To share the file with specific people, add their email addresses at the bottom. They’ll receive an invitation to access the file. You can set sharing settings to choose who can edit or just view the file — unlike in Dropbox, which requires a paid account to do this. If you share Google Docs files in this way, you and other people can edit them in real-time.
The range of capabilities of cloud-based storage services is incredible. Many of them specialize in a specific area. For example, Dropbox and SugarSync focus on keeping a synced folder accessible everywhere. SpiderOak emphasizes security. Some cloud storage services, such as Apple iCloud, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, are generalists, offering not only folder and file syncing, but also media-playing and device syncing. These products even double as collaboration software, offering real-time document coediting.
Box.com is an up and comer in the cloud storage world. There are a variety of file management apps and others that have Box integration as well and that's nice. New users can sign up for personal accounts for free and get 10GB of free storage while $10/month gets you 100GB. Business prices range from $5-$15/month per user and include far more features. The app works pretty well and it puts an emphasis on simplicity and organization. Unfortunately, those who need more than 100GB may need to shop elsewhere.
To add a further level of security you can enable two-step verification, so even if someone steals your laptop or ID, they’ll need your phone to access the data. The servers are also based in the EU and governed by Swiss privacy laws which should keep it out of the hands of any invasive national agencies that feel it is their right to purloin your personal information.
How you use it: You can upload any kind of file with no restrictions on image resolution or single file-size. You can also choose how often you want selected files and folders to be automatically backed up. To access your data, simply click on 'Cold Storage' and click through to select the files you want and they'll start downloading within three to five hours – see full step-by-step instructions.
You say you want privacy for your cloud storage? Well, Mega promises that, but I feel better about SpiderOak's chances of delivering it. SpiderOak has no clue what you're storing . The client software, which supports Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X in PCs, and Android and iOS, encrypts everything before it hits SpiderOak's servers. Just be sure to make a note of your password because SpiderOak can't help you with that either.
Microsoft doesn’t offer encryption services for personal OneDrive accounts; business and SharePoint online are the company’s only encrypted online storage platforms. This means if you want to use your own personal account through Microsoft’s cloud and not have to deal with potentially compromised information, you might have to encrypt your own data to ensure your files are secure. In addition, the company’s history of battling “privacy concerns” goes hand-in-hand with its reputation for tracking users without transparent disclosure.
Quick take: This service lets you upload as many photos (though just photos) as you want. However, Sony downsizes the images to about 3-megapixels, which roughly translates to a 6x5-inch print at 300 dpi. There’s no paid storage option. It may not be an ideal solution, but because it’s free, the service can serve as a smart secondary or tertiary backup plan because it allows for automatic photo uploads through your smartphone.
Dropbox boasts excellent sharing abilities. Invite someone to share a particular Dropbox folder with you and that folder will appear right on their desktop. You can also send a link to an individual document or image. In addition, folders full of images can be viewed as a gallery, making Dropbox a viable photo-sharing alternative to Imgur and Flickr.
Many cloud storage services have a free account that usually comes with some limitations, such as the amount of storage they provide or a size limit on files you can upload. We prefer services that offer some level of free service (even if it's only 2GB) rather than a time-based trial, because that lets you fully integrate a service into your life for several weeks while you get a feel for how it works and what might go wrong with your particular setup.
Users seek the easiest route to collaborate and complete their task. Typically, within a functional department, business users are collaborating and storing or sharing information through emails, file transfer sites, Dropbox and USB drives. Much of this activity is ad hoc and done with tools that aren’t owned or managed by the enterprise. In many cases, consumer tools are used. The fact that this happens is not the problem though, at least not completely. People are essentially doing this for business purposes. Today employees are looking for easy and fast ways to share information and get the job done: USB devices, mobile devices, email, Dropbox and other online file transfer services. If you don’t provide an effective data management and collaboration environment within your organization, you’re at risk of employees connecting and sharing through unmanaged networks. Even if you have a system in place, if it’s too cumbersome to use employees will work in parallel with the platform choosing the easiest route to collaborate.
There is also a feature that allows you to remotely access files on another PC via the OneDrive website. If privacy is a major concern then it should be noted that Microsoft reserve the right to scan your files to look for what it would deem objectionable content. This could be copyrighted material or things of an explicit nature. Apple has a similar policy, making the two potentially more intrusive than their competitors.
Dropbox was hacked in 2012 and after that, a list of Dropbox user’s logins has been published on the internet. Cyber-attacks can come from any number of directions and a comprehensive plan to ensure cyber security across the enterprise is necessary. Cyber threats are too pervasive and public cloud platforms which hold millions of user’s files and data are an obvious target for cyber-attacks. Since consumer experience has become a dominant driving force in product development, products these days are built more for reliability than security. A possible data breach like that can affect not only the hacked platform but many others since people tend to use the same password across multiple business apps. A data breach can cost companies millions or even put them out of business. Therefore, is it worth the risk to introduce public platforms into your enterprise?
“Dropbox has saved my business from the blue screen of death. Now anyone in my company can access critical documents from anywhere. We pay for Dropbox for business so that we can have extra room to store 16 years of data about our company and clients. We have team member folders and we use it to store a repository of graphics and images that we use on the blog and to promote the brand as well. I really love how easy it is to use.”
SendSpace is a file-sharing utility that's been around since 2005. It includes a desktop tool — for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems — and mobile apps for iPhone and Android phones. SendSpace's claim to fame is that you can share gargantuan files with others securely, and it functions more like a conduit for your files (you're sending them, after all) than a cloud storage space for information you want to share with others. This ability to send mega-size files has worked well for me. I've used it to send gigabytes of book files to colleagues in other countries, and the service has been easy to use and reasonably prompt for those times when I need to deliver a file right away.
Dropbox is a favorite in the cloud storage world because it's reliable, easy to use, and a breeze to set up. Your files live in the cloud and you can get to them at any time from Dropbox's website, desktop applications for Mac, Windows and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or compile your own), or the iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire mobile apps.
Files stored on the cloud can usually be shared using a Public URL. Public URL's are a direct link to your file or folder. Usually the service provider will have a user interface that any user can access on their website. This allows recipients to easily access files you send them. With a link, you can post it any where making it extremely versatile. It's also easy to use and, since it's public, anyone can access it.
Google recently combined its Drive and Photos desktop apps into one desktop client, Backup and Sync. Using the app, you can choose which of your Windows or macOS computer folders to continuously sync to Google Drive – you don’t have to keep files in a designated folder, as you do with some services. Google Drive’s file organization isn’t as intuitive as it could be. But collaborating on documents in real-time, via Google Drive and Google productivity apps, is as easy as it gets.
Some providers have their own data centers while others actually outsource their storage to another third-party cloud, often Amazon Web Services (AWS) or a similar Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) player. That's an important point to consider: Are you signing a service-level agreement (SLA) with a cloud provider that's directly responsible for the infrastructure or is the provider beholden to another party? If it's a third party, make sure to investigate that firm and examine its track record. Then, look at the levels of service it offers. For example, while all of the major offerings have some level of uptime guarantee, it is worth noting that location is an important factor. How many data centers does the third party have? And is your data distributed among them for better reliability or does that come at an additional cost?
On the plus side of the ledger, SkyDrive, with 7GB of free storage, offers more free storage than many of the other services. If you want 20GB more, it will cost you $10 a year. 50GB is $25, and 100GB is just $50 annually. Price right SkyDrive is a bargain, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Microsoft's business cloud service Azure just suffered a major cloud storage failure .
It’s nearly impossible to talk about Box without mentioning Dropbox (and vice versa), as the two are frequently pitted against each other. At a high level, what’s important to understand is that Box is and has always been geared toward businesses and enterprises, while Dropbox is – at least for now – largely focused on consumers and SMBs. If you’re looking to kick Box’s tires, there’s a free plan for individuals that offers 10GB of storage, a 250MB file upload limit, and not much else. Box has sometimes been criticized for being unintuitive. A recent refresh has helped, but with four separate desktop clients, Box could still use some streamlining.
Storage used to be the IT professional's nightmare. Back when everything was stored on an ever-growing pile of hard disks in the basement, it was easy to run out of space at just the wrong time or forget to back up the right disk shortly before it crashed. But then came the cloud, and along with that fuzzy miracle comes endlessly scalable storage at a very nice price. Storage that increases automatically the more of it you need and often protects itself, too. That said, there are still many important features that cloud-based storage and file sharing platforms need to contain before they can be considered ready for business.
Need big business cloud storage at small business-friendly prices? Zoolz gives small businesses access to powerful cloud storage without the sticker shock. Unlike its competitors, Zoolz comes with unlimited users and servers, making it easy to scale the service to your business's needs. There are also no caps on your upload/download bandwidth speeds or file sizes, so you don't have to worry about not being able to use the service when you need it most. Zoolz also offers "Tribrid" backup service which combines your local backup, their instant storage and cold storage.
In 1994, AT&T launched PersonaLink Services, an online platform for personal and business communication and entrepreneurship. The storage was one of the first to be all web-based, and referenced in their commercials as, "you can think of our electronic meeting place as the cloud." Amazon Web Services introduced their cloud storage service AWS S3 in 2006, and has gained widespread recognition and adoption as the storage supplier to popular services such as SmugMug, Dropbox, and Pinterest. In 2005, Box announced an online file sharing and personal cloud content management service for businesses.