Cloud Storage Systems

Best Cloud Storage Systems include:

Google Drive, Dropbox Business, OneDrive, Dropbox, Apple iCloud, and Box.

Cloud Storage Systems TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Cloud Storage Systems Overview

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage lets users store and sync their data to an online server.


Because they are stored in the cloud rather than on a local drive, files are available on various devices. This allows a person to access files from multiple computers, as well as mobile devices to view, edit, and comment on files. It replaces workarounds like emailing yourself documents. Cloud storage can also act as a backup system for your hard drive.


Cloud storage systems support a variety of file types. Supported files typically include:

  • Text documents

  • Pictures

  • Videos

  • Audio files

The most user-friendly cloud storage systems integrate with other applications for easy edits, playback, and sharing.

Cloud storage is used by individuals to manage personal files, as well as by businesses for file sharing and backup. Some feature sets are very important to businesses but may not be relevant to individuals. Admin and security features, for example, are designed for corporate enterprises where data security and availability are concerns for files stored in the cloud.

Cloud Storage Features & Capabilities

File Management

These features are core to every cloud storage platform. Typically, file management capabilities include:

  • A search function to easily find files and search within files

  • Device syncing to update files connected to the cloud across devices

  • A web interface, with no install required

  • Support for multiple file types

Collaboration

Most cloud storage systems also feature collaboration functionality. Not all tools will have the same level of tracking and control. Collaboration features may include:

  • Notifications when files are changed by others

  • File sharing, with the ability to set editing and view-only permissions

  • Simultaneous editing

  • Change tracking and versioning

Security & Administration

Security and administration features are important considerations for enterprises. Security is particularly important for storing sensitive, private data in the cloud.

Cloud storage systems offer different levels of security to address concerns. For example, Google Cloud Storage lets users set up two-step verification. CertainSafe is HIPAA compliant. Code42 lets users backup files in the cloud and on another machine. This is so that they are safe and available should something happen to the user’s local drive, even without internet access.

Products like Box and SpiderOak support password protected files. Consumer-friendly systems like Dropbox and Google Drive do not.

In addition to protection from outside access, users should consider the system’s security policy. Microsoft reserves the right to scan OneDrive user files. Google states it will not access user files on Google Drive unless prompted by law enforcement.

Possible security and administration features include:

  • Single sign-on with Active Directory/SAML based identity software

  • Two-step verification for added security

  • End-user encryption (for integrations)

  • User and role management

  • Control over file access, sharing and editing permissions

  • Storage limits for individual users or groups

  • Choosing where files will be stored, individual users’ storage management

  • Device management, restricting access to certain devices

File Sharing

File sharing is one of the most common uses for cloud storage. Most cloud storage software offers a mechanism to let users share files. The level of access, versioning, and change tracking varies by product.


Some cloud storage systems put a cap on file upload size. This is important for anyone looking to upload and share files larger than 2GB.


File sharing is executed in a few different ways:

  • Making users co-owners of files

  • Sending files to users

  • Emailing users a link to the file in the cloud

Cloud storage systems that prioritize availability and make file sharing easy often aren’t as strong on security. The reverse is true as well.

Cloud Storage Platform Comparison

The platform’s performance, reliability, and integrations are all important considerations for any business use case. Some enterprise cloud storage platforms monitor user activity and storage and offer reporting capabilities for platform administrators. International businesses can also find multilingual and multi-currency capabilities on some platforms. To more easily compare Cloud Storage Systems look for tools that accomplish the following:

Security: Don’t take security for granted with cloud storage software, and only store your data with reputable cloud storage providers (who have rock solid reviews, for example). Features you shouldn’t settle on including advanced firewall protection, data encryption, event logging, and threat detection. You also want to make sure that the cloud storage provider you work with provides details into how they manage their data centers and keep them secure.


Backup & Recovery: While it’s definitely important to keep your data safe from cyberattacks, 90% of data breaches are caused by employee error. Some cloud storage systems like Dropbox, for example, offer backup and recovery features for accidentally deleted files. Tools such as file recovery, version history, deletion confirmations, and automated backups are great options that should be on your shortlist of capabilities when looking for a cloud storage system.

Storage Limits: While many cloud storage systems have free storage options, there are caps on the amount of storage you can use for free. Free storage options can range from 5GB to 15GB depending on the cloud storage provider, and the types of files you’re storing. If you’re managing the storage of severan users, free options will not provide a high enough storage capacity. However, if each user manages their own cloud storage account, free options can be viable for professional use.

Start a Cloud Storage Systems comparison


Cloud Storage Pricing Information

Free Cloud Storage

Many cloud storage systems offer some amount of storage space for free. For example, DropBox offers 2GB of free storage, and Google Drive offers 15GB. Sometimes systems have a hard limit on free storage. Other systems, like Microsoft OneDrive, incentivize more storage with referral programs.


Free accounts do not usually include all the features available to paid customers. Cloud storage vendors with advanced security features do not usually have free accounts.

Paid Cloud Storage

For users who need to move beyond free options, pricing for cloud storage software is typically per user, per month. Plans usually have a fixed storage capacity, with prices increasing for more storage and/or added features. Users can find paid cloud storage options with monthly costs as low as $10 for 1TB of storage.

More Resources

Cloud Storage Products

(1-25 of 62) Sorted by Most Reviews

Google Drive
3,818 ratings
130 reviews
Top Rated
Google Drive is a cloud file storage, synchronization, and collaboration platform and service, that features Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for document editing and presentation.
Druva inSync
200 ratings
126 reviews
Top Rated
TRUE
Workforce mobility and the rise of cloud services is an essential part of any business, but it creates a number of challenges for IT. Data spread across devices and cloud services, unpredictable schedules, and varied network connections all complicate efforts to protect and govern enterprise informa…
OneDrive
571 ratings
96 reviews
Top Rated
OneDrive from Microsoft is a cloud storage and file syncing service.
Dropbox Business
567 ratings
94 reviews
Top Rated
Dropbox Business expands on the company's cloud storage service by providing additional features, such as lost file recovery for an extended period, integration with popular office suites (e.g. Office 365), the Dropbox Paper collaboration extension, two-factor authentication (2FA) and single sign-on…
Evernote
1,427 ratings
83 reviews
Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagg…
Dropbox
1,724 ratings
80 reviews
Top Rated
Dropbox is a service for file syncing and sharing, or for cloud storage.
Box
451 ratings
74 reviews
Top Rated
Box is an online file-sharing, storage and collaboration service provider that caters to individual users as well as businesses.
Apple iCloud
436 ratings
70 reviews
Top Rated
Apple iCloud is a document management software offering from Apple. It includes features such as access to music, photos, calendars, contacts, and documents, and it is built into every new iOS device.
IBM Cloud Object Storage
195 ratings
68 reviews
Top Rated
TRUE
IBM Cloud Object Storage is an IBM Cloud product in the endpoint backup and IaaS categories. It is commonly used for data archiving and backup, for web and mobile applications, and as scalable, persistent storage for analytics.
Microsoft 365 Business
848 ratings
67 reviews
Top Rated
An integrated solution, designed for your small or medium-sized businesses, bringing together the best-in-class productivity of Office 365 with advanced security capabilities to help safeguard your data from external threats and help protect against data leaks. With Microsoft 365 Business, you can e…
OneNote
614 ratings
58 reviews
Microsoft's OneNote is a digital note-taking app, supporting photos, annotating, web page clipping, emailing, and synchronizing notes across devices.
Citrix ShareFile
123 ratings
55 reviews
ShareFile is a cloud-based file sharing and storage service built for business. The product was acquired by Citrix Systems in 2011.
Vembu BDR Suite
58 ratings
32 reviews
Top Rated
Vembu BDR Suite is a universal backup solution catering to the backup, recovery, and disaster recovery needs of diverse IT environments. It is also optimized for service providers who deliver BaaS and DRaaS to their customers.
Egnyte
55 ratings
30 reviews
Egnyte provides a cloud computing infrastructure product for online file storage, file sharing and computer backup for small, medium, and large business enterprises.
Amazon Drive
148 ratings
23 reviews
Amazon Drive allows users to aggregate all of their digital content, including photos and videos, in one place. The Cloud Drive is build in to Amazon devices. Users have secure access from any computer, or via their free mobile apps. Amazon Drive offers a free 3-month trial, and pricing packages bas…
ownCloud
31 ratings
13 reviews
ownCloud is a self-hosted open source file syncing and sharing option, from the Boston-based company of the same name.
IBM Aspera on Cloud
22 ratings
11 reviews
IBM Aspera® on Cloud is a hosted service designed to allow users to quickly and reliably send and share files and data sets of any size and type across a hybrid cloud environment — according the vendor, up to hundreds of times faster than FTP and HTTP. Collaborate with internal and external users …
SugarSync
26 ratings
9 reviews
SugarSync is a cloud storage and backup solution designed for small businesses.
WeTransfer
19 ratings
9 reviews
WeTransfer in the Netherlands offers a large file transfer service which includes up to 20 GB transfer with its Pro service, as well as 100 GB of cloud storage.
MediaFire
23 ratings
8 reviews
MediaFire is a simple file sharing and storage platform. It allows users to store, share, and view media files within the MediaFire online, desktop, or mobile app interface. The vendor says MediaFire's file storage system is private and secure. In terms of collaboration, users can invite friends t…
Acronis Cyber Backup Cloud
31 ratings
8 reviews
Acronis Backup Cloud is a Backup-as-a-Service solution for Service Providers.
IDrive
14 ratings
6 reviews
IDrive is a cloud storage and online backup solution. They offer a Basic 5GB plan for free, a Personal plan with 1TB for $44.62/yr, or a Business plan with 250 GB for $74.62/yr. IDrive Business allows users to create multiple sub-accounts within their storage space, sync files to computers and mob…
eFileCabinet
10 ratings
5 reviews
eFileCabinet aims to help businesses reduce their dependency on paper and enable them to manage all files and paperwork electronically. The vendor says they help their customers set up document management systems that are fully compliant with all FINRA, HIPAA, SEC and NASD regulations. The vendor’s …
Cubby (Discontinued)
16 ratings
3 reviews
Cubby was a file sync, file sharing, and cloud storage offering from LogMeIn, Inc. It was discontinued in 2016.
Azure Backup
8 ratings
3 reviews
Microsoft's Azure Backup is a cloud backup service.