The way that individuals and businesses store their data has changed very rapidly over the past twenty years. Cloud services allow individuals or businesses to store their data online and access it anywhere they have an internet connection. Businesses used to store their data on the hard drives or memory cards found in their computers. If a computer was lost or damaged, all that data was gone! That said, there are a number of different ways you can back up your data. If you would like to learn more about these various options, you can read about backing up your personal data in this previous blog post.
In this post, we’ll be focusing on different cloud storage solutions. Cloud services are especially beneficial for business because they can save time by allowing for easier collaboration between employees working on the same file, project, etc. Personal cloud services are useful for the incredible accessibility they provide to individuals. Consequently, the cloud storage providers we will be discussing today have both personal and business plans.
- Dropbox Business: Dropbox is best utilized as cloud storage, it doesn’t allow users to collaborate on files in real time. Dropbox has a free plan that gives you a single user and 2 GB of storage. A single user Dropbox business plan starts at $20 a month and comes with 3 TB of storage. For those that need multiple users, Dropbox business has a team plan that comes with 5 TB of storage and will cost you $15 per user per month (with a minimum of 3 users). Dropbox has a tool called streaming file synchronization which allows files to be shared even if they aren’t completely uploaded to Dropbox. This feature can save time when one needs to share large files that take a long time to upload to the cloud.
- Microsoft OneDrive for Business: Similar to Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive offers a free cloud storage plan that provides one user with 5 GB of storage. Microsoft OneDrive for Business plans start at 1 TB per user for $5 per month. Microsoft OneDrive offers similar storage capabilities to many of the other cloud services on this list, but where it excels is the ability for real-time editing and collaboration on files. Finally, OneDrive for business works very well with Microsoft Exchange and the Office 365 Suite.
- Egnyte Business: Egnyte Business’s most basic plan begins at $10 per user per month and includes 1 TB of online storage, a 10 GB file size limit, and standard support. Businesses that regularly work with very large files (such as video production companies) might be best suited to consider a cloud service that doesn’t have a file size limit. Egnyte business creates a new version of a file each time changes are made. Users can choose how many previous versions of a file are saved before they’re deleted.
- Citrix Content Collaboration: Citrix is likely the ideal cloud storage solution for small businesses that handle massive amounts of data as even its most basic plan starts with unlimited storage. This base level plan runs $7 per user per month. Citrix makes it very easy for users to quickly and securely share large files with links that provide access to specific users.
These are just a few popular cloud storage solutions. If you’re searching for free cloud services, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive are your best choices because Egnyte and Citrix have rather limited free options. Let us know which of the services we discussed that seems most appealing to you (or if there are other services that you think are better).