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


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.

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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

Nasuni Cloud Storage
5 ratings
2 reviews
Nasuni Cloud Storage is an online storage solution.
Verizon Cloud
8 ratings
2 reviews
The Verizon Cloud is a cloud storage solution, integrating technologies from CloudSwitch (acquired in 2011).
Axcient Anchor (formerly from eFolder)
2 ratings
1 reviews
Axcient Anchor allows businesses to maintain an on-premise file server for performance and reliability, while also accessing the same files in the cloud. Axcient Anchor continuously backs up all your files for any point-in-time restore, in the case of accidental deletion or malware.
1 ratings
1 reviews
vBoxxCloud is a business solution for managing company files.The extensive online dashboard allows users to see who has access to which folders. Users can see who is connected with their Cloud and can even remove specific folders on systems or devices by adjusting the rights online. Users can also s…
1 ratings
1 reviews
Get work done faster in one place. Workrooms® is the Collaboration tool combining the world of Project & Task Management with a full-fledged enterprise level cloud storage including file annotations, meta-information, preview, review & approval. Workrooms® is best used by teams of 5 or more…
3 ratings
1 reviews
StorSimple was acquired by Microsoft in 2012. The StorSimple storage gateway appliance is now a part of Microsoft's Azure StorSimple Hybrid Cloud Storage solution.
4 ratings
1 reviews
ADrive is a web storage vendor offering 50GB of storage for free, with the only bandwidth limitations being in the size of the files you can upload. This free version of the product is supplemented with ads. The paid versions of the product do not have ads.
Barracuda Copy (Discontinued)
13 ratings
1 reviews
Copy and CudaDrive were Barracuda Networks' cloud storage solutions. Barracuda ended the services in 2016, and they are no longer offered.
Axway AMPLIFY Syncplicity
7 ratings
1 reviews
Axway AMPLIFY Syncplicity is a cloud storage, file sync and sharing platform offered by Axway.
1 ratings
1 reviews
Filecamp is a cloud-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution with unlimited users. According to the vendor, with Filecamp users can showcase and share files with clients or with other parts of the organization. Customers can have their own custom branding and password protection if required. Us…
5 ratings
1 reviews
SmartVault is a file syncing and sharing option from the Houston based company of the same name.
NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP
2 ratings
1 reviews
NetApp's Cloud Volumes ONTAP combines data control with enterprise-class storage features for various use cases, including file shares and block-level storage serving NAS and SAN protocols (NFS, SMB / CIFS, and iSCSI), Disaster Recovery (DR), Backup and Archive, DevOps, Databases (SQL, Oracle, NoSQL…
3 ratings
1 reviews
SpiderOak is a file sync and cloud storage / backup solution, emphasizing privacy.
5 ratings
1 reviews
pCloud is a cloud- based digital asset management platform that provides access to all digital content including images,video, audio, documents, and more, anytime, anywhere, on any device. Users can keep important files safe and centralized in one place, and share with team members, clients, etc. ac…
2 ratings
1 reviews
Tresorit offers end-to-end encrypted file sync & sharing. The vendor promises an ultra-secure place in the cloud to store, sync and share files easily from anywhere, anytime. The vendor says Tresorit is powered by end-to-end encryption and enhanced with a flexible permission system, therefore it…
Blackberry Workspaces (formerly Watchdox)
2 ratings
1 reviews
Blackberry Workspaces (formerly Watchdox, a product acquired by Blackberry in May 2015) is an enterprise grade cloud storage, file sync and share option.
EMC CloudArray
EMC CloudArray is an enterprise cloud storage option, based on technology acquired with TwinStrata (2014).
Acronis Files Advanced (formerly Acronis Access Advanced)
Acronis Files Advanced (formerly Acronis Access Advanced) is an on-premise enterprise file sync and sharing solution for mobile, Mac and Windows that helps enterprises break down barriers between people, information, privacy and security.
Israeli company CTERA offers Drive, a cloud storage, collaboration and file sync solution.
Nomadesk is a business file sharing and synchronization platform. It allows employees at enterprises to access secure data remotely, while complying with corporate IT requirements. Nomadesk file security features are a main differentiator from free cloud storage solutions. Security features includ…
BluSync is an enteprise grade cloud storage and file sync & share option from Parablu headquartered in Burlingame, California.
fileplan is simple document management in the cloud that enables consistent, planned filing with document control and collaboration. The vendor (Radix Software) says fileplan helps teams apply simple, common sense principles to organize and control their documents since the software is quick to impl…
Mail2Cloud, offered by mxHero, includes cloud storage and email productivity features.
Filestack is a developer service for uploading files from anywhere onto the user's application. Filestack allows software developers to integrate more than 25 of the world’s leading cloud drives with just a few lines of code. End users can upload content from websites and mobile apps like Facebook,…
Onehub is a secure file storage and sharing service built for businesses of any size. Users can maintain existing folder and file structure with secure online document sharing and collaboration, and remain hyper-organized while able to access files from anywhere. Bank-level encryption as well as i…