The best cloud storage solutions should offer a business a convenient way to store and access files. When developing a list of services for consideration, multiple factors come into play. While a lot of services promise security, the nature of their distribution, their pricing model, and your own IT architecture will ultimately narrow your choices.
Factors to Consider when Picking Cloud Storage Solutions
One important factor to consider is whether you just want cloud storage or cloud backup. A cloud storage is the primary location your files are stored. A solution that serves as a cloud storage should allow users to access and modify files quite easily from many devices. A cloud backup stores replicates and stores away files that are already stored somewhere else. Quick access is not a major priority in such a case.
If a cloud storage solution is to be used as a primary location for mission critical application of a business, it needs to be a hot-storage service. It should allow quick access so that users get the same experience as they would have if the application were hosted locally.
Another important consideration of the amount of space your business needs and what different cloud storage solutions are offering. If the files you need to store are not too bulky, you could go for a service that doesn’t charge anything for less than 5GB. However, if you need large amounts of space, you need a service that offers scalability without becoming too pricy.
In addition, consider the number of users who need to access the cloud-stored files. Most cloud storage solutions have pricing models that limit the number of users for each price tier. Some providers will give a price-per user, which makes it easy to plan for scaling. Other providers will give a bundled package with a maximum user number.
5 Best Cloud Storage Solutions
To show the differences in what different solutions providers offer, here are the 5 best cloud storage solutions in 2022.
pCloud is a cloud storage solution that has been around since 2013 and has 14 million users today. It has a great focus on user friendliness and robust security through different levels of encryption
pCloud offers free storage for up to 10GB. Premium users to pay $7.99 a month or $95.88 for 2TB. There is no limit on the number of devices that can access your files, which is great for collaboration between colleagues in a business.
pCloud is good for storing media content. They have a robust inbuilt media player with advanced features such as conversion of files into different format and being able to create playlists. It also offers an option of backing up social media images automatically.
pCloud users can pay an extra $3.99 for zero-knowledge encryption, so pCloud servers cannot read or preview your files. It’s an advanced security feature for people who want to back up extra sensitive files.
iDrive is a cloud backup service that offers a great option for both personal and business users. They have a free plan with upto 5GB storage. Their paid plans begin at $5.79 a month but it is billed annually. You can use any number of devices to access the cloud storage. They offer a sync feature, so files stored on local devices get automatically updated on iDrive when connected to the internet.
An important feature is being able to upload and restore bulky files via email. iDrive also allows you to create links to share files with people and set access privileges while doing so. Their mobile app has great reviews for user friendliness as well.
OneDrive is one of the most robust and popular cloud storage solutions in the world today. Owned by Microsoft, OneDrive integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office apps. Microsoft now offers 1TB of OneDrive storage when users sign up for Microsoft 365 Personal Subscription. The subscription allows users to install Office on 5 different devices, which makes it a great option for a family.
Microsoft have at least a dozen different subscription options. For businesses though, Microsoft 365 Business Standard costs $15/month per user. It comes with 1TB per user. For OneDrive alone, businesses can choose to pay $60 a year for 1TB per user or $120 per year per user for unlimited storage.
4. Google Drive
Google Drive is a great rival for Microsoft’s One Drive because of the integration features it offers. Gmail users already have 15GB of free storage. The paid version of Google Drive starts at just $1.99 a month for 100GB of storage. The Gmail Suite offers great productivity and collaboration features by being able to edit photos, documents, sheets, and slides at no extra cost.
The main concern about both Google Drive and OneDrive is that they do not offer zero-knowledge encryption, which means that users’ data could be at risk in case of a hack into the servers. However, these occurrences are rare. There is also no password protection for shared files on Google Drive.
Dropbox pioneered the idea of mainstream cloud storage and currently has the second biggest market share after Google Drive.
It offers great collaboration features and users can sync Google and Microsoft Office documents to automatically back up on Dropbox. Users can install Dropbox on their PC and Mac and then select the folder they would want their documents to be automatically synced to. A distinguishing feature of Dropbox is that users can append digital signatures to documents using HelloSign. They also have a password management service called Dropbox Passwords.
Their basic package allows just one user and just 2GB of storage. The business package, called Dropbox Professional costs $19.99 a month per user.
What’s the Best Cloud Storage Solution?
The choice of cloud storage solution for your business is highly subjective. While some businesses may prioritize encryption, others will factor in integration and collaboration.
You might need the insight of a tech consultant to help you pick the best option for your storage needs. To learn more about cloud storage, get in touch with Transcendent Software. We are an IT services company helping businesses set up and get the best out of their IT infrastructure.