay for to receive a better experience. For example, many parents/guardians out there (myself included) would be wary of handing over their children to free childcare. With the growing amount of free services popping up out there, it begs the question: is free always better?

It can be, but I recommend you do your homework, whether you’re looking for a free or premium service. And you thought you escaped homework after graduating!

The biggest issue I see with online services is definitely security. Trusting your data to a company that is going to keep it safely in the cloud is a big deal and not one that users should take lightly. Anyone who’s ever lost a document that they had spent long hours on knows how crucial it is to find a service that keeps your precious data safe while you’re on the go.

Use the checklist below to find exactly what to look out for (and steer clear of) when selecting a free or premium cloud service.

Homework Checklist:

  • When researching online, pay close attention to:
    • Media reviews
    • User reviews
    • Social media
    • User experience
    • Interface
    • Security
    • Service quality
    • Customer service quality
  • Engage in free services with your eyes wide open.
  • Ask your friends and/or colleagues what they are using.
  • Make sure you’re willing to lose your data if things go haywire.
  • Lastly, look for a service that is geared towards businesses, not individuals.

Doing your homework is a hassle, but it’s better than the alternative. Leaving your data with just any company is like trusting your kids with free childcare or childcare you’ve neglected to research. It may save you some time and hard-earned cash, but at what risk?

When you do find a cloud service that meets your business, quality, security and financial needs, pull the trigger – you’ve found a winner!

Photo credit: cobalt