Enterprise file storage used to mean hulking black boxes, magnetic tape and floppy disks kept safe under the watchful eye of the storage manager. These days, storage is much more fluid and ubiquitous, and most organizations need effective ways to enable employees to share their work and collaborate more easily with colleagues -- both inside and outside the organization -- without any risk of information theft.
Just to clear up any confusion, the cloud part of cloud-based storage services refers to storing your files somewhere other than your computer's hard drive, usually on the provider's servers. As one tech pundit put it: "There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer." Having data in the cloud refers to the ability to access those files through the internet. Your data is usually encrypted before making the journey over the internet to the providers' servers, and, while it lives on those servers, it's also encrypted. Well-designed services don't upload entire files every time they change. They just upload the changes, saving your connection bandwidth.
A cloud storage service is less practical as an always-on backup solution and more helpful as a way to back up specific files that you want to have access to from anywhere or share with others. The file versions in the cloud storage account are the same as the versions you uploaded, regardless if you changed them on your computer. Like online backup, you can still download the files again should you need to, like if your computer crashes.
Mega is the sequel to the now-defunct Megaupload, a cloud storage service that was taken down by the authorities a couple of years ago. Mega is an up-and-coming service that gives users 50GB for free. That's the largest sign-on bonus we've seen among all of these cloud storage apps and services. It comes with a range of storage options that span from 200GB to 8TB. The app is quite flashy but there are a few bugs here and there that some people have experienced. Its biggest feature is that it encrypts all files uploaded to it for added security and protection.
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:
Amazon Abiquo Enterprise Edition CloudStack Citrix Cloud CtrlS DigitalOcean EMC Atmos Eucalyptus Fujitsu GoGrid Google Cloud Platform GreenButton GreenQloud IBM Cloud iland Joyent Lunacloud Mirantis Nimbula Nimbus OpenIO OpenNebula OpenStack Oracle Cloud OrionVM Rackspace Cloud Safe Swiss Cloud SoftLayer Zadara Storage libvirt libguestfs OVirt Virtual Machine Manager Wakame-vdc Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand
Mobile compatibility has gained a place in the ecosystem of business. This especially applies to road warriors who frequently work in planes, cars, and subways. Space is often at a premium, and the ability to prepare for a meeting or analyze a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet on the go is a necessity. Having a cloud storage solution that can provide these capabilities to users via a software client optimized for their particular operating system (OS), be it Android, iOS, even Windows Phone, is a feature you should look for in a competitive service offering. For example, Dropbox Business recently added some new mobile features on iOS that let users see file activity and team feedback in file preview.
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OneDrive has undergone some significant updates over the last few years, and now serves as a strong foundation for Microsoft’s overall productivity solutions. It’s not so much that Microsoft OneDrive does one thing better than other cloud storage systems (other than being one of the few services to support Windows phones and Xbox). Instead, Microsoft’s cloud service delivers a well-rounded package.
Tresorit is cloud storage for the very security conscious. Tresorit for Business provides encrypted storage on the cloud to protect confidential information. With interfaces for both desktop and mobile devices, the service protects information residing on devices with two levels of authentication. This ensures security for confidential information even if a password has been stolen. It allows document owners to track the activities of collaborators, and roll back changes by collaborators if required. The company offers two plans:
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.
Microsoft is hoping that OneDrive will be the place where you store your photos, and the company is working on technology that will eventually sort all of the photos you take based on how important and meaningful they are. For instance, if you take a photo of your kids, a picture of a special meal and a shot of your parking space so you can find your car later, OneDrive would be able to understand the importance of each picture, save the ones it thinks are the most useful, and trash the rest. That's still big-picture stuff for OneDrive, but it gives you an idea of the direction Microsoft is moving in.
After evaluating more than 45 different options, interviewing power users across the nation, and testing the top apps, we are confident that our picks are the best, most reliable cloud storage providers on the market today. All four will provide you with roughly the same lineup of features, and each has a version that'll let you take advantage of the cloud without paying a dime. The right cloud storage option will offer the space you need on the operating system you love at a price you’re ready to pay.
Shared Albums also support special formats that you capture with your iPhone, like slo-mo, time-lapse, Live Photos, and Memory videos. When shared, photos taken with standard point-and-shoot cameras, SLR cameras, or iOS devices have up to 2048 pixels on the long edge. Panoramic photos can be up to 5400 pixels wide. You can share GIFs that are 100MB or smaller.
Recovery of lost files. If a file is corrupted or lost, there is no need to panic when using the cloud. Cloud computing providers are able to resolve issues with damaged or lost files that have been shared, which not only saves you from panicking, but it also saves a lot of time (just another way that time can be saved by sharing files via the cloud.)
Today, as far as file sharing goes, we have nearly endless options. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Hightail – formerly YouSendIt – are among the services that enable you to share big files easily, as well as store them in the cloud, sync them across multiple devices, and collaborate on them with colleagues and clients. But there are plenty of others, ranging from basic services for consumers (Amazon Drive) to security-conscious, enterprise-level services (Tresorit). The services we've chosen are listed here in alphabetical order and focus on 10 that cover the range of options available. (This isn’t an exhaustive catalog of all services.) To check file transfer times for each, we uploaded a 195MB ZIP file using a connection with an average 11.88 megabit/second upload speed.
Apple iCloud allows you to make folders for your files and provides online storage for Apple’s productivity apps such as Keynote, Numbers, and Pages. Setup is easy on all devices including PC, Mac, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad. If you have bought a new Apple device, you can use the setup assistant for guidance. And for other devices, getting started only needs a few quick steps.
Keeping data safe is a bigger challenge today than it's ever been. What were once considered "advanced" data safety features, such as enterprise-grade identity management, redundant storage layers, and encryption both at rest and in transit, are no longer optional. These are now basic requirements for you to even consider spending money on a service. Fortunately, cloud storage providers seem to agree, which is evidenced by commonly available features and the fact that most IT professionals trust cloud security as much or more than what's available on-premises (64 percent according to a 2015 survey by the Cloud Security Alliance). The logic is fairly simple. Most IT professionals simply don't have the budget to research, deploy, and manage the advanced security capabilities that cloud service vendors can provide because it's key to their primary business. That's upped security in the cloud significantly over the past couple of years, which has had the pleasant side effect of letting many cloud services successfully comply with standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and ISO 27001.
Google Drive offers centralized storage for any type of file. It offers 15GB of free storage for three Google products: Photos, Gmail, and Drive. Paid plans include (a) $1.99 per month for 100GB of storage, (b) $10 per month for 1TB, and (c) a data-storage plan of $100 per month for 100TB. Google is upgrading the data service to a new product called Google One. It will offer storage as well as access to Google experts.
Nextcloud is a different type of cloud storage. It works a lot like Resilio Sync. You create your own Nextcloud server on your own computer. The app lets you sync files between your computer and your phone. It operates exactly like your typical cloud storage, but you control where the files go and what happens when they get there. It's an excellent resource for people who like the idea of cloud storage, but don't want their files in the servers of some other company. Plus, you get as much cloud storage as you have storage on your computer. The is free to use for personal use. There are enterprise options for businesses as well.
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?
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.
Saves time. Business owners and the average person can save a great deal of time, thanks to sharing files via the cloud. Now, there’s no need to save the files to a device, transport that device and insert that device into a computer in order to access the files. With just a few clicks of a button, files can instantly be shared. Talk about a huge time saver.
Design-wise, the interface is clean, simple to understand, and when you finish the initial install the app immediately starts a backup of your system. We’d like to see the options of which folders you want in the cloud appearing first, but it’s an easy thing to quickly rectify. Still, presumptuous software is something that never finds us overjoyed.
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.
I’m not as familiar with Microsoft’s SharePoint Online offering ($10/user per month for unlimited storage), but you should be able to share folders with external clients—and they can then download or upload whatever they want. I believe they’ll need to make a Microsoft account to do this, but that appears to be the only major restriction? Unless I’m totally misinterpreting this, you could get away with a single SharePoint Online account and grant access to as many external users as you want.
Storing your files in the cloud has many advantages. You can view your files from any phone, tablet or computer that's connected to the Internet, and the cloud can also provide backup for files so they'll never disappear if your phone gets lost or your computer crashes. Using the cloud is a no-brainer, but picking which service to use is a bit more difficult.
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.
We’d say Dropbox is foremost a functional solution – every second person has used it before, and has an individual version installed on their device. Discovering the outstanding syncing power of the system, the plethora of smooth integrations, sharing features, and dedicated support that are missing in the free package will convince you the Dropbox Business is probably one of the best transfer systems businesses out there can purchase. We recommend it especially because of its version history and unlimited recovery, priority emails, and remote account transfer.
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 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.