Storing data in the public cloud is incredibly useful. Whereas in the past we might have relied on USB sticks to transfer data around or emailed ourselves files in order to access it from another computer, cloud storage provider have taken away all that hassle.
There’s so many to choose from. Not only do the big names, like Google and Microsoft, have their own services, but there are also many small businesses who offer their own services. With the targeting of enterprise users becoming more prominent, it’s a market that’s only going to grow in the coming years.
However, we should be careful not to put our full trust in cloud providers. Although they’re great, that doesn’t mean they are fool-proof. There might be times where you lose your data through them and need to get it back. But is that possible? Let’s take a look at some of the methods and scenarios that might be encountered when recovering cloud data.
Much like when you deleted something from your computer and it goes to the Recycle Bin, most cloud storage services don’t instantly permanently delete something when you trash it. Instead, it’s moved to a deleted area. These files can then be restored straight back to your account. The average time that data is stored in this area is around a month, but that can vary so be sure to check your provider’s terms before relying on it.
You might be in a situation where you still have the data, but you’ve overwritten the file with dodgy changes. Handily, many services provide a revision history on your data. This means that you can restore previous versions of files with a few easy clicks. However, again, this is usually only stored for up to a month, so don’t take too long to make use of this feature.
Cloud services are great because they sync across all your different devices. You can use this feature to your advantage when trying to get your data back. For example, say you’ve lost some data on one device, but it’d been previously synced to another device which hasn’t been updated. You can disconnect this second device from the internet, boot up and the file will still be there. Also, check the Recycle Bin on all your devices; Google Drive, for example, will send data there when it’s removed from your computer.
You can also consider using a standard piece of recovery software like R-Studio. Providing the data was synced to your hard drive at some point, tools like R-Studio will scan the drive and look for past data. When data is deleted the space is actually just marked as being available for overwriting; as such, it may be that your data is recoverable by these programs.
The bottom line here is that you shouldn’t rely on cloud services as a backup solution – at least not the sole one. By all means use them in conjunction with other methods, but they can fail through technical fault or human error and it may not always be possible to get your data back, so don’t take any chances.
Can You Recover Data from Public Cloud Providers?
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