Cloud storage has become an integral way for defining and managing our digital lives. More and more we are juggling multiple devices whether a laptop or desktop at work, a smartphone on the subway, or a tablet at home. This all means that we’ve come to rely on the ability to post our content into the cloud anytime, anywhere, and anyhow we want. Small businesses have also gotten on the cloud storage bandwagon and are readily observing the benefits of giving employees access to their content anyway they need it. Even slower-moving enterprises have come around to seeing that security is robust in the cloud.
Given the recent advances in storage and backup capabilities, we thought it’d make sense to review some the top players in the cloud storage market. Whether you’re a small business leader and need to provide cloud storage for your organization, or else a startup building the next generation revolutionary app – you’re going to demand robust storage capabilities “in the cloud.” As you go about your business decisions, give consideration to the following 7 solutions, which we consider to be top players in this market for 2015.
Google Drive is easily one of the best known and easily accessible cloud storage solutions available. And since we all leverage Google services in one way, shape, or fashion, Gdrive becomes a natural extension to our Google-ized lives. For example, Gmail Users no longer need to upload lengthy email attachments. Just send a link from Google Drive in Gmail and everyone has the same file and version. GDrive works with PCs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. And Google is generous with space by giving 15GB of storage space for free to first time registrants (up from the 5GB when it was introduced 2 years ago). Afterwards, it scales up at a reasonable rate with 1TB at 10 U.S. dollars a month and on up to 30TB for $300.
Previously known as SkyDrive, OneDrive is Microsoft’s rebranded answer to the cloud storage market. And it’s a sleek answer at that. OneDrive really provides a great way to manage and store all your documents within the Microsoft ecosystem of tools that we’ve all grown to rely upon over the years. In addition to personal cloud storage, Microsoft offers managed business storage through its OneDrive for Business solution. OneDrive is available for Android, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone devices, and newcomers get 15GB of free space. 1TB costs a mere $7 per month and is bundled with a subscription to Office 365.
If you’re focused on business and enterprise applications then please sit up and take notice here. Though not as popular in the personal cloud market, Box has since its inception in 2005 steadily focused on the business and enterprise side of the house . . . and with great success! The platform offers up to 50GB of free storage on its business accounts and 10GB for personal usage. Box offers 4 account types: personal, starter, business, and enterprise. The most popular plan is the business option where for only $15 per user per month you get unlimited storage (3 user minimum). Box can also easily connect to the leading SaaS your organization already uses such as Salesforce, NetSuite, and Google Apps. You can integrate Box into your existing IT infrastructure or custom build apps powered by Box for whatever solutions your business needs. If your organization’s top concern is scalability and security then Box is your solution.
Founded in 2007, Dropbox was the platform that really made cloud storage popular. The firm has kept up its reputation by offering an extensive network of support for nearly every operating system, both desktop and mobile, along with a vast third-party developer that uses its open APIs to build great services on top of Dropbox. The extensive cross-platform versatility and networking is what makes Dropbox the first choice for many. And it’s also one of the few solutions to offer clients for Linux and Blackberry along with the usual standards – Android, iOS, and Windows. Dropbox offers a free account with 2GB of space or for $10 per month you can upgrade to a Dropbox Basic plus account, which offers 1TB. The business plan is $15 per user per month for 5TB of space; there’s a 5 user minimum, so it amounts to $75 a month.
While not as popular as some of its counter-parts, SugarSync has become a strong and innovative player in the cloud storage market. The platform specializes in making the synchronization of files across computers and other devices easy and intuitive. Users have the option to pick and choose which files are backed up, or they can set things to save automatically when changes are made. SugarSync also keeps an impressive revision history for each of your files and lets the user share, lock down, or password protect individual files on the web or on the desktop. Support is offered for a wide range of systems, including Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Mac OS X, Samsung SmartTV, Symbian, Windows, and Windows Mobile. The most popular pricing option is $25 per month for 250 GB of storage. The business account offers 1TB for $55 per month for 1 to 3 users with each additional user costing $13 per month.
Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon is one of the world’s top brands and wants to be your one stop place for anything you need to purchase. Therefore, it would make sense why the e-commerce giant also wants to help you manage your music, videos, and other files all within its expansive ecosystem. Amazon Cloud Drive has been around for a few years but just recently rolled out two new storage plans. Just like its trademark, everything with Amazon is simple. The “Unlimited Photos” plan includes unlimited photo storage, plus 5 GB for videos and files for just $11.99 per year (Amazon Prime members get this service free). The second option, which is the “Unlimited Everything” plan, allows users to securely store all of their photos, videos, files and documents for just $59.99 per year. Both options come with a free 3 month trial.
IDrive has become a major player in the online backup and cloud-based syncing service players in recent years. IDrive is also a mover-and-shaker in terms of innovation; the platform comes with a cool set of features such as offering multiple drive backups to a single account and quick backup of all your data up to 3TB in less than a week via physical storage. Everyone starts out with 5GB of free storage on Idrive, and for paying accounts it goes up to just $44.62 per year for 1TB of synced storage. In other words, Idrive allows you 1TB of storage across an unlimited number of devices.