Cloud storage comes in many shapes and sizes. With so many great options on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?
Disruptive technology has driven us away from the use of local storage services to remote, server-based storage options. The cloud comes with many perceived benefits. Certainly you can store a lot more data in flexible ways and because information is accessible from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, such a set-up has been linked to improved levels of productivity. Secure software solutions can boost business operations without much cost. In recent years, cloud storage security has also improved, leaving many businesses perplexed as to who to go for rather than whether or not to pursue online storage services in the first place.
How to choose your cloud storage solution?
Services can be free or paid-for, may involve a free trial, tend to be GB or page-based and may offer limited and unlimited options. When weighing up cloud service providers considering the following questions can be useful:
- How much space do I need?
- Do I want the option to upgrade if required? How flexible are my file storage needs?
- How sensitive is the data I am storing? What are my security requirements and concerns?
- Do I just want to store files, or will I also require additional features?
Unsurprisingly a big differentiating factor for many is cost. Although free online cloud storage exists, it is often limited, comes with decreased functionality and add-ons, is not optimised for use on multiple devices and has reduced levels of security including no end-to-end encryption.
The most popular cloud storage services
To help get you started, and in no particular order, we have listed the most popular options out there and why.
Directly integrated into the file explorer since the change to Windows 10, Microsoft One Drive enables quick usage for those wishing to back up their files from the get-go. It works seamlessly with Microsoft Office and Microsoft’s 365 suite offering helping to increase efficiency. Mac users can also enjoy an improved app. If images are important, its worth noting that the photos app syncs the likes of photos across devices. Various plans exist including Microsoft’s Premium subscription plan which includes Office 365, increased security and productivity tools. Apps also exist for mobile uploads catering to both Android and iOS users.
Preventing the scanning of content by third parties including the provider, Mega enables users to store files via a highly secure connection and maintain control over them with an encryption key. With an open-source sync client and frequent vulnerability checks, further security is ensured. In terms of subscription models, a total of four options exist. Mega offers free cloud storage for up to 50 GB of space. Known for its clear user interface (UI) featuring the likes of drag-and-drop, the platform is pretty intuitive. It is also optimised for mobile via an app allowing for quick upload on the go.
3. Google Drive
Whether for personal or professional use, Google is already integrated into many G Suite and Android users’ ecosystems and is a go-to particularly for its versatility. Limited free storage space is offered and includes 15 GB but the provider’s own office suite is a favourite for storing documents, spreadsheets and more. Its mobile based Google Photos offering is also popular. Although the likes of drag-and-drop are available, Google Drive is not known for being particularly user friendly or secure.
Built around the iTunes file sharing ecosystem, iCloud is for those committed to using Apple across the board. Its accessibility across the provider’s platforms and ability to sync to other apps is one of the reasons it is so widely used. Despite just 5 GB of free storage, Apple’s paid for subscriptions can be competitive.
Providing an all-inclusive platform that covers a wide range of confidential business processes, a virtual data room is often the answer for storing high volumes of sensitive documents at high-speed in a vault-like platform. Aside from easy management of files, data rooms enable you to have full control over who can view or edit files and strengthens a business’ regulatory compliance. Many providers offer customised service and support too. If security is a major priority it will be difficult to find another platform on the market as secure as Drooms. Aside from the likes of built in end-to-end encryption measures, the German-made platform delivers high-speed document processing capabilities, as well as review and annotation possibilities for more comprehensive business needs. Both a desktop app and a browser version for on-the-go are available.
Finding your perfect business cloud storage solution
Every business can use the cloud to improve their bottom line. Generic storage options can help you get started but for a more complete and secure set-up, specialised services may be better suited.
Discover our virtual data room solution and try it for free for one month.