There are many other reasons to pay for cloud storage, from getting a lot more space (a terabyte really doesn't cost all that much anymore) to being able to upload really big files. That last benefit is relevant to graphic designers, video editors, and other visual artists who often host enormous files. Other perks of paying for your cloud storage often include increased access to file-version history (meaning you can restore an important business proposal to the version you had before your colleague made a bunch of erroneous changes), more security, or more features for collaboration and working with teams.
SugarSync is another multiplatform-friendly cloud offering that enables you to back up, synchronize, and share files on Windows and Mac computers and on a wide range of devices (iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android, and Symbian). SugarSync seems to stand out a bit in the mobile realm; you can upload and sync files by email and sync your folders to your mobile device, which is great if you do lots of your work on the road. SugarSync offers a 5GB free account. You can also choose plans ranging from 30GB for $4.99/month to 250GB, which will put you back $24.99 each month.
That sounds great, but it can actually be very confusing, even for dedicated Apple fans like Chris Maxcer of MacNewsWorld, who found that iCloud's constant syncing of files from all his devices with full read/write permissions and an inability to tell what was on the cloud and what wasn't, had him wanting to throw his "iPhone into the street", and then to run out in traffic so he could stomp it into oblivion. I feel his pain.
Mediafire might be a new name to many, but the Texan company has been around for nearly ten years, starting off as a file sharing service. You can still share files in much the way that you can on Google Drive, Onedrive, Dropbox and others, and can post pictures, videos, and other files directly to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, or Blogger, from within the Mediafire portal.
Some cloud storage services offer pretty healthy free storage plans for individual users, which becomes a good way to start things off. Then there are others that offer superb deals of free storage bundled with devices from manufacturers like Apple and HP. The thumb rule is – cloud vendors don’t get hurt by giving away free storage, if it gets them new clients for premium services. Look for it and you shall find it.
Distinct from but overlapping in some cases with cloud storage are online backup services. Some of these, such as Carbonite, are all about disaster recovery, while IDrive combines that goal with syncing and sharing capabilities. If you want to bypass the cloud for your backup, you can still go with local backup software, which saves you the time it takes to upload and download your data.
For instance, Amazon offers 100GB for $12 per year. That’s double the storage space available from Apple’s iCloud for the same price. However, if you own a MacBook, an iPad, or an iPhone, you may prefer to remain within the Apple ecosystem for access to apps such as Pages or Sheets. The same holds true for fans of the Microsoft and Google ecosystems. In the end, paying a bit of a premium might be worth it to keep things simple.
Microsoft OneDrive integrates with Office Online which you can use to collaborate with others no matter the plan you subscribe to. If you want to take notes and share them you can use OneNote. To communicate with others, there’s Skype which is integrated with the web client. Productivity apps include Forms for workflow management and Sway for content publishing.