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Which Cloud Storage should you use?

, May 30, 2013, 1 Comments

cloud-storageFrom paper folders to pen drives, file storage and safety has always been the source of most issues arising in your computing devices. If your hard drive crashed last week, you lost your pen drive in the swimming pool. One after the other, you are constantly having to worry about storing a file and ensuring its safety. Enter Clouds.

Cloud storage, like the name suggests, is a service that lets you store your data in a remote storage network and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.  Today, we have a plethora of companies that make it possible to store, edit and access your data across devices like your phones, tablets and computers in any corner of the world.

Which Cloud Storage should you use?

Cloud Storage could have an impact on people’s lives in different ways and it is really hard to pinpoint a specific cloud storage brand as the best one available. A person who  is in need of accessing files round the clock from various places may have a different need than someone who wants to use cloud storage for their music playlists and videos.

There are plenty of cloud storage companies available today. Figuring out your cloud storage needs by answering questions like “How much space would you need?”, “Do I need to access files from different locations?”, “Do I need more than the free storage space given?” and so on may help you know exactly what you need.

Dropbox
Dropbox is one of the first cloud storage services that makes file storage and transfer a breeze. Its versatile functions such as mobile support across most platforms like Android, Blackberry, iPad etc. make it a favorite among many users. Add to this, the company’s social integration with sites like Facebook makes sharing photos even better.

What I like: promotions and referrals get you up to 18GB of extra space, app integration, sharing is as easy as sending emails.

What I don’t like: The 2GB free space given considering its nearest competitors offers a better deal.

Google Drive
A Gmail favorite, this cloud storage gives you nearly 5GB of free space besides the 10GB space already given on GMail. Like Dropbox, the Google Drive can be accessed on Android, iPhone and iPad besides being able to access it on a Mac or a PC. There is no individual sign up for Google Drive. Your Gmail id acts as your login and password for accessing the Google Drive. An added advantage is the option to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations with Google Drive and converting them to MS Office files.

What I like: Create basic documents, spreadsheets with Google Drive which negates ever having MS Office on my computer. Integration within Google makes this the perfect tool and cloud storage for Google Users. Search web and Drive from the same place makes it even more fun working with Google Drive.

What I don’t like: Can be restrictive in viewing entire documents created using any of Office products and is the only service that lets you integrate Gmail with Google docs.

SkyDrive
SkyDrive offers some of the largest free cloud storage spaces on the web today. It comes with 7GB of free space on signing up with Outlook or Skydrive. It comes with a neat social integration that allows you to post pictures directly to Twitter, Facebook and many other networking sites making it far more efficient to use than most cloud storages. One of the biggest features that sets it apart is its remote access capability. Simply put, it allows you to access files (even those that are not stored on Skydrive) from any computer tied to your account already installed with a Skydrive app.

What I like: Remote access, collaborating OneNote notebooks made easy with Skydrive and accessing Office Web apps which allows me to create and edit documents.

What I don’t like: Only service that integrates with Office web apps. Also one of the few services available to sync on Windows phones.

iCloud
If you’re like me, you are probably irritated with your iCloud screaming at you for running out of storage. iCloud offers 5GB of free storage and the ability to sync between devices is like magic that comes with a price of $10 a year for 15GB of extra storage. For most Apple users, this is like being asked to store on a CD today. With many homes boasting most of Apple’s devices, syncing with all your devices and maintaining the 5GB of free space can be the most difficult and annoying things to go through. Nevertheless, the sync option is still a great feature.

What I like: Sync with all Apple devices using a single account

What I don’t like: The free space considering most iPhone or iPad users own one more Apple devices besides the iPhone or the iPad.

Sugar sync
The biggest selling point for cloud storage SugarSync is its visually attractive user interface that makes file sharing and syncing rich to work with. It has surpassed its nearest competitor Dropbox in UI alone besides providing full accessibility within the app. Its cloud storage rates are comparatively inexpensive and is now fast becoming a top-of-mind recall for app integration of most companies.

What I like: User interface, only other service to sync on Windows 8.

What I don’t like: slower upload speeds compared to Dropbox, app integration

Space Monkey
For users with large storage needs, using other services like Dropbox or SugarSync won’t cut it and you are probably already aware of it. The space Monkey’s business model is cloud storage with a twist. It offers you 1TB of data without having to worry about slow upload/download speeds by letting you store data directly on a small device which in turn is connected to a large storage network comprising of other Space Monkey users as well making data transfer and storage for more efficient and user friendly. All of this is available for $10 a month and can be accessed even if you accidentally damage the device.

What I like: Best cloud storage that offers a feasible package. Great for small – large businesses.

What I don’t like: No free storage.

Of the above, which one would you pick for your cloud storage needs? Leave your comment below. We’d love to know.






About author
Divya Ramamoorthy is a graduate from Madras university and a post-graduate (MBA) from Jain Group of Institutions- Bangalore, India, based in San Francisco Bay Area, United States. Divya area of expertise revolves around creating careers, identifying talents, recruiting and assisting people . she is also currently enrolled in a certificate program in human resources with the University of California, Santa Cruz. ...more ...more