Not long ago, if you want to access and edit the files in your computer, you must have your computer with you. However, times have changed. Nowadays, manufacturers have made smartphones and tablets so powerful that you can now create an entire document, presentation, and a spreadsheet in your phone or tablet. You can even edit photos and videos if you have the app to do so.
Practically, smartphones and tablets have replaced computers to some extent; and with the availability of cloud storage and USB OTG (on-the-go), you can access your files anywhere (with some limitations, of course).
Cloud storage and USB OTG are useful technologies that you can take advantage of if you want to access (upload and retrieve) your computer files from an external storage or over the internet.
To help you get acquainted with cloud storage and USB OTG, continue reading.
A USB OTG cable is an accessory that allows data transfer between phones or tablets to a flash drive or an external storage.
It has a female USB-A port on one end, and a micro-USB, USB-C, or a Lightning adapter (depending in your smartphone or tablet) on the other end. The micro-USB, USB-C or Lightning adapter is to be connected to your device; and the female USB-A on the other end is where you can plug in a flash drive to transfer data to and from your phone.
An OTG cable can also be used if you want to connect other USB devices to your smartphone or tablet such as a mouse or keyboard if you are working on a document. It is even possible to connect a game controller if you like immersive gaming experience.
A more convenient type of OTG is a 2-in-1 USB OTG. It resembles a USB flash drive, but it has the same micro-USB, USB-C or Lightning adapter on one end to connect to your device; and a male USB-A on the other end of the stick to connect directly to your computer. In addition, it functions as a flash drive so you can save data in it. In short, it is an OTG and a flash drive in one.
Limitation of USB OTG
The main limitation of USB OTG is that you can only access the files that are saved on the flash drive. You cannot remotely access your computer files using this.
To avail a cloud storage service, you must sign up to a cloud service provider. You can either use their services using a free account (limited storage capacity), or by paying for a monthly subscription if you want a larger storage capacity.
These are some of the well-known cloud storage service providers and their respective subscription fees.
- Microsoft OneDrive – You get 5GB of storage for free if you sign up. Paid plans start at $1.99/month for 100GB, $69.99/year for 1 TB, and $99.99/year for 6 TB.
- Dropbox Business – You get 2GB of storage for free if you sign up. Paid plans are $19.99/month for 3TB of storage for 1 user, up to $25/month for 3 or more users for as much space as you need.
- Google Drive – You get 15GB of storage for free if you sign up. Paid plans start at $1.99/month for 100GB, $2.99/month for 200GB, and $9.99/month for 1TB.
Cloud storage services are perfect if you do not want to go through the hassle of having to bring an OTG cable or a 2-in-1 OTG with you wherever you go. This also reduces the risk of losing your files or giving a stranger access to your files if you lose your OTG.
If you already signed up for a cloud storage account, you could access your files wherever and whenever you want to. Provided that you synced your computer to your cloud storage so you can access them from any device. If you do not want to sync all the contents of your computer, you can manually add certain files to the cloud.
Aside from using cloud as an online storage, you can also use cloud services to share files to other people, edit files over the internet, or even collaborate with other users if they have access to the same cloud storage.
Limitation of Cloud Storage
Cloud storage requires internet connectivity to access your files remotely.
Since cloud storage and USB OTG have their respective limitations, it would be wise to use both if you want to ensure access to your files remotely and locally.
As internet connectivity sometimes fail, having an OTG and a flash drive (or better, a 2-in-1 OTG for portability) on-hand will be very useful if you want immediate access to your files. But if you are in a place with an excellent internet connectivity, a cloud storage is the way to go.
Technology has made it easier for people to accomplish their important tasks. What was once exclusively done by computers can now also be accomplished by phones and tablets. Phones and tablets cannot fully substitute a computer when it comes to processing power, functionality, and flexibility (for now). But they can be used to supplement your simple productivity tasks.