Back in the year of 2007 when Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox, had become frustrated of misplacing his USB storage drive the very idea of using cloud technology for personal data storage was unfathomable. However today, every new data storage company seems to be offering cheap or free cloud storage solutions. Gone are the days when people needed to email themselves files and documents so they can continue working on a different computer. The idea itself might seem bizarre and funny today but it was a necessity prior to the era of archiving files on cloud storage services.
How to Choose The Best Cloud Storage Service
Selecting the best cloud service will depend on several factors – the type of computers and mobile devices you will use, the amount of storage space you will need, and the level of data security you will require. Now a days, anyone can sign up for an online cloud storage service, such as Dropbox, Mega, or Google Drive, and have all your files readily available to you irrespective of your current location and device. The very best cloud storage solutions often have a free account that normally comes with a few limitations. However, depending on your needs and priorities it may be worth paying for a premium feature/service to get extra storage space or the ability to upload huge files.
As you can see, Free and cheap cloud storage services for small business and personal use is everywhere. With so many overwhelming options of cloud storage, enlisted below are the top 5, best choices of cloud storage for 2015.
If you are someone who has never heard of Mega and scratching your head and wondering if we have gone nuts by starting this list not with Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive but Mega, hold your horses! Mega is a New Zealand based cloud storage company, which unlike some of its rivals, provides encryption in every part of the file storage process. Everything is encrypted locally, on-route, and on the destination server and Mega itself has no way of accessing your files, as you keep the encryption key.
What’s more? Mega’s standard free package affords a whopping 50GB of cloud storage space. So now you know what made us put Mega at the top of our list, don’t you? 😉 If you’re looking for data security and privacy along with a whooping 50GB of free storage space, then Mega is the best pick for you.
2. Google Drive
Combining a smart online, collaborative, office suite and a seamless and easy to use cloud storage platform, Google Drives offers an all-in-one productivity package. Since its inception in April, 2012, Google Drive has come a long way. Google drive comes with free storage of 15GB once you sign up for a Gmail account. In fact, as Google introduced unification of all its services under one login ID earlier this year, chances are you might already have a Google Drive account if you use any of Google’s services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, or even YouTube. The storage space on Google Drive is shared across all these services. Hence, if you have large attachments on emails or have enabled automatic photo backup to Google+ from a smartphone then they will count in the 15GB.
Google disregards any photos that are below 2048×2048 resolution, and videos that are shorter than fifteen minutes. Similarly, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Presentations, Drawings and other files that other users have shared with you don’t count either.
With so much of free storage space and powerful collaborative tools, Google drive is the perfect choice, if you want to frequently share files among your friends, employees or co-workers.
While 2GB of free cloud storage space may sound like ‘nothing, what makes Dropbox a crowd pleaser is the fact that it let’s you to share files and documents with people who haven’t registered or have an account on it. This simplicity allows anyone to conveniently download and share files that you upload and share.
Moreover, you can use Dropbox on almost any platform you can think of. You can access your files from Dropbox’s website, via their desktop applications for Mac, Windows and Linux, mobile devices running iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire mobile apps. It’s super-quick to set up, and you don’t need to worry about syncing your files. Hence if you or your team members use a lot of different devices, Dropbox should be your first choice of cloud storage service.
4. OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive)
SkyDrive used to be pretty hard to use, but mighty Microsoft’s ambitious cloud storage service has come a long way. Smartly called as OneDrive now, it is tightly integrated with Windows 8 (and later) for desktops and tablets. For Office 2013 users, OneDrive cloud storage syncs all of your files quickly and seamlessly. It also has easy to use mobile apps for all leading mobile platforms (Windows Phone, iOS, and Android), thus making it easy to access your files on the go, from anywhere. OneDrive comes with desktop clients for Windows and Mac. So irrespective of what device you use, OneDrive has it covered.
If you were an early adopter and started using OneDrive when it was still in beta, you probably have a massive 25GB of free storage, but even as a new user you’ll get a decent 7GB of free storage (10GB if you’re a student). And you can always buy more storage if you run out of your free quota.
Hive is an online cloud storage service, which gives you UNLIMITED free storage. Yeah, you heard that right! Though not much popular as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other cloud storage services, the uniqueness of hive is that you can stream your files without actually having to download them. This can save a lot of time and storage space on your hard drive.
You can create a free account on Hive and store large video files and other types of data for future use and access (stream) them anywhere, anytime. However, with Hive you can’t share your files with other users or general public. If that is fine with you and the only thing that you are interested in is your own personal files to store, then Hive is for you.
How many of these top cloud storage services are you currently using? Do you have a recommendation to add to our list?