Cloud storage is not based in a physical device like previously popular devices. Hard drives, floppy disks, even flash drives are all physical devices one can take away with one. Cloud storage on the other hand is located “in the cloud” and not in a physical device, although one can argue that storage in a Google doc is indeed located on the Google servers in North or South Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, Oklahoma, or Oregon. Web-based storage, barring disasters that destroy the servers and their backups, are safer than onsite storage. They also make it possible to circumvent strong filters, where one person uploads from their location and another downloads ‘the drop’ to their location.
Cloud storage enhances the ability to share and store files. It brings to mind filing cabinets from the past where my parents stored all their important documents, both at home in filing cabinets, and at their offices in filing cabinets. Storage has gone through many progressions since, including CDs, floppies in two or more sizes, and flash drives with different storage capabilities measured in gigabits.
It has been predicted that cloud storage will replace personal computers by 2014. But what will replace cloud storage in the future? Right now, major companies are in the cloud storage business. They offer to store your data on their servers for a fee. An act of God can still destroy your data on that one server. What if cloud storage was more open source and storage was mirrored around the world continuously, bouncing off those NASA satellites and globally distributed servers like a jumbo game of Ping-Pong ?