Updated for 2016, the cloud storage battle continues to rage as service providers continue to slash prices and add new features to their services. These cloud storage services allow you to store your files, photos, videos, etc. on servers in large data centers, “the cloud.”
Cloud storage is a model of data storage where the digital data is stored in logical pools, the physical storage spans multiple servers (and often locations), and the physical environment is typically owned and managed by a hosting company.
This means that your files are stored so they are accessible from anywhere you have internet access, on many different devices and backed up for you as a service. These services were pricey in the beginning but have become more reasonable as the price of hardware continues to fall and demand rises.
With over 50 companies providing this service it can be difficult to know which one to choose.
This post will cover some of the big players including Box, DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud and OneDrive.
|Max File Size||250MB on free, 5GB on paid||300MB, None through desktop||5TB||15GB||10GB|
|Price to get 1TB||$15 / user unlimited storage with minimum of 3 users||$9.99||$9.99||$19.99||$5.00|
|Supported OSes||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Blackberry, (3rd party client for Linux)||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, (3rd party client for Linux, Blackberry)||Windows, Mac, iOS, (3rd party client for Linux, Android, Blackberry)||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, (3rd party client for Linux, Blackberry)|
|Extra Benefits||You can have 3 users for the $15 plan||Includes Googles Apps and Gmail on the paid plans||Tightly integrated into iOS and OS X||Starting at $6.99 the 1TB plan includes a personal license for Office 365|
*All prices are monthly.
The chart above sheds light on what you might be getting into with when signing up for each service. For example, iCloud Drive and Box seem ok for the free storage, but the price to get 1TB of storage is steep.
One other important thing to note is the extras benefits associated with some cloud services.
For example, notice that Box offers multiple user accounts with its upgraded services. The real thing to take note of however, is how competitive Microsoft is being with their service. Opting in for 1 terabyte of storage also nets you unrestricted access to the full office suite of products and an email account. For a little more, you can associate your own domain name with your Office 365 account. This is in response to Google’s similar offering, Google Apps, which also offers access to many of the same features.
Today, I feel like Microsoft has the best offering, which is a big statement coming from a Mac guy. Office is still the best productivity suite with Apple’s iWork and Google’s Apps not far behind. The experience of working and syncing between mobile and desktop/laptop is becoming seamless as the promise of cloud computing is becoming a reality.
Maybe you need help navigating all of this and getting your domain tied to your cloud services. Or, maybe using these services are not an option for your business and you need a custom, private cloud service built for your needs. If either of these are the case, we can help.