In this digital era we live in, a large part of our personal valuables are intangible files stored in hard drives. In there, they are vulnerable to accidental deletion, corruption and digital theft. Inevitably, sooner or later, our files will be lost. Cloud storage has become a need of hour for both individuals and businesses, but the presence of myriad of services makes it confusing to choose one for catering the storage needs. That’s why here we discussed the top 5 cloud services with their pros and cons, features, packages, discount coupons and customer reviews to facilitate you to take a better decision in this regard. So, let’s get into it!
Dropbox can be downloaded by everyone from the official site of the company. Once you download the client, you will have to sign up with your own account, so if you haven’t created one yet – fix this mistake. Then the program itself will create a shared folder on your device and it will go by the name “Dropbox”.
Good thing here is you can choose where to install it. In case you want to store more information, we recommend installing it in a place where you have more space. A shortcut will also appear in the bottom right corner of the screen (next to the clock) and thanks to it you will be able to access the folder faster and upload/share files. Like any other cloud storage services – Dropbox is storing important files on a cloud service so that you have access to them from any machine out there.
There are a couple of ways to share files with other people and machines via Dropbox. The first one is the well-known method of making a public folder. Just find the folder you want to share and right click on it – you will be redirected to the official site of Dropbox where you will have to enter emails of people you want to share the content of the folder with – yes, it is that simple.
- the largest space you can get by referrals
- great backup control
- the best Facebook integration
- good for lots of machines and devices
- the least amount of free space compared to other offers
- Packages and prices
As we mentioned in the beginning, Dropbox is a free service but sometimes the space will not be enough for you. This is why there are a couple of different pricing levels that you should pay attention to in case you want to change your plan. The first way to earn more space is via referrals – additional 500MB will be added to your Dropbox for each person (until you reach 16GB).
However, if you don’t want to use this option, you can pay;
- 9.99$ monthly fee for 100GB space (99$ per year)
- 19.99$ monthly fee for 200GB space (199$ per year)
- 49.99$ monthly fee for 500GB space (499$ per year)
There is even one more option and it is recommended to owners of small business. For 795$ per year you will get 1TB space for 5 users and 200GB additional space for every new member of the office (125$ annual fee for each new user)
Box is definitely a great cloud storage service that many people prefer. The company has been struggling to get the product done as soon as possible because of the many services out there offered by well-known companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple and so on. What makes Box a good competitor in this race is the mobile support of any OS – Android, iOS and Windows Mobile.
In many ways Box will do better than most of the other cloud storage services, especially if you need it for corporate uses. Clients that are using this service are worldwide known. Companies such as Pandora, Six Flags, Proctor & Gamble – all of them are using the services of Box and so far there are no complaints.
Of course you don’t have to be a billionaire who owns a big company to use Box, we are telling you all this to get a brief idea of the functionality and security of this cloud service. Every single account, even the free ones, will allow you to share files and folders that you want with your favorite persons. Thanks to Box you will also have the chance to add/edit comments under the files. You can also assign many tasks in order to improve the collaboration. Box is relatively new feature in the cloud storage systems but so far people are really impressed by the way it is working. We think that it will beat some if its main opponents in the near future.
- great sharing options
- best for business and corporations
- integrated workflow management
- free accounts lack some extras
– packages and prices
Like most of the cloud storages out there, this one also is free. By free we mean you can create a personal account without having to pay anything for it. Of course you might lack some features, but at least you wouldn’t have paid anything. When it comes to Box, the free service of these cloud storages comes at 5GB. In case you want to be sure that you will lack no features, you should get a business account which comes at 15$ per month. So if you become business partner you will get;
– 1000GB of storage, version history backups, sharing that can be protected by passwords, search abilities (all this for 15$/month).
There is barely a person who is interested in technology and hasn’t heard of Apple. The company can be considered as one of the leading pioneers in the area of technology and electronics. Every year we witness great new devices such as pads, phones, computers and many others. This time, Apple has decided to work a little bit harder in the sphere of services and the result is here – iCloud.
There is nothing much to say about iCloud. Ever since Apple iPhone was Introduced to the publicity, the guys from Apple decided that they should think of something innovative and thus one of the first cloud storage services was created – iCloud. Many things make iCloud really great cloud storage but its big popularity comes from the fact that actually every iPad and iPhone has an integrated iCloud service. This is really user-friendly because all those people who have Apple’s devices can simply make a registration directly through their device and after that they can synchronize all data and information they want just by making one simple click. Many people think that since this is made by Apple it will cost huge money – well, this is not the truth here. Every person, even if you don’t own any Apple product, can make a registration and start using iCloud completely free.
Now if you are wondering why to choose this one rather than some of the competitors that were mentioned above – the answer is simple. The strength in iCloud lies in the music streaming and storage.
Packages and prices
Just like Box, iCloud starts with free 5GB. The packages here are far more limited from the options you have in Dropbox. Probably this is one of the main reasons because of which people don’t prefer iCloud – the lack of storage is crucial here and if you want to have files greater than 20GB you will just have to pick up some other cloud storage provider because Apple can’t offer you the thing you want. The only update you can make here is;
- for 10$ per year, you will get 20GB of storage
- inexpensive updates
- integration with all of the devices of Apple
- free streaming and storage for iTunes
- lack of detailed features for spreadsheets and word documents
- limited options for increasing storage
Google are relatively new in the area of cloud services but this doesn’t mean they are not good at it. Their cloud storage service – Google Drive has been released in April and ever since then it has only been improving. As you can probably guess – its strength is in the integration with other google services.
Signing up for Google Drive is really simple. As a matter of fact it is as simple as just making an account for Gmail or any other Google service. Even better – if you have gmail, once you install Google Drive, it will appear in the right Google toolbar and you will have easier access to it from there. Many people prefer this type of cloud storage because of its great user interface. The drag and drop platform allows you to get one file and just drop it in the browser. If you don’t like this type of sharing, then you can download Google Drive and then have one shared folder on your computer, just like Dropbox – it is a matter of taste, but it is good to know that you have 2 options.
Thanks to the great search algorithms of Google, Google Drive can find not only file names but also text in the content of the shared folder. You can upload photos and view more than 40 types of files straight from your browser including files for Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator (often people don’t have such software installed).
Packages and prices
Unlike iCloud, Google Drive has lots of packages that you might find pretty great. Since it is cloud storage, it is supposed to have various options depending on people needs. Here, in Google Drive, you will not be disappointed. First, let’s start with the free account – all you need to do is to sign up and then you will get 5GB of free storage. Once you do this, your Gmail account will be expanded to 10GB of storage. The updates are the following;
- 25GB storage (2.49$ monthly fee)
- 100GB storage (4.99$ monthly fee)
Once you made some of the above mentioned update your Gmail account will be expanded to 25GB.
- great collaborating and sharing abilities
- direct in-browser edit of documents
- direct in-browser file access
- lack of lots of update plans
The last cloud storage that we would like to pay attention to here is the one that Microsoft offers. As you can expect, this services combines some of the best and nicest features of all of the above mentioned cloud storage services, and this is what makes it personal favorite to many people all over the world. Skydrive is a cloud storage service that you should definitely give a try.
Many people think that in order to get Skydrive, they will have to pay something or change some complicated settings in Windows. This is not right – all you have to do is to sign up using your Windows account. Don’t worry, if you don’t know what a Microsoft account is, let us help you by saying that its former name is Windows Live. The next step here is to install the service – there is nothing complicated in the process of installation. You just have to follow the instructions. It works as a normal folder. Good think here is, like in Dropbox, you can share a single file or entire folder.
Other great feature that people really enjoy is that you can share files such as pictures, music, videos directly from Skydrive to social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This extra is really time-saving.
Packages and prices
It is really hard to go wrong with Microsoft Skydrive because it has everything you need. It will also give you the most storage of all above mentioned cloud storages – 7GB. However, there is only one possible update, but we believe it will be enough for every normal user, who doesn’t want to store lots of files.The update option you have here is;
- 20GB of storage for 10$ annual fee
The mobile support includes; iPad, iPhone, Android
- integration with Windows phones
- integration with office documents
- inexpensive updates
- most free storage – 7GB
- remote access capability
- lacks more than 20GB of space
- not well-known
If you want to know about more services then another great way is to read best online storage reviews online so that you can know about the best storage services available in the market today.