With increasing connectivity options and variety of gadgets along-with decreasing broadband costs, it’s no surprise that people and businesses are minimizing their dependence on costly hardware equipment and complicated technology. Instead they are resorting to storing their files and applications on the cloud. Why waste the limited (and valuable) space on your PC or smartphone when you can easily store (and access) all your files and media on the cloud. Not to forget the extra functionality and convenience of being able to share it easily across devices and people.
There are a number of high profile service providers out there, each offering slight variations of the basic cloud storage service. Determining the best cloud storage provider for you will depend on your specific requirements. For most of us, it simply means finding a provider who offers considerable value – the most amount of storage at an affordable rate. But businesses also need to ensure that the service is safe and secure.
Here are some of the most popular cloud storage providers in 2018. Most of these are high profile services offered by leading tech companies and all of them offer free trial periods.
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List Of the Top 5 most popular cloud storage providers in 2018
- Google Drive
If you use any sort of Android device or Google service – Gmail, G-Suite etc. – you are already familiar with the storage service. A generous amount of 15GB storage is offered free to anyone with a Google account and email. Opting for GoogleDrive is a no-brainer for those with android devices as it already comes integrated. Most of us have already moved off all our high-definition snaps from our smartphones safely onto the cloud with the companion app Google Photos. For those who use Google Docs or Gmail for business purposes, this service is a logical and convenient cloud storage option.
For Apple fans who own several of their devices, the best cloud storage option is needless to say, the iCloud. It is competitively priced and boasts tight integration with Apple’s platforms and devices. Of course, 5GB of storage maybe all that you’ll get for free, but you’re going to need more than that even if you just want to backup the contents on your iPhone. Be prepared to part with some hard cash!
The veteran DropBox has long become synonymous with cloud storage in the field. Even though they only give you a paltry 2GB of free storage to start off, you can easily expand this capacity to 16GB by simply referring friends to the service and linking your social media accounts.
Their business subscription offers a convenient feature that allows multiple users to collaborate. This handy option also gives each individual collaborator unlimited space in their personal DropBox accounts. Those who sign up for monthly subscriptions also gain access to more advanced features such as versioning and file recovery.
Backed by Microsoft, OneDrive is ideal for Windows users. It comes directly integrated with Windows 10’s file explorer. This means that you don’t need any other app or program if you already use the Windows 10 OS. OneDrive can also be used with the Microsoft Photo app to sync and share your pictures across all your devices. Those who sign up for OneDrive receive 5GB free storage.
Based out of New Zealand, Mega is a cloud storage service that offers several standout functionalities. It is no doubt one of the best new services to emerge in recent times. Mega offers up free storage space of 50GB that is pretty generous when compared to the competition. A simple drag-and-drop interface and the huge emphasis on the security of your data are added incentives. Mega claims that the data is encrypted on the user’s device itself before being uploaded to the company’s servers.
All the above services are supposed to be for individual users, but small businesses will find it sufficient for their requirements. This allows you to try them out before you commit and dole out your hard-earned money. Whats more, if your requirements outgrow the supplied capacity you can always easily upgrade!
For enterprises who require larger storage or hosting applications, there are other commercial services from big names like Amazon, SalesForce etc. that can be integrated with your friendly neighborhood IT support in Austin. The future is in the cloud and for now, it’s a buyers market!
President of Gravity Systems has over 24 years’ experience in business technology. With a career spanning several industries and leadership roles, he is a regular advisor to leading research organizations. Finding innovative solutions to increasingly complex business challenges is a core strength and area of expertise for David.