With the emergence of tablets and smartphones, today, individuals and businesses alike no longer entirely rely on computers to store and access files. You may be using your computer in the office, your laptop at home, and your mobile device while on the road, making cloud storage a growing need.
With the usage of multitude of devices, it’s very unpractical to keep your files all in one physical storage. This is where cloud storage comes in as a very handy solution. Most cloud storage services are now making it easy for users to access files through all of these devices.
However, features of one cloud storage provider will surely differ from another. And a user will be the only judge to its effectiveness and efficiency, depending on their needs.
To help you weigh all these factors, here are three of the reliable cloud storage providers and their key features:
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services today. Apart from the free 2 GB storage (it’s free on most cloud storage anyway), it lets users have more free storage by simply referring a friend and have them use the software (extra 500 MB for each referral) or by linking your account to social media sites (extra 1 GB). Alternatively, users can opt for a monthly subscription of $9.99 for 100 GB of storage.
Apart from being available on Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems, Dropbox can also be used on mobile operating systems such as iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Of course, you can also access Dropbox on your mobile browser.
Google Drive is the default cloud storage for Gmail users, which gives them a generous 15 GB of free space. It has its built-in document collaboration app, Google Docs, where all files created though it is instantly saved on its cloud storage. Users can also opt to make these files public or share it with peers.
There is no option to increase the space for free, unlike Dropbox, but its huge free space could compensate for it. For those who want to upgrade to a bigger storage, you can purchase 100 GB for $1.99 a month, 1 TB for $9.99 and 10 TB for $99.99.
The cloud storage app is available on Windows, Mac desktops and on Android and iOS mobile devices.
If you’ve heard of SkyDrive before, that now is what’s known as OneDrive. It’s Microsoft’s foray into cloud storage and is available as a built-in app for all Windows 8 and 8.1 PC users. Users of older Windows OS versions can get it, too, by downloading the app.
Despite being a Microsoft-owned company, the cloud storage app is also available in Mac desktops and in iOS, Android and of course, Windows Phone and Nokia X mobile devices as well as the Xbox. OneDrive offers free 7 GB storage and can have an increase of 3GB when the automatic photo upload feature is used, and additional 500 MB for every friend referred.
Users who want more storage can get 50 GB for $25 a year, and 200 GB for $200 a year.
Apart from storage options for consumers, these cloud storage apps have their respective enterprise counterparts as well.