Cloud Storage: How does it work and top cloud storage providers

Cloud storage is a computing service paradigm that, thanks to a cloud provider, enables a user to send, save, and access data at a distant, off-site location accessible through the internet.

Many major organizations are turning towards cloud computing as it offers cost reduction, scalability, security, reliability, availability, better collaboration, etc. Cloud computing is advancing swiftly and is expected to continue doing so. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rise in cloud usage, which resulted in a 34.4 percent increase in public cloud spending in 2020.

How does Cloud Storage Work?

Cloud storage works on a pretty basic principle- Data is sent to and received from a storage device that safely stores the data. Cloud storage has its own set of regulations and architecture. Cloud storage providers have many large data servers located all around the globe. Cloud service providers provide storage to customers; in return, they handle most data storage-related tasks, such as security, delivery, capacity, processing power, and storage servers.

Many popular services use hard drive storage systems clustered into virtual servers linked in a mesh-like network structure. A master control server and any number of storage servers make up this design. Numerous virtual servers, each assigned to a paying client, can be housed on the real machines of the cloud host.

Additionally, the behavior is based on which of the host's three primary storage options is used.

  • Block Storage

    In this, large data is broken into smaller, easily manageable chunks called Blocks. Each block is associated with a special identification before being allocated to a storage drive on the host. This method is preferred because it's efficient and fast.

  • File Storage

    This method utilizes file and folder systems. This system works same way as the file explorer on our desktops. Data is stored in files; files make a folder that makes subdirectories and directories.

  • Object Storage

    Each object in object storage has three components- stored data, metadata, and a unique identifier- and they are used to categorize data. When a user wants to work with stored data, they offer the identification number to the host system, which assembles the data with its authentication, metadata, and security.

Top Cloud Service Providers


    One of the top value-for-money cloud services. It offers the best security, constantly improving its services and adding new features. It comes with zero knowledge encryption, which means an intruder will only see scrambled data. Its only drawback is that it's slow.

  • pCloud

    This one is great option for users inclined towards media. It lets you back up videos, music playlists, and social media images. However, you have to pay for zero-knowledge encryption.

  • Icedrive

    This UK-based company is a relatively new service provider, coming into operation in 2019. What set it apart from others is that it uses the TwoFish algorithm for encryption. Icedrive allows you to preview some files by streaming them encrypted to your computer, where they are subsequently decrypted on the fly, unlike most other zero-knowledge providers.

  • OneDrive

    Microsoft's biggest selling point of OneDrive is the Office suite's integration. Files and documents can be shared and worked upon by many contributors. However, it provides zero-knowledge encryption, making the information visible to anyone who might gain access.

  • Google Drive

    Like OneDrive, Google offers a plethora of collaboration tools and app integration. It is a great free cloud service, but the downside is that Google has full access to all the data the users upload.

  • Dropbox

    This remains a popular choice because it allows users to collaborate on both Microsoft and Google documents. With Dropbox's "smart sync," you may choose whether all of your files and folders are stored locally or only online. Although they continue appearing in your Dropbox folder, the online-only files don't take up space.

  • Box

    This company targets business although it offers both individual and business plans. Its strong aspects include a focus on security and a wide range of administrative capabilities, and its user interface is simple to use and quickly puts you at ease. It is supported by several widely used program packages, including Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

  • iCloud

    Apple's free 5GB cloud server lets the users store files, videos, documents, images, etc., across all the synced devices. It provides end-to-end encryption and lets the users set two-factor authentication.