The Limitations of Cloud Storage – and The Solution in Sharing Platforms
Digital Pigeon28 March 2022
With the increasing use of large file formats in digital media, creatives are quickly discovering the limits of cloud storage platforms. With 4K and 8K video on the rise, file size limits are an essential consideration when it comes to deciding how to share your files. Here’s how to ensure that you avoid that anxiety-inducing error message on deadline day.
Key Differences Between Cloud Storage and File Sharing Platforms
Before you can figure out the file sharing method most suitable for your particular circumstances, it’s important to understand the differences between cloud storage and file-sharing platforms.
File sharing platforms allow you to make your files available to other individuals, either for viewing or for download. For instance, a professional videographer might use a file-sharing platform to deliver a finished wedding video to the happy couple. This can be a great way to give clients access to previews of the content, and to allow them to efficiently download the final product.
Cloud storage is slightly different. It’s in the name - the main purpose is to allow you to store your files online. When you save your data in “the cloud”, it is actually stored across multiple remote servers (and often across multiple locations). This means that you save space on your physical computer, and aren’t reliant on your hard disk for file recovery.
Benefits of Cloud Storage
There are a number of other benefits to cloud storage:
- Accessible - Cloud storage can be accessed from anywhere in the world - as long as you have the right login credentials.
- Affordable – Most cloud platforms are reasonably priced, with some even offering free storage (depending on the size of the files stored).
- Scalable – You can increase your cloud storage at will. That said, this often comes at an increase in cost, although the subscription is still relatively affordable for most people.
- Multiple users – If you're working as a team, you won't have to keep sharing files if everybody has access to the same logins.
Benefits of File Sharing Platforms
The advantages of file sharing platforms are slightly different, with a greater emphasis on file size, speed and efficiency.
- Built with speed in mind – File sharing platforms are designed to deliver each file to the recipient as fast as possible. They often make optimal use of your bandwidth.
- Extra use features – Many platforms allow you to add comments and custom branding to the files that you share, which can be especially useful for projects with multiple collaborators. Some options also allow media previews.
Top Cloud Storage Options - and Their Limits
Some of the top cloud storage platforms currently include DropBox and Google Drive. Although all of these offerings are from different service providers, they tend to all carry the same limitations when it comes to file size and speed.
One of the main drawbacks of cloud storage is bandwidth. When you upload a file from a cloud storage platform, the level of performance that you recieve is dependent on your network, and the amount of demand being placed on it at any given time. If pressure is high, you can end up with a bottleneck - which results in slower upload speeds. This can be less than ideal if you’re working to deliver a product on time.
The second (and related) drawback is that most cloud storage platforms just aren’t well equipped to handle the upload and download of large files. Large file formats contain a lot of information, and are likely to result in slow transfer speeds. Even 4K video will usually hinder your progress - and if you are working with 8K video, you’ll really start to see the issue. If you deal with a lot of deliverables in these file formats, you’ll probably quickly find yourself looking for an alternative.
How File Sharing Platforms like Digital Pigeon Can Help Offset These Limitations
Don’t panic - all of this doesn’t mean that you need to run and cancel your cloud subscription. After all, the cloud still offers a lot of benefits, especially if it is important for you to be able to access your files from anywhere, at any time. Nevertheless, there are some huge advantages to be had by integrating a file sharing platform like Digital Pigeon.
For one, you immediately eliminate the cloud storage bottleneck. When you integrate Digital Pigeon with your existing cloud storage (including Dropbox or Google Drive), you transform your capacity to upload files to clients quickly and efficiently. Because the platform allows you to dedicate your entire bandwidth to your upload, you can rest assured knowing that you don’t need to worry about delays and missed deadlines.
The second key advantage to using a file sharing platform is that these programs can handle large format files far better than cloud storage. With Digital Pigeon, you’ll be able to send files over 200GB without breaking a sweat. The resulting peace of mind is worth the integration. The customizable activity notifications which come with the platform can also be a massive help to your workflow, with options for pop-ups, audio notifications, and more.
Finally, if you are in the media industry and your file sharing platform allows for file previews (as Digital Pigeon does!) this can be a real perk - and one which is simply not available through cloud storage. If you are an event photographer delivering hundreds of high-definition photographs, it can be incredibly useful for your editing team to use previews in order to determine which uncompressed pictures to select and download. The same is true for the sharing of raw video footage.
By combining the power of cloud storage with a file-sharing platform like Digital Pigeon, you can maximise your workflow and get the best of both worlds. For a complete walkthrough of the integration process, contact us today.