Cloud storage is a must for business and these days there is an even greater need for it as the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets increases. You never know when you’ll need access to your files whilst on the move – and then of course things can go wrong and devices can get lost or stolen.
Cloud storage makes all your data available at your fingertips and can spare your business many headaches – not to mention serving a number purposes, such as:
- Data backup for disaster recovery
- Access to your files from any device
- A file-sharing platform (to send large files)
It can be tough working out which cloud storage solution service is best for you. So let’s take a look at some of the more popular options available to help you make the right decision.
6 Popular Cloud Storage Solutions
One of the best known cloud storage solutions, Dropbox has built a great reputation due to its ease of use and being available on almost every platform. You can store, share and sync data across all devices via the Dropbox app or the Dropbox website. Access your files anywhere, from desktop computers to laptops, tablets and smartphones. Users get 2 GB of free storage, file sharing and syncing and security features like SSL encryption, two-step authentication and mobile pass codes. Website: www.dropbox.com
2. Google Drive
Google Drive lets you store, share and edit your files as well as collaborate with others to work on your files via access to Google’s Web-based productivity suite (where you can save, edit and invite others to work on Docs, sheets and Slides). Google provides you with 15 GB of free storage which is shared among its various services like Gmail, Google Plus etc. along with Google Drive. Website: https://drive.google.com
Box is a good, solid service popular with businesses as it offers a simple way to securely share large files or folders. Once files are uploaded, they are easy to share simply by sending a link to recipients or embedding them on your website. Users get 10GB of free storage with a maximum 250MB file upload size. Box is also available via mobile devices using the Box app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Website: www.box.com
4. Microsoft One Drive
One Drive is Window’s rebranded cloud storage service (previously named SkyDrive). Users have remote access and Microsoft Office and Windows Phone integration and have a number of ways to upload and access files – over the web, directly from Microsoft Office programs or through its mobile app, making it easy for colleagues to share files. It directly integrates with Office 2013 and users get 15GB free cloud storage with additional storage on offer for referring a friend. Website: onedrive.live.com
SpiderOak is a cloud storage service that places its emphasis on data privacy to give businesses peace of mind. It offers 100 per cent private cloud storage, online backup, sync and sharing services and utlises a zero-knowledge privacy environment (which means that no-one but the user can view the stored data – not even SpiderOak staff). Users get a free 2GB of lifetime storage with access from unlimited computers, data backups and syncing. Website: www.spideroak.com
6. Apple iCloud
If you’re an Apple user then this iCloud solution will make good sense for you, although it has been criticised for not featuring a drag and drop functionality and not allowing you to backup images from Android or Windows mobile devices. Files can be accessed via PC if you download Apple’s Control Panel. However, the way it integrates with the Apple iWork office suite is impressive and iPad and iPhone apps automatically integrate with the platform as well. When you signup you automatically get 5GB of free storage. Website: www.apple.com/au/icloud
Which Cloud Storage Solution is Right For You?
Apple iCloud as a free service is a no brainer if you have an iPhone or iPad and are an Apple devotee. Then of course OneDrive and Google Drive are both good solutions if you want an added dimension of productivity thanks to their associated web-based office suite. Box also offers a solid, reliable service whilst SpiderOak is an obvious choice if you need to store sensitive data. Last but not least, Dropbox is a useful, reliable service that works across multiple platforms.
At the end of the day which cloud storage service you use comes down to personal preference and needs.