Google Drive is a good option if you're already invested in the Google ecosystem. Chances are you already have a Google account and are already using it, but if you're not, then creating an account is free and nets you 15GB of space to start with. Google storage takes into account all of your stuff from Gmail, Photos, and Drive, so depending on how you're using Google services, it may fill up quick (Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides don't count). Google Drive's pricing tiers are as follows:
Google Drive offers plenty of plans to choose from. The free one gives you a whopping 15GB of storage and makes it fit for our list of the best free cloud storage offers. The paid plans start at 100GB and end at 30TB, but most aren’t good value. The 1TB plan costs $9.99 per month, which is the best one among them, but it’s still not close to, say, pCloud.
Cloud storage works through data center virtualization, providing end users and applications with a virtual storage architecture that is scalable according to application requirements. In general, cloud storage operates through a web-based API that is remotely implemented through its interaction with the client application's in-house cloud storage infrastructure for input/output (I/O) and read/write (R/W) operations.
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.
Apple’s cloud pricing has dropped dramatically over the last two years, including a deep cut at this week’s WWDC developer conference. And as with many Apple offerings, it’s most useful if you’ve bought into the rest of the ecosystem. It keeps your photos, notes, calendar, and more backed up across all of your devices—unless you use, say, and Android phone, for which there’s no official support.
Amazon Drive’s unlimited storage plan was discontinued last year. Even so, the service, formerly known as Cloud Drive, is still one of the best deals around, with a 1TB plan costing $60 a year. There are the requisite desktop and mobile apps for accessing and sharing files. But overall, Amazon Drive offers only basic functionality. You can sync your entire Documents folder from your computer, for instance, but you can’t choose specific folders within that folder to sync. Upload speed (nearly 8 minutes) was by far the slowest of all services tested. Amazon Drive is best suited for photo backup (with unlimited photo storage for Prime members) and basic document storage and file sharing for consumers on a budget.
Locking data away doesn't end with just passwords, either. In addition to having something you know, it's better to pair it with something you have. Two-factor or even multifactor authentication (MFA) is becoming a more commonplace option, and cloud storage companies are getting onboard. Mobile phones, or specially prepared USB fobs, are typically the default option as the secondary authentication source. But other forms of tokens exist, including smart cards and biometrics.
For some computer owners, finding enough storage space to hold all the data they've acquired is a real challenge. Some people invest in larger hard drives. Others prefer external storage devices like thumb drives or compact discs. Desperate computer owners might delete entire folders worth of old files in order to make space for new information. But some are choosing to rely on a growing trend: cloud storage.
Today's winning teams need tomorrow's most innovative tools. With Box, all of your team's files — documents, images, videos and more — are stored securely in the cloud, so everyone in your organization can easily access, edit, share and comment on work from any device. And with enterprise-grade security underlying everything you do, Box gives you what you need to power a digital-first business.
With the proliferation of internet-connected devices, today's professionals don't just work in the office. The modern worker wants to check her email on her phone in the morning, edit that spreadsheet on the plane, or take a day to work from home if she needs to let the electrician in. This kind of flexibility is made easy with cloud file storage - anyone in your business who needs it can easily access their files and get to work from anywhere, without compromising on security.
“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.”
For some reason, OneDrive doesn’t include built-in sharing options in Windows 8.1’s File Explorer. You could use the OneDrive “Store app” to change these settings, but you’d probably prefer to use the website on your desktop. Windows 8.1’s OneDrive integration also doesn’t offer a way to sync folders and files shared with you to the desktop. You’ll have to access them in the web browser. OneDrive does offer all the same sharing settings as Dropbox and Google Drive, but you’ll need to use your browser — you may want to use Dropbox or Google Drive if Windows desktop integration is important to you.
For people who need big-business cloud storage on a small-business budget, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) offers advanced features with web-scale computing capabilities at an affordable price. Small businesses get access to the same cloud used by Amazon and its big-name customers, such as Netflix, Pinterest and NASDAQ – a highly scalable infrastructure that comes with the same security, reliability and speed that the company offers to its big customers. Businesses can store and distribute documents, media, applications and other types of files; implement backup, archiving and disaster-recovery systems; and host their website on Amazon's servers.
Branko has a bachelor’s degree in software engineering and likes to write cloud storage, backup and privacy laws. Naturally, he thinks Assange and Snowden are champions of the internet age. In his spare time, he does all sorts of stuff, including photography, reading, salsa dancing and learning languages. He also likes barbecue, hiking, traveling and skiing. Favorite movie never made: Jodorowsky’s Dune.
First up is OneDrive, Microsoft's storage option. Those who use Windows 8 and 10 have OneDrive built into their operating system, where it shows up in the file explorer next to all of the files on your computer's hard drive. However, anyone can use it on the Web, by downloading a desktop app for Mac and earlier versions of Windows, or the OneDrive Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Xbox apps.
Your security might be sufficient, but that doesn’t mean it guarantees your privacy. It’s no secret that governments spy on their citizens, thanks to laws such as the USA PATRIOT Act and CLOUD Act. The PRISM surveillance program in the U.S. is one example of that. With those in play, it’s paramount that you ensure the privacy of your information on the web.