So after he "tried everything I could find, but each product inevitably suffered problems with internet latency, large files, bugs, or just made me think too much", he came up with the idea of the first popular cloud-based personal file storage service. In the six years since then, it seems like everyone is offering some kind of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud storage.
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.
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.
Price to upgrade: If you simply want more storage, $1.99 per month gets you 50GB of storage. (That’s half the cloud storage granted by Google One for this price.) The highest tier that the service offers is appealing for families with up to six members starting on October 2nd, thanks to a recent change: it costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually for 6TB of cloud storage that can be split into 1TB chunks for each user. This tier also grants each user an Office 365 license for use on a computer, as well as a tablet and phone.
Drive is more than a cloud storage service; it’s a powerful, collaborative office suite that wraps all of Google’s services into a neat little package — we considered it one of the best file sharing and storage sites. You can create spreadsheets, documents, presentations, Google Forms and connect to a whole slew of third-party apps — everything you do syncs conveniently into your account as long as you have an internet connection. And if you don’t have a connection -- all you have to do is enable offline access and use the Google Drive extension for Chrome.
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.
This might sound like a silly comment, but here goes: If the clients are the ones with all the different online storage systems, why are you paying for different subscriptions? It’s not like you’re buying an “unlimited” account with Google, for example, that allows you to store anything you want on another company’s Google Drive. Said company runs and pays for the storage, and creates user accounts for others to access it as it sees fit.
A simple, scalable, elastic file system for Linux-based workloads for use with AWS Cloud services and on-premises resources. It is built to scale on demand to petabytes without disrupting applications, growing and shrinking automatically as you add and remove files, so your applications have the storage they need – when they need it. Amazon Elastic File System
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.
Quick take: While it’s a bit sparse on helpful photo features, OneDrive might appeal to Windows users. Whether or not you use Microsoft Office, you can access and share photos using the OneDrive app, which does not require an additional download for computer use. If the 5GB of free storage is too slim, you can pay about $2 per month for 50GB or $70 per year for 1TB.
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.
The very best cloud storage solutions play nicely with other apps and services, making the experience of viewing or editing your files feel natural. Especially in business settings, you want your other software and apps to be able to retrieve or access your files, so making sure you use a service that easily authenticates with the other tools you use is a big deal. Box is particularly strong in this regard.
Cloud storage isn't just for storing files; it's also a great platform for real-time collaboration. Google Drive offers 15 GB of free cloud storage as well as access to Google's Web-based productivity suite. The business version of G Suite comes with unlimited storage as well as additional business features for Gmail, Google Hangouts and Calendars. Users can save, edit and invite others to work on Docs, Sheets and Slides right on Google Drive itself. The business version starts at $10 per month per user. drive.google.com
You can use Box to easily create, edit, and review documents with other users in real-time or on the go. The vendor uses protection measures like customer-managed encryption, activity logs, granular permissions, and mobile security to provide good security for the stored files. Plus, the service enables you to comply with e-discovery requests, data retention policies, and regulatory policies. It also enables global compliance by assisting your organization to meet regulatory and business requirements.
One of the reasons that Tresorit is so secure comes down to the way files are encrypted. With a local client installed on either your Windows or mac OS machine your data is encrypted locally, then sent to the Tresorit servers where it remains encrypted. You retain the decryption keys (not that you’ll ever see them) and not even the staff at Tresorit can access your files, thanks to their Zero-Knowledge policy.
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.
Dropbox business the upload/download speeds were 1/10th our bandwidth (we have 600mbps download and got 60, and 250mbps upload and got 20mbps on Dropbox – not a big deal for personal users with more typical Internet speeds.) The deal breaker was that we couldn’t embed a file folder listing inside our client dashboard web page like we could with Google Drive.
Like most of the cloud services, SkyDrive lets you save, share, and access files, but on most operating systems, you must use it through a browser — IE by choice, but it will work with others. However, SkyDrive does work hand-in-glove with the Windows 8 file manager. It also works well in partnership with Microsoft Office. Like Google Drive, it comes with its own cloud-based office software: Office Web Apps.
Dropbox is the granddaddy of cloud file storage apps, available for Windows, Linux, and Mac desktop computers, as well as iPhone and Android phones. The idea behind Dropbox is a simple one: After you install the application, a Dropbox folder appears on your desktop, and you can drag and drop and organize your files in that one folder, which is stored in the cloud. This means you can work with that folder on multiple computers or on your mobile device and your synchronized files are always just a click or tap away. Dropbox gives you 2GB of storage space when you sign up for a free account. If you want to increase the amount of space available for your files, you can upgrade to a Pro 50 account and get 50GB for $9.99 per month or get 100GB for a monthly fee of $19.99.
Apple's iCloud service includes iCloud Photo Sharing, which lets you share images and video with friends, family, and colleagues on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, or Apple TV. While technically considered part of iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Photo Sharing exists outside of the service: You don't have to use iCloud Photo Library to share your images, and shared albums don't count toward your iCloud storage.
Block Storage - Other enterprise applications like databases or ERP systems often require dedicated, low latency storage for each host. This is analagous to direct-attached storage (DAS) or a Storage Area Network (SAN). Block-based cloud storage solutions like Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) are provisioned with each virtual server and offer the ultra low latency required for high performance workloads.
Those are a few of the options I can think of. Unfortunately, cloud storage can be pricey no matter how you go about it. And I find that cheaper solutions tend to create more headaches—or, worse, can be a lot slower than an established player like Google, or Dropbox, et cetera. Nevertheless, hopefully one of these works for you. Write back and let me know what you picked (or if you need a bit more guidance!)
Sharing data using an off-premises storage and transfer tool is convenient, easy to use, and fast. Just drop your files into a folder on your desktop, and those files magically appear in your "cloud" account, available to anyone with whom you've shared it. Those with whom you are sharing need only a web browser to access the files—no matter which operating system they are using. This user-driven file collaboration is great for sharing innocuous files, such as JPGs that a soccer mom wants to share with the other moms.
Box protects all of your content with advanced security controls, encryption key management and complete information governance. Whether you need to comply with GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, GxP, FedRAMP or other major requirements, Box provides you with frictionless tools built for the most regulated industries, as well as data residency in nine countries. That way, you meet the most demanding global compliance and privacy requirements while protecting the flow of information throughout your extended enterprise.
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.
We are a startup that has to shares lots of large media files with clients. Since we use G Suite and have email for our company thereby hosted with Google, naturally instead of paying for other services, we wanted to leverage all the features. Unfortunately we found Google Drive very frustrating to use. First, you can’t share Team Drive folders publicly without the user also creating/logging into a Google account. You have to make a dupe set of the files on a non-team drive. Second, when downloading lots of files, the zip process can take forever. And finally we found moving/copying larges groups of files around to have erratic behavior with files not showing up in destinations folders for a long time and no progress indicator for the copy/move process.
In terms of storage capacity, raw storage space is becoming more and more affordable every year. As multiple terabytes (TB) per user become commonplace, competition has shifted more to service features rather than overall bucket size. Today, 1 TB of space is typical as a starting place, with more storage readily available and very affordable. What you're really looking at are the other features provided by the service.
Different cloud storage services let you upload files to your online account through different methods. Some support in-browser uploads only, meaning that you have to log in to the cloud storage service's website to upload your data, but most have desktop applications that make uploading files easier by a simple drag-and-drop into the service's dedicated folder. Most also support uploading images and videos from your phone.
That said, with Apple, Microsoft, Canonical (Ubuntu's parent company), and Google with Chrome all integrating their cloud services right into the operating system, for now, Dropbox is still the best personal cloud file storage, but eventually, I see operating systems with built-in cloud storage integration surpassing it. Google and Microsoft, in particular, seem to be doing a good job with this. Dropbox won't go away though. We'll always need a universal, easy-to use cloud storage service.
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?
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.