We live in an increasingly virtual world. More and more companies offer telecommuting and almost everything is shared over the Internet. So it is worth having a backup copy of important files. Even though physical storage is cheap (the best microSD cards cost about 11 cents per gigabyte), a good and reliable cloud storage option is a necessity.
There are many great options for cloud storage, and here are the ones that are worth a look.
1. Onedrive: Best for Windows
Modern Windows PCs automatically back up your files to Microsoft OneDrive until you've used up the 5 GB of free storage space. If you need more storage, consider one of the paid OneDrive subscriptions. Onedrive is a versatile cloud storage solution for personal and business purposes.
Since OneDrive functionality is built into Windows computers, it's a breeze to choose which files and folders you want the system to automatically store in the cloud. Its drag-and-drop storage functionality is easy to use, and its integration with Windows and the Microsoft 365 apps makes it a great choice for anyone using Microsoft apps either alone or in collaboration with others.
The cheapest personal subscription offers 100 GB for $19.99 per year, which is cheaper than Google's 100 GB offering. However, larger amounts of storage require the purchase of bundles that include Microsoft 365 apps. Whether this is a good deal depends on whether you want to use Microsoft 365.
2. Icedrive: A contender for all purposes
Icedrive is an interesting service. There's not much to knock it for, but nothing it does sets it apart from the competition. It has competitive prices, but is beaten by its competition at higher levels. It has fast servers, but not as fast as Google's. It has good backup options, but they are not as robust as Sync's. It has end-to-end encryption, but only for one folder. It would be a great choice for the best all-around service, except pCloud beats it for that title.
Icedrive works with all mobile and desktop operating systems and generally avoids the major drawbacks that its competitors have. Think IceDrive when looking for a new cloud storage service.
3. Google Drive: best for speed
If you are anchored in the Google ecosystem, you already have Google Drive. The only question is whether you are making the most of it. Android device and Chromebook owners will find that it integrates seamlessly with the Google Workplace suite, making opening documents and spreadsheets from the web interface a breeze.
Finding a file is easy thanks to the full-featured search function, and the cloud sync feature automatically backs up the folders you select. It offers some robust options for file sharing and document collaboration. The service also uses Google's high-speed data centers and offers the fastest cloud storage service available.
Google Drive has some disadvantages. Unlike other cloud storage solutions, Google Drive does not offer end-to-end encryption. It's also more frustrating to use on iOS devices than other solutions.
Google Drive offers 15 GB of free storage. You can also pay $1.99 per month for 100 GB of storage, $2.99 per month for 200 GB, and $9.99 for 2 TB.
4. Pcloud: Best all-round service
Although it may not have the recognition value of the other cloud storage services on this list, pCloud is recommended by many who are familiar with the wider range of cloud storage options available. There are four main reasons for this:
- Pcloud offers client-side encryption (which many of its competitors do not).
- Pcloud can act as a hosting service for HTML sites (which is not the case with many of its competitors).
- Syncing, backup, and file sharing options are comparable to the competition.
- The individual and family plans offer lifetime subscriptions for one-time payments.
However, the services aren't as fast as Google Drive, and if you're looking for seamless functionality with Office apps, you're better off looking at Microsoft or Google. In addition, the service offers client-side encryption, but is not free of charge. It requires a one-time payment of $150 (or $50 annually) to activate its encryption capabilities.
Pcloud also has a reputation for zealously enforcing its terms of service, and it shuts down accounts that violate them without warning. While the consensus is that the company usually does this to combat piracy, this is a factor to consider when thinking about where to store your files.
5. Terabox: The most free cloud storage
Assuming you are not looking for technical features for cloud storage. You don't care if you have the fastest servers, the best privacy, or the best compatibility with your favorite apps. Let's say you have a lot of files and you want to store them in one place for free.
Terabox will do this. It offers a full terabyte of free storage, blowing its competition out of the water. It also has decent smart search and video playback options.