Cloud Storage Providers
Best Cloud Storage Providers
- Top Rated Cloud Storage Providers include: Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, ownCloud, Dropbox, Dropbox Business, Citrix ShareFile, Amazon Cloud Drive, and Egnyte.
- Other Cloud Storage Providers on the TrustMap include: OneDrive, Box, Apple iCloud, MediaFire, Cubby, and SugarSync.
- A complete list of Cloud Storage Providers is available here.
TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on satisfaction ratings and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap, and those above the median line are considered Top Rated.
Cloud Storage Providers 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 solutions support a variety of file types. Supported files typically include:
The most user-friendly cloud storage solutions 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
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 providers 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
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 providers offer different levels of security to address concerns. For example, Google Drive 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.
In addition to protection from outside access, users should consider the provider’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 providers
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 is one of the most common uses for cloud storage. Most cloud storage providers offer a mechanism to let users share files. The level of access, versioning, and change tracking varies by product.
Some providers 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 solutions that prioritize availability and make file sharing easy often aren’t as strong on security. The reverse is true as well.
Cloud Storage Platform Considerations
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 find multilingual and multi-currency capabilities on some platforms.
Free Cloud Storage
Many cloud storage providers offer some amount of storage space for free. For example, DropBox offers 2GB of free storage, and Google Drive offers 15GB. Sometimes providers have a hard limit on free storage. Other providers, 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 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.
Cloud Storage Products
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...
Copy was Barracuda Networks' cloud storage solution. It was taken off market in 2016, and is no longer offered.
Syncplicity is a cloud storage, file sync and sharing platform offered by Axway.
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...
Hitachi Content Platform (or Hitachi HCP) is a scalable cloud storage platform with enterprise-level security, for archiving, backup, and content/data sharing.
Workshare’s platform is designed to empower professionals to compare, protect and share their high stakes documents on any device. Content owners can accurately track and compare amendments made by all contributors. While businesses have secure ways to work collaboratively and control the process...
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...
Israeli company CTERA offers Enterprise File Sync & Share, an enterprise level secure cloud storage, synchronization, and collaboration platform.
SpiderOak is a file sync and cloud storage / backup solution, emphasizing privacy.
EMC Atmos is an object-based cloud storage platform.
Acronis Access Advanced is an on-premise enterprise file sharing solution for mobile, Mac and Windows that helps enterprises break down barriers between people, information, privacy and security.
Blackberry Workspaces (formerly Watchdox, a product acquired by Blackberry in May 2015) is an enterprise grade cloud storage, file sync and share option.
eFolder now offers file sync & share and cloud storage since acquiring Anchor (of Anchor Box LLC).
Mail2Cloud, offered by mxHero, includes cloud storage and email productivity features.
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...
KeepItSafe is a custom cloud service provider that promises to deliver comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solutions. KeepItSafe says it provides global cloud data availability through its Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS), Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), endpoint protection, and SaaS...
Austin based Caringo offers an enterprise cloud storage solution.
BluSync is an enteprise grade cloud storage and file sync & share option from Parablu headquartered in Burlingame, California.
Tresorit is an encrypted file sync & sharing solution that uses end-to-end encryption to keep data safe in the cloud, and to help businesses avoid data breaches. Tresorit is specifically designed to share confidential data of business users. Encryption is performed before the data gets...
SmartVault is a file syncing and sharing option from the Houston based company of the same name.
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...
EMC CloudArray is an enterprise cloud storage option, based on technology acquired with TwinStrata (2014).
Accellion in Palo Alto, California offers enterprise grade cloud storage, & file sync and sharing, with an emphasis on security and collaboration.
Memonic is an organizational tool that competes with Evernote. It allows you to organize content in folders, tags and groups and then share content with others. It's differentiation from Evernote is the emphasis given to sharing and collaboration. It also, like Evernote, provides a web clipper...
CloudAlly aims to offer an easy and reliable backup solution for leading online services such as Office365, Google Apps, Box and Salesforce. CloudAlly subscriptions include: - Unlimited secure Amazon S3 storage and unlimited retention of daily archives- Archive storage in Amazon’s U.S., E.U. or...