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."[3] 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.[4]
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.
Enterprise Plan: This comprehensive plan provides secure and scalable content and management for enterprises, according to Box. Users can tie their other business applications to the platform via an API integration program with 550 partners, including CRM, office applications, social collaboration, security and product/project management. The number of users under this plan can be customized. Subscribers get unlimited storage space with file size support for up to 5 GB. For details about pricing, customers must contact the Box sales team.
To meet the confidentiality and privacy needs of the marketing analyst, the bucket and object permissions must allow the IT staff to maintain the bucket in which the spreadsheets are stored, but also ensure that the IT staff cannot view/download the data that is stored in the bucket. To accomplish this, you create a bucket named finance-marketing and grant the following roles for the listed resources to the specified members:
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.
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.
On the whole, the interface across the apps is intuitive. You can choose specific files to be available offline on the mobile versions, and these can be edited - if they were created in Google Docs - then synced when you connect to the internet again. For other formats (such as Word) you’ll need to open them in another app - thus creating a duplicate copy.

In this scenario, a client wants to make specific files available to specific individuals through simple browser downloads. You can do this by using the Cloud Storage cookie-based authentication. To use the feature, you grant a user permission to access an object, and then you give the user a special URL to the object. When the user clicks the URL, Cloud Storage prompts them to sign in to their Google account (if they are not already logged in) and the object is downloaded to their computer. The following users will be able to download the object:
When your family sets up purchase sharing, all new iTunes, Apple Books, and App Store purchases will be billed to the organizer’s account. But the organizer can still call the shots. Just turn on Ask to Buy for children in the family. When a child initiates a purchase, an alert is sent to the organizer, who can review the download and approve or decline it right from the organizer’s device. This applies to both purchases and free downloads.
Family Sharing requires a personal Apple ID signed in to iCloud and iTunes. Music, movies, TV shows, and books can be downloaded on up to 10 devices per account, five of which can be computers. iOS 8 or later and OS X Yosemite or later are required to set up or join a Family Sharing group and are recommended for full functionality. Not all content is eligible for Family Sharing. Content can be hidden by family members; hidden content is not available for download. Content downloaded from family members or acquired via redemption codes is not subject to Ask to Buy.
Dropbox’s Business is the top app in our file sharing websites category. It is not difficult to guess why clients trust and adore this system, most of it having nothing to do with its really moderate pricing. Dropbox Business holds a Supreme Software Award and is likely to maintain its top ranking due to the best-in-class and easy-to-use functionalities that have been helping millions of users worldwide achieve better collaboration, productivity, and overall workflow.
Enter BOX. The speeds were about twice as fast as Dropbox (this is web browser upload/download operations – not background sync which you can’t tell the speeds very well anyway since it’s background – but sometimes we have tight deadlines with huge amounts of data to share.) And there’s an embed widget generator that works great. The number of setting is insance giving you granular control over many aspects of how your account is setup. Plus you get unlimited storage. Our opinion in the end was that BOX was far superior to both Google Drive and Dropbox.
As an example, IDriveSync works really well with social networks. They have an integrated sharing tool that can share to Facebook as a post. This can be helpful to those who need a safe place to store files and want to share out some of them publicly. Since the share button is built into the interface it is pretty easy to share files to social networks.
One of the most popular platforms for businesses, boasting 225,000 enterprise customers, Box is a cloud offering incorporating collaboration and project management with storage. Box also offers basic content management system capabilities such as version control, which organizations can use to quickly share corporate information and collaborate across multiple departments. For better data security, Box offers streamlined access controls, authentication and authorization, allowing administrators to adjust user permissions and assign tasks to employees. The tool can be integrated with other enterprise software, such as CRM. Box offers cloud subscription plans for organizations based on size. Below are the most business-friendly plans offered by Box:
You could also just pass files back and forth via a service like MASV, if you’re sending archives of drafts and finished work to one another. It’s less useful if each client just wants to have a folder they can reference that’s full of everything you’ve worked on together: old and new projects, invoices, artwork, documents, spreadsheets, et cetera. Similarly, there’s Hightail—also worth considering, with the same kind of limitations.

Google Apps have gained popularity in businesses of all sizes, and Google Drive provides a place where employees can easily create, store, and collaborate on documents. Google Drive for Work, the business-class version of the tool, provides unlimited cloud-based storage to store all types of files and folders. It also provides effective functionality for backing up corporate information on the cloud, and it allows synchronization of corporate information across smartphones, tablets and PCs. Additionally, Google Drive for Work enables business productivity by providing the built-in capability of opening and editing documents without requiring an additional editing tool.

Before we get started, just a note about Apple's iCloud Drive. I didn't include it here because the service is not available for Android and it's really meant to be used within the Apple ecosystem, meaning if you use Mac computers and iOS devices together. If you do use mostly Apple products, it's a solid choice for cloud storage. For a full run-down of its features, pricing and availability, check out CNET's guide to Apple iCloud Drive.

You might also want to check out Dropbox’s offerings. For its cheapest business plan—$450 annually—you get up to three user accounts and 3TB of shared storage. You can reuse these user licenses as you see fit (as clients come and go), and you can grant your clients the ability to access shared folders and download anything in them. (And they can send new things your way via the File Request feature, or sign up for a free Dropbox account themselves, so long as they don’t blow past the 2GB free limit.)
Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) provides 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. It is designed to provide massively parallel shared access to thousands of Amazon EC2 instances, enabling your applications to achieve high levels of aggregate throughput and IOPS with consistent low latencies. Amazon EFS is well suited to support a broad spectrum of use cases from lift-and-shift enterprise applications, big data analytics, web serving and content management, application development and testing, media and entertainment workflows, database backups, and container storage.
Amazon’s Unlimited Everything plan truly was unprecedented when the company announced it in 2015, and went unmatched ever since. For $60 per year, you could keep as much as you could muster in your own private Amazon cloud locker. The industry standard, then and now, is roughly $10 per month for 1TB of space. Which is to say, twice as much as Amazon’s offering had been, with a firm cap, instead of all-you-can-cloud.
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If you’re comfortable dealing with a more manual approach, you can always pick up a great NAS box—a network-attached storage device—and use that to host your data. It shouldn’t be that tricky to set up user accounts for your clients and launch some kind of online portal they can use to view, send, and download files. (Or you can grant them access to a simple FTP server, if you want.) You could also setup your own dedicated server, but that’s a bit more complex than a NAS box.
Hightail plays well with other file sharing services, too. You can drag and drop files into a Space from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Hightail is versatile, with third-party app integration, apps for iOS and Android, and macOS and Windows apps, with automatic desktop folder syncing. There are two different types of plans: file sharing and creative collaboration, which includes file sharing and additional features with plans starting at $125/month.

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.


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.
Organizations can choose between off-premises and on-premises cloud storage options, or a mixture of the two options, depending on relevant decision criteria that is complementary to initial direct cost savings potential; for instance, continuity of operations (COOP), disaster recovery (DR), security (PII, HIPAA, SARBOX, IA/CND), and records retention laws, regulations, and policies.[12]
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