Top Cloud storage services in 2016
Are you looking for a good cloud storage service? The concept of cloud computing and cloud storage has gained importance over the few years. Let us find the details of a few best cloud storage services in 2016 in the following paragraphs.
File transfers are the most important tasks that we ever indulge in while working with computers and laptops. Initially, we were using physical storage for saving our work. Floppy disks were the earliest ever kind of storage devices. They were later replaced by USB flash drives. Now the space has been taken over by the cloud based storage. With lower cost of storage coupled with a good demand has given rise to a plethora of such services, the basic question remains to choose the best among them. This article is an attempt at finding the best features among all the major cloud services.
Please note that the different cloud services differ in the way they perform under various parameters. The best one depends on what is your need of the hour. Some of them excel in security features, while a few others provide better storage options. Still others may have better file management tools. So, the choice of the best one will certainly depend on what you would wish to get.
Dropbox can suitably be described as the forefather of current age of cloud based services. It was the Dropbox that started the culture of cloud storage.
Though the free offer provides you a storage capacity of up to 2 GB, Dropbox provides better file management service if you opt for the subscription mode. The Pro versions lets you get unlimited storage and varied file management tools. The ability to save password protected files and the remote wipe of files on devices that have been stolen are some of the features you would get with a Pro version.
Dropbox has gained much popularity and stays to be the number one choice because of the ease with which you can configure it and the reliability that has become synonymous with Dropbox. It is accessible across multiple devices and platforms. You can use it on your Windows, Linux(Ubuntu. Fedora or any other custom build) and Mac, besides having apps on Android, iOS and BlackBerry.
Though it has just 2 GB storage when you sign up for the first time, it does offer you multiple chances of getting it increased. For instance, you can activate photo upload feature and gain 3 GB extra, or get 250 MB for every friend you refer signs up for the service. You may definitely end up with more storage than what you are getting initially. You can safely assume that you can easily get up to 15 GB of total storage capacity on Dropbox.
The only concern I could notice was that the web interface does not offer many options as far as file modifications are concerned. Mobile apps, however, are neatly done and come up with some great features.
Box was, in fact, the first entrant into the cloud storage space which came even before Dropbox, but somehow lost out to the competitor.
It works better than Dropbox. To begin with, it offers you a 10 GB storage with free account. That apart, it integrates well with a host of other services. You can have complete app integration with a huge list of apps right from Office 365 to Google's online office suite to Slack and many more.
The service is capable of storing any type of file. If Privacy is your main concern, then Box should be your prime choice for the simple reason that it offers you a great control over your privacy. You can specify who in your circle can edit and view the files you have stored on your Box. You can protect a file saved on Box with a password.
The overwhelmingly great features and a seamless integration with other apps may seem to be a little unsettling for a normal user who just wants to use the service for saving a couple of files. From that point of view, Box can be best suited for large businesses who need to have teams working in close association.
#3. Google Drive
The best part that works in favour of Google Drive is the integration it enjoys with other Google apps and services – like Google Apps for work, and Gmail.
The storage capacity available under free subscription is quite good by any standard. You get 15 GB of storage space that is shared between Gmail, Google Drive and any High Resolution photos you have shared on Google Photos(Please note that the regular mobile uploads to Photos will not be included in calculating your total shared drive).
You can access your files on the drive website. You may also download the app on Mac and Windows to be able to access your files easily. You can create and upload your files on the website app, or mobile app and they will sync almost instantly. You would be able to access your files anytime, anywhere.
The feature that most attracted me was the drag and drop feature. You just need to drag and drop a file into the Drive website and the files will be uploaded instantly into your Google Drive account. It is definitely a treat for those who would want a few office tools within their cloud storage service.
#4. One Drive
If you are not aware, One Drive is the cloud storage service from Microsoft. If you have used Windows 8 or Windows 10, you must be familiar with One Drive – which was formerly known as Sky Drive.
One Drive has Desk top apps for Mac and Windows. You also will get mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. You can save any kind of files to One Drive. They can be accessed on any of your devices through the supported apps.
The Mobile apps – all three versions - have automatic photo upload feature built in. The strength of the service remains to be the closer integration with Microsoft Office apps like Word and Excel. If you have Office 365 subscription, you can check a file on One Drive and have a discussion in real time with your team.
The service syncs and works seamlessly with Windows devices. It also lets you edit files that have been created using other Microsoft apps like Word and Excel. However, starting early 2016, Microsoft has changed the guidelines thereby limiting the free storage to just 5 GB. That may not be a good option if you compare it with the competing devices.
#5. Apple iCloud
iCloud is the cloud storage service from Apple. But, I must say it is not practically worth using the free version. That is because Apple provides you a storage space of just 5 GB. It is not enough even to keep your own iPhone safer by backing up all your phone data to iCloud.
The subscription charges are not much heavy though. The prices have been reduced in the last couple of months ago. You will need to pay around $1 a month for a 50 GB of storage space. A 1 TB of storage would cost you around $ 10 per month.
iCloud is not limited to Apple services alone. It does work with any web browser. The service works with an well integrated with Apple ecosystem. It does work seamlessly with Apple's online apps.
#6. Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon, the world's largest E Commerce site has recently launched its own cloud service - Amazon Cloud Drive. They have introduced new plans in 2015.
Amazon now offers two modes of cloud services. One for photos and the other one for all other kind of files. Nothing is free though. There is a free trial extending up to three months, but if you want to extend it further, you will not be able to do so for free.
The Photos storage is unlimited for Amazon Prime members. You can also opt for unlimited storage for free if you have a Amazon Fire device. You will get 5 GB of storage for other files apart from photos.
If you do not have either of them, you will need to opt for a subscription fee of $ 12 per month for the unlimited photo storage. There is also an Unlimited Everything option wherein you will get storage for almost any kind of storage of any kind of file for $ 60 per year.
Amazon Cloud has apps for Android and iOS. There are desktop apps for Mac and Windows. But, you will not be able to view the folder from a folder on your computer. You will need to log in to your account through the Amazon Cloud Drive.
The winding up
That was the list of most used and popular cloud storage services in 2016. However, it cannot be stated to be an exhaustive list when it comes an effective list of best cloud storage apps. There are many other options like SugarSync and SpaceMonkey. I would wish to witness the experiences shared by our valuable readers. If you feel you have any other services of this nature, you are welcome to share your views here.