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With so many Cloud Storage services to choose from, we enlist for you some handpicked Cloud storage services. It is not an in-depth analysis but rather a brief overview of the product, so you can more easily shortlist one or more services as it suits your needs. Let’s get right down to the list.
1. Google Drive
Google Drive is the most common cloud storage service that probably every Google user is now aware of. It offers 15GB of storage space for a free user. If you need more space, you can also upgrade to 100 GB for $4.99/month and 200 GB for $9.99/month with 6 more different plans. Google Drive’s USP is the integration with Google Docs, which allows you to create Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentation, Forms and Drawing right there. The documents can be kept private or public or can be shared with specific people. Due to Google Docs integration, the document editing is hassle-free, there is no need to download to edit a file. Google Drive application is available to download for Desktop as well as Mobile Operating Systems.
SkyDrive by Microsoft may not be as well-known as Google Docs, but is certainly as good. It offers 7GB of storage, with upgrade options. Allows you to create, edit and save Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote files then and there. At the time of writing this post, Microsoft is offering 200 GB of SkyDrive for two years, free, with Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2. Similar to Google Drive, SkyDrive also has an application available for Desktop and Mobile Operating Systems.
3. Apple iCloud
iCloud gives you 5GB of free storage besides its premium plans. And recently Apple made its office suite Pages, Numbers and Keynote free, so you can now also use your iCloud for creating, editing documents on the go. However, it goes without saying that having at least one iOS device, you can take benefits or many other iCloud features like Contact book, Calendars and Reminders, and iCloud email service.
“Tresor” in German means Vault. Tresorit’s USP lays in the fact that it one of the few Cloud Storage services which offers high-end security. It provides client-end encryption. The encryption on the data is performed before the content gets uploaded to its cloud. You can share the encrypted content so as to save it from the prying eyes. Tresorit also had a hacking contest early this year, offering $10,000 to anyone able to break the encryption and gain access to their servers. As of Aug 2013, they are yet to be successfully hacked.
Box, unlike other online storage provider targets the Business and Enterprise level users just as seriously as the casual ones. Box is, as of today, one of the widely used services in cloud storage. For free users, it offers 10GB storage. Box also has an application for Windows 8 OS and Windows phone 8, besides supporting the other major mobile operating systems.
Dropbox is probably everyone’s favorite Cloud storage provider as of today. You will find many of your friends using it. Although it only offers 2Gb space at sign-up, using Dropbox’s referral program you can increase that upto 18GB, with 500MB for each referral. It also offers high-end security. Its application for Desktop and Mobile are equally easy to use. It makes sure your data is always in sync no matter what device you use.
MediaFire is a surprisingly good cloud storage option. It offers 10GB of space, allows you to create Word, Excel and Pdf documents. You can earn more space by different methods such as, upto 32GB by referring your friends, 2GB each if you install the Desktop and Mobile app, 1GB each if you connect your Facebook and Twitter and another 1GB each if you post on Facebook and Twitter.
However, with MediaFire you can only upload a file as large as 200mb if you are a free user. While downloading, you can only download individual files and not the entire folder if you are a free user. Also, the free plan displays ads. On the plus side, All the data transfers are SSL encrypted like Google Drive and Skydrive, sharing data is very easy. In 2008, PCMag named MediaFire as Top 100 Undiscovered websites and Top Website of 2008.
SpiderOaks is very different from the usual cloud storage services. It provides 2GB on sign-up which can be upgraded to 10GB via referrals. Security wise, SpiderOaks has a feature known as “Zero Knowledge”, if you are using SpiderOaks only through its desktop application, wherein you are the only person to whom your data is readable. For encryption, SpiderOaks uses a combination of 2048-bit RSA and 256-bit AES.
With SpiderOaks, you cannot risk losing your password. If you are logged in to its desktop application, you can still change it from there, but if that option isn’t available either, you may have to open a new account entirely, as there is no way to retrieve or rest the password. MacLife had rated SpiderOaks as “Awesome” back in 2009.
Syncplicity was a very promising cloud storage provider when it started out few years ago, so much so that it caught EMC’s eye, who acquired Syncplicity in 2009. As of today, although they mainly target Business and Enterprise users, they still have a freemium plan where it offers 2GB on sign up. Syncplicity provides Military-grade encryption and security to all users, even free plan users. Its desktop application is available for Windows and Mac, Mobile applications available on Apple devices, Android and Windows. Syncplicity is a very good option if you only require it for storing your documents.
Cubby is a product by LogMeIn Inc., which is a popular software known for remote connectivity service. Cubby offers 5GB on sign, upto 25GB via referrals. Cubby too emphasis on its security features, it provides client-side encryption, it uses 256-bit AES encryption. Cubby provides DirectSync feature wherein you can sync data securely between different computers without ever storing it on its cloud service. Cubby Locks is another feature which you can use to add an additional layer of security for documents containing sensitive information.
Like all the other cloud storage services, Cubby too allows you to share your data with others, you can keep it private or public or limited to some users. Its desktop application is available for Windows and Mac, and mobile application for iOS and Android. Cubby is one feature rich option, with an equally rich and clean UI.
Copy is another product by Barracuda Networks, who is mainly known for its Security, Backup and Network based products. They announced Copy recently in March this year. Copy offers 15Gb of cloud storage on sign up. You can upload larger files too, there is not size limit. Copy also provides 256-bit AES encryption; other security features include secure sharing, source validation, and identity verification.
Although it initially offers 15GB, you can refer a friend to earn more cloud storage space. Interesting part being, unlike other services, Copy gives you 5GB for each friend you refer and as of now they haven’t listed any limit on the number of friends you can refer or the amount of space you can keep earning. Considering the company’s reputation and the kind of products they make, Copy looks like an amazing option if a large cloud storage space is what you are looking for.
Bitcasa was a TechCrunch Disrupt finalist in 2011, following which the product was launched for public. Bitcasa offers 10GB space on sign up. The premium plan which costs $10 a month or $99 for a year provides “Infinite Storage”. Bitcasa supports Windows, Mac and Ubuntu on desktop, iOS and Android applications on mobile.
Although all these service providers are equally good in their own right, it eventually falls down to your needs. If you need document creating and editing on the go, you can choose from SkyDrive, Google Drive or Apple iCloud. Similarly, if it is simply storage space you want, there are numerous options like Copy, Box, MediaFire. If you deal with sensitive data and require a security driven cloud storage, you can choose from SpiderOaks, Tresorit, Syncplicity, etc. Please not that offers/plans and pricing of the services are subject to change from time to time. Please note that the features and costs of the services are subject to change from time to time. Kindly visit their official website to check the latest feature upgrade or cost update.
Photo Credit – Tani12/Wikimedia Commons