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
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...
Onehub provides cloud-based enterprise file storage and sharing for businesses of any size. According to the vendor, key features and business benefits include: Bank-level security, with 256-bit encryptionBetter control of your file sharing through precise permission controls that are both...
Bynder Orbit is the smart solution for creative file management, and it's free. According to the vendor, key capabilities include: Centrally collaborate and share with as many people as you like, in a custom branded portal.AI-powered search detects thousands of objects in images in a matter of...
AnyShare Cloud provides enterprise-grade customers a files cloud and operations management based on managed service. According to the vendor, its Windows’ like experience helps customers achieve efficient document management.