When you need to access your documents quickly, but you don’t always have your desktop handy, cloud storage is a quick and convenient option. There are more than enough storage services available, and while they might look similar, not every choice is the same.
When it comes to specs, pricing, and storage capacity, our team has already done the hard work and compared the storage services for you to find the best one for your needs.
Although other cloud backup companies may offer unlimited storage as a major perk, iDrive has still consistently outperformed them in critical and user reviews, offering competitive pricing for its plans, and a wealth of exciting features. With 5GB for free, and just over $50 for two terabytes of storage on unlimited devices, its personal and business storage options are impressive.
iDrive supports multiple device backup on any numbers of Windows PCs, MacOS systems, iOS and Android smart devices, tablets, and more, all linked to a single account. You can backup entire disk images, backup your most important files and folders to external drives as well as the cloud, and access your entire backup through a web browser, desktop client, or mobile app.
For those who like to take their backup in hand, there are options for the types of files you want to store, how often they’re backed up, and there’s even the option to secure your files with a private encryption key if you want.
Concerned about download or upload rates? iDrive will send you a hard drive to make sending them your data faster, or send one out to you with your data on it, to give you a faster restore process.
Dropbox’s service is fully-featured and easy to use. Even though a number of services offer more initial free space — Google Drive, Mega, iCloud, and others outweigh Dropbox’s 2GB — many customers seem to find Dropbox’s referral rewards system irresistible (up to 32GB free space total for Professional and Plus accounts).
Plus accounts start at $10/month on annual subscriptions (or $12/month when billed monthly) for 2TB, and DropBox also offers professional plans with more features for more money. Mobile support includes Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows 10 Mobile, and Kindle Fire.
Dropbox boasts excellent sharing abilities. Invite someone to share a particular Dropbox folder with you and that folder will appear right on their desktop. You can also send a link to an individual document or image. In addition, folders full of images can be viewed as a gallery, making Dropbox a viable photo-sharing alternative to Imgur and Flickr.
Google Drive is great for anyone who prefers Google’s ecosystem. The web giant thrives on integration with Google’s other services as part of its Google One platform, including the likes of Gmail and Google Docs. It offers 15GB of Google Drive space for files, Gmail, and Google Photos entirely for free, with incredibly affordable options for expanded storage. 100GB is just $2 a month, with 200GB at $3. $10 a month will get you a terabyte, and $100 10 terabytes, with up to 30 TB available for the biggest storage users.
Google Drive is heavily integrated into the Chrome OS and Android environments, offering expansive storage for devices with limited local storage. Paid customers can also enjoy in-depth support for all Google Services under the Google One program, with phone, chat, and email options.
Signing up is as simple as logging in with a Gmail address and password. From there, Google Drive appears right in your Google toolbar, just a click away from your email inbox. You can drag-and-drop files straight into your browser, or download the desktop client to have access to Google Drive as a folder, just like with Dropbox.
Google Drive’s standout features are its sharing and collaboration tools. Thanks to integration with Gmail and other Google services, you can share files with a click, with or without requiring a password. When you work with partners on the same word file, spreadsheet, or presentation, either separately or right at the same time, Google Drive marks the contributions of each person with different colored labels to make clear what has changed.
OneDrive has undergone some significant updates over the last few years, and now serves as a strong foundation for Microsoft’s overall productivity solutions. It’s not so much that Microsoft OneDrive does one thing better than other cloud storage systems, but it is well rounded and it’s well integrated with the Xbox and Windows 10 platforms.
If you don’t have a pressing reason to choose another service, then it’s hard to go wrong with OneDrive. Furthermore, if you’ve bought into Microsoft’s Windows 10 ecosystem, then OneDrive is one of the best solutions for you. It touts a decent amount of free space (5GB), along with inexpensive upgrades and the ability to get 1TB of storage with an Office 365 subscription. Microsoft’s cross-platform strategy means that mobile support is very strong, including Android, iPhone, and iPad.
You can also post photos directly from OneDrive to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social-networking sites, which can save time for busy social network users. The service also offers built-in remote access capabilities. From the OneDrive.com website, you can get access to any PC associated with your account that has the OneDrive client installed, even files not already uploaded to OneDrive.
OneDrive is one of the only services to integrate with free Office Web Apps, allowing you to work collaboratively on projects, much like in Google Docs. However, the Office Web Apps have the advantage of opening Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents seamlessly, avoiding any formatting kerfuffles. OneDrive maintains the 25 most recent versions of every file, so if a partner makes a change you don’t like, you can easily revert to an earlier version.
Apple’s cloud storage service doesn’t make waves on paper, but it’s great if you use iTunes as your central media hub. iCloud provides 5GB of free storage, while upgrading to 50 GB will cost $1/month, 200GB for $3/month, and 2TB for $10/month. Items downloaded from iTunes won’t count against your storage limit, but note that iOS devices use iCloud for backup, and that alone can quickly use up storage allotments.
iCloud also acts as a media sharing hub that works closely with Apple’s cloud-based productivity suite, iWork. Along with a word processor, the interface on iCloud is a little more intuitive and user-friendly than Google Docs. Even with what it does offer, Apple still can’t match how universal Google accounts are or the price tag that comes with them.
Box is an all-around solid service that offers a compelling alternative to users who are wary of placing ever-increasing amounts of information in the control of Google, Apple, or Microsoft. Mobile support for all accounts includes Android, iPhone, and iPad.
Free accounts start at 10GB, and Starter accounts provide 100GB of storage for $10/month. There are also business plans that offer more storage and capabilities, such as version history, password-protected sharing, and search abilities. Fortunately, you can always share files or folders with other people, even if you’re just using a free account. Box also integrates the ability to add comments and assign tasks for easy collaboration and workflow management.