I wrote a novel once. Well, I wrote about half of one, and then I spilled water on my laptop’s keyboard. The water fried the computer’s motherboard, and my half a novel was lost forever. I had to start over.
Thank goodness for cloud storage.
If you’re like most people, you keep your important documents in the cloud. It’s a safe and secure way to store your data, and it makes it easy to access across devices. Also, it prevents the loss of key documents if you happen to spill something on your laptop, like I did when I was a youngster. Cloud storage is also a great way to free up disk space on your computer.
But, for better or worse, there are so many different cloud storage options available. How do you know which one is perfect for your situation?
I’m here to help. Through working with 100s of business through the years, I’ve had a chance to work across a lot of different cloud storage systems, learning which ones I like and which ones I don’t. To help you make the best choice, here’s a look at the seven best cloud storage options on the market today.
When it comes to online data storage, IDrive is the undisputed top choice. Never heard of it? It may not be as popular as some of the other options on this list, but it’s one of the best-kept secrets in digital tools for businesses and individuals.
With unlimited storage and innovative features like one-click backups and continuous backup monitoring, IDrive makes it easy to keep your files safe and secure. Not only does IDrive offer fast upload speeds and military-grade encryption, but it also has built-in tools for auto-scheduling backups and versioning control.
Whether you’re looking for protection from hardware failure (like spilling water all over your laptop) or simply want to keep all of your important documents backed up in case of accidental deletion, IDrive has you covered. Why give IDrive a try? Better question: Why not?
2. Google Drive
Google Drive is a cloud-based storage and syncing service that also doubles as an office suite. You’ve likely heard of it. You probably even have an account. If you have a Gmail inbox, you also have Google Drive storage.
You can use Google Drive to store documents you create online, as well as to back up files from your computer. One feature that sets Google Drive apart from other storage services is its ability to save space by not duplicating files on local storage.
Google Drive is also generous with its free storage space, offering 15GB compared to other services that only offer between 2GB and 5GB. If you need more storage space, you can upgrade to a Google One account, which offers 100GB for $1.99/month or $19.99/year.
One concern about Google Drive is privacy; Google collects information on your online activity in order to target ads. However, you can adjust your privacy settings to limit the amount of data that Google collects. Overall, Google Drive is a convenient and versatile storage solution — with only a few caveats.
3. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud storage service that comes with your Microsoft account. It’s great for storing documents, photos, and other files in the cloud so you can access them from anywhere.
The entry-level plan gives you 5GB of capacity, and it is 100% free. You can upgrade to 100GB storage at an economical $1.99 monthly. For a little bit more, try the Microsoft 365 Personal plan that costs $5.99 each month for 1TB of storage, or try the Microsoft 365 Family plan to get a whopping 6TB of storage for just $7.99 a month.
When you choose a 365 plan, you also get access to popular Microsoft apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. When you create files, OneDrive automatically uploads them to the cloud, which means you get access across any device with all changes synced in real-time. You can bounce from laptop to tablet to mobile easily and see the latest version of your work, which would have been hard to believe back in the early 2000s. The integration with other Microsoft products also empowers collaboration in real-time, either while using the desktop apps or while accessing documents via the internet.
For your most sensitive documents, use OneDrive’s Personal Vault. Any file placed in the Vault enjoys extra levels of security, which can include two-step authentication via PINs, email or SMS codes, and face/fingerprint verification. Not everyone needs this extra level of security, but it’s nice to have if and when you’re working on anything sensitive in nature.
Dropbox is one of the most popular options on the market today. It had more than 500 million users as of 2016, and that number has surely grown by leaps and bounds since. Not only was Dropbox for one the first cloud storage providers to gain traction on the market, it is also one of the most convenient with streamlined access to your files across any device with an internet connection.
Dropbox offers a number of additional features that make it a good choice for storing and sharing files, including file versioning, file synchronization, and file security. Dropbox also offers a variety of pricing plans to suit different needs. Like most providers, there’s an entry level plan that’s free (Dropbox Basic, which offers 2GB of storage). Dropbox Plus costs $9.99 per month and offers 1TB of storage. Dropbox Professional costs $19.99 per month and offers 2TB of storage. Dropbox Business starts at $15 per user per month and offers unlimited storage.
For a content marketer like myself, the unlimited storage is great when you need to stash hi-res audio, video and images. Not everyone needs the unlimited plan, but it’s great to have at just $15 a month when you need it.
Looking for an emphasis on security? Look no further than Sync.com, which provides encryption end-to-end and guarantees 100% document security.
The Sync features that users love include secure sharing of files and folders, backups in real-time, access from a web browser on all devices, plus more.
If you want a cloud storage provider that access via an app, Sync offers an app to all Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android users. If you need additional capacity, Sync offers a series of what it calls Solo plans, which are available to individuals. Prices for Solo plans start at $8 a month for 2TB and unlimited transfers. The Solo plans go up to $20–$24 (depending on whether you pay monthly or annually) and provide a maximum of 6TB.
To enhance security, Sync leverages architecture that ensures only you have the key to decrypt and access your data. Configure two-factor authentication for an ever higher level of security.
Sync comes in at No. 5 on this list, but it’s an amazing option for anyone that needs industry-leading security from their cloud storage provider.
IceDrive offers affordability and reliability in a cloud storage service. The company’s free plan gives you 10GB capacity, and servers located in the United States and Europe ensure that users get the speed and privacy they desire.
Like Sync, IceDrive also uses zero-knowledge encryption, which means that only you have the key to decrypt your files. a great option for those who are looking for an affordable and reliable cloud storage solution. In addition to its affordable premium plans, IceDrive also offers a free plan with 10 GB of storage space. IceDrive’s data centers are located in Europe and the United States, providing good speed and privacy for users. If 10GB on a free plan is enough for you, and if you value security and privacy for your sensitive files, IceDrive is worth a look.
Mega is another cloud storage option that puts the safety, security and privacy of your files first and foremost. The company offers end-to-end encryption that Mega cannot even read. Sweetening the deal, Mega offers a free account with lots of storage, as well as syncing across all of your devices.
End-to-end encryption, or simply E2E, provides the highest level of security from hackers and government overseers. In addition to E2E, Mega is also compliant with GDPR regulations, it supports two-factor authentication, and offers ample storage across its different plans.
Not everything is roses with this cloud storage provider, though. The free plan can be difficult to navigate, this is not an open source product, collaboration features are lacking, and support is limited (at best).
It’s hard to beat Mega’s privacy features, especially on a free plan, if you’re willing to put up with the other shortcomings.
Don’t Leave Your Documents and Files at Risk
Whatever you do, don’t keep important documents on your desktop like I did once upon a time. Explore the options above to find the best cloud storage to meet your unique needs, and enjoy safe and secure access to your files across all of your devices. Cloud storage has been a game-changer in the business world — don’t miss the revolution.
What cloud storage do you use? Let us know in the comments section below, or send your favorite via the contact form.