As the amount of data users generate continues to increase, the importance of what cloud storage provider a business chooses does too – it’s a decision that should not be taken lightly.
The number of cloud storage providers out there today is dramatic, so it comes as no surprise so many businesses struggle to definitively choose one. Additionally, it is quite clear that organisations will continue migrating to cloud solutions, over hardware for their storage needs, so to ensure the right provider is chosen CBR has identified the best providers to pick from.
The first thing to know about DropBox is that it offers a platform for all users. This includes Blackberry and Linux, alongside the standard Windows, macOS, Android and iOS standards. For trial purposes, or smaller storage needs, DropBox offers users a free storage amount of 2GB. However, if you’re looking for something bigger to handle the requirements of your businesses or study documents you can get a 1TB storage plan for just £7.99 per months.
DropBox also offers incentives to invite your friends to use the storage provider, offering another free 500MB of storage for every friend that is introduced to the service. This offer limits at 16GB, so still not a substantial amount compared to a TB but enough for the daily needs.
As well as its storage offerings and compatibility, the storage system is pretty easy to use as well. It simply requires users to create a folder on a device or PC then sync with an online version. This method means that all data stored in the cloud is available online or offline, apart from on mobile devices where offline content must be specified.
In the daunting data age we live in today it is important to have back-up and recovery plans in place for storage providers. DropBox provides this as well with enhanced features for file recovery.
Having started out thirteen years ago, in 2005, Box is primarily designed for business use above all else. However, it does still offer the personal storage options giving a free package of 10GB to the lucky users.
Box does not offer the upgrades in the same way as other providers. Instead users must opt in for a ‘Personal Pro Plan’, which will provide an additional 100GB of storage for £7 per month. The pro plan offers the ability to work in teams of three to 10 people, as well as supporting document encryption, extensive permissions and stores previous versions of files.
Sharing is made easy with Box, by simply dropping the files in to a file and sharing the link publicly with business partners or customers. Additionally, for businesses working on the same project, Box allows automatic updates to documents held on the system.
Like the other providers, Box also offers the ability to operate the storage system online or offline. The storage provider is available to users operating on iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry.
The cloud storage of Google is at the heart of all the applications it offers, including Gmail, Google Calendar and even YouTube. Therefore, if you use all of these Google Drive is probably the best cloud storage provider for you to choose.
By signing up to one of the above applications users will automatically be given a Drive account, so why not take advantage of all the wonderful things it offers? Google Drive is shared across all the services, saving a lot of time an aggravation in some cases such as email. The platform offers the ability to send those large pesky files via email through Google Drive.
Compared to DropBox, Google Drive offers users up to 15GB of free space, which can store everything including photos and documents. Anything on top of the basic plans starts at a price of £1.59 a month for an additional 100MB, or £8 for 1TB. Another good feature of Google Drive is its security levels.
Users must create a local folder on a device, which is then linked up with a Cloud version. Google Drive can also be used online or offline as long as files are specified to be used offline. The platform is available to Android users as well as iOS, macOS and Windows.
Offering the bog standard service to its non-Prime customers, Amazon Drive provides the basic backing up service of photos and videos to users. If users are an Amazon Prime member, however, the service offers unlimited storage for photos and 5G for videos as well as other files.
For those users who want the bigger and better things in life, Amazon offers unlimited storage to users if they pay an annual £55 fee. This equates to just £4.60 per month, so slightly knocking Microsoft off the top spot for premium storage services.
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The drive is available to iOS, Windows and Android users, on any device at any time. Additionally, the provider allows users to easily share data stored on the platform in a very quick fashion by simply pressing the share tab.
Similarly to other providers, Amazon Drive offers the two-factor authentication for users to go through to access files. Therefore everything is safe and secure on the shared space.
Microsoft’s OneDrive has been designed specifically for Windows users, allowing it to be directly integrated into the software. Similarly to the other providers OneDrive initially offers a free 5GB of storage, with additionally storage plans on offer.
To receive the ultimate 1TB storage plan, like other providers offer, Microsoft offers the allocation on a yearly basis with Office 365 personal for £59.99. Although this seems like a hefty sum it is actually much more cost efficient, working out at just £4.99 a month.
The cloud storage from Microsoft offers the ability to sync all documents together from all different devices, but has the enhanced feature of syncing specific social network data as well. The beauty of this feature is that it allows users to freely share files between friends and colleagues, in comparison to the other two which would have to be sent via transfer. OneDrive puts all the data in one place and is made accessible to a number of people.
Security is still intact however, as Microsoft scans all documents before uploading to ensure nothing malicious is added and also offers various permissions for files such as read-only.