Cloud Storage Systems

Cloud Storage Systems Overview

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.

Top Rated Cloud Storage Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2022

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Category Videos

Cloud Storage: The Difference Between Block, File, and Object
04:31
Cloud storage serves a large variety of needs from entertainment to personal, and educational to professional. Understanding the simple and complex methods of data storage will help you see the differences between different providers.
What's the best Cloud Storage Solution? Google Drive vs Dropbox
05:17
Google Drive and Dropbox are both popular cloud storage tools, but it can be tricky to determine which one is right for your businesses needs. We go through where each tool excels to help you make your decision.
What is Cloud Storage?
08:55
Cloud Storage consists of two major storage types: Ephemeral storage and Persistent storage. But what does that mean, and how do you choose between those options? In this video, Bradley Knapp explains these storage types, their characteristics, use-cases, and much more.

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 Products

(51-75 of 92) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Akazio Cloud Archive

Akazio Cloud Archive supports archiving electronic communications across email, chats, social media, voice, and SMS. With the increase in legal, operational and regulatory compliance mandates, the need to archive and analyze rising volumes of electronic communication data has fast…

Memonic

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…

Koofr

Koofr, from the Slovenian company of the same name, is presented as a safe and simple way to store, backup and share documents, music, photos, and videos, so users can access data anytime and anywhere.

Wasabi Object Storage

Wasabi Technologies headquartered in Boston offers "hot cloud storage," object storage available pay-as-you-go as well as reserved capacity storage which they describe as tier free, and easily manageable.

vBoxxCloud

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.…

Internxt

Internxt is a privacy-focused, "zero knowledge" cloud storage from the company of the same name headquartered in Valencia. They offer a free 10 GB plan to get started.

NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud

The NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud is an integrated file service presented by the vendor as having the performance, availability, and security required to efficiently run business-critical applications. The fully managed service allows the user to consume file storage…

SmartVault

SmartVault is a file syncing and sharing option from the Houston based company of the same name.

Tresorit

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…

Blackberry Workspaces

Blackberry Workspaces (formerly Watchdox, a product acquired by Blackberry in May 2015) is an enterprise grade cloud storage, file sync and share option.

WorkRooms

WorkRooms blends agile task management with file organization. Users get a visual overview of projects, reviews and approvals and can share files with anyone. Built with a content-centric approach, WorkRooms focuses on the production, management and approval of content such as photos…

Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage

Backblaze, headquartered in San Mateo, provides cloud storage and online backup, boasting trust with over an exabyte of data from customers in 175 countries. A backup service specialist, Backblaze describes their B2 cloud object storage service as S3 compatible and purpose built…

SpiderOak

SpiderOak is a file sync and cloud storage / backup solution, emphasizing privacy.

Casbay

Boasting 10 years of experience, Casbay powers its 80,000 worldwide customers (from individuals, small and medium sized businesses, to government and public listed companies).They provide a web hosting platform with a 24/7 support team.Casbay also offers IT Solution & Hosting…

NirvaShare

Enterprise Secure File Sharing of Cloud Storage such as AWS S3, Azure, Wasabi, Digital Ocean Space, MinIO, and Linode. Securely share and collaborate any folder or file with external identities such as customers, partners, vendors, etc with security and fine access control including…

Robin.io

Robin.io is a cloud native platform that automates enterprise applications, and enables deployment and management of complex, data- and network-intensive applications with an “as-a-service” experience anywhere, on-prem or in the cloud. ROBIN brings pay-as-you-go pricing to the…

NordLocker

NordLocker enables users to secure any file on a computer. Encryption is compatible with files of all types and sizes. Whether it’s a tiny PDF from work or your holiday in HD video, encrypted file storage can be used to secure it all. NordLocker’s file encryption has no limits. It…

SyncCore

SyncCore offers a set of infrastructure and application services that enable users to run virtually everything in the cloud: from enterprise applications and big data projects to social games and mobile apps. SyncCore customers include startups, large enterprises, and government…

WannaGo Online Backup - COPIA

Delivered from Wannago Cloud's data centers, WannaGo Online Backup (the COPIA product) is a cloud backup service that provides offsite backup – allowing users to recover anything, anywhere, at any time.

ioMoVo

ioMoVo is a core media exchange and storage platform that enables the user to organize, find and share brand assets.

Serverspace

Serverspace is an international cloud provider, offering automated virtual infrastructure deployment. Linux or Windows-based services are available from any location on the globe in less than 1 minute.For client services’ integration API and CLI open tools are available. S3-compatible…

Renderro

The Renderro Cloud Workstation is a personal cloud-based computer, with remote access. The user can customize its specs and change it at any time to suit needs. The user can work on any type of specialist software, one's own or provided by Renderro.

fileplan

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…

Faction Multi-Cloud Data Services

Faction Inc in Denver, Colorado, formerly PeakColo, offers infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Cherry Servers

Cherry Servers is committed to offering private and secure cloud infrastructure to small and medium businesses world-wide. The vendor says their specialized infrastructure and hardware level control enables their clients to handle even the most demanding workloads at ease.Additionally,…

Learn More About Cloud Storage Systems

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

Google Drive Starting Price: $1.99 / Maximum Price: $9.99 / Free Trial? Yes

Box Starting Price: $7.00 / Maximum Price: $47.00 / Free Trial? Yes

DropBox Business Starting Price: $15.00/ Maximum Price: $25.00 / Free Trial? Yes

OneDrive Starting Price: $5.00/ Maximum Price: $12.50 / Free Trial? Yes

EverNote Starting Price: $7.99/ Maximum Price: $14.99 / Free Trial? Yes

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 Systems Best Of Awards

The following Cloud Storage Systems offer award-winning customer relationships, feature sets, and value for price. Learn more about our Best Of Awards methodology here.

Best Cloud Storage Systems

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does cloud storage work?

Cloud storage works by allowing users to upload data files (e.g. text files, video and audio files, pictures, etc.) and save and store them to an online server. These online servers can either be public or private, but many cloud storage providers use public cloud storage to host users’ data files. Users can then log into the cloud storage from multiple different devices and access their files.

What are the benefits of using cloud storage?

One of the biggest benefits of using cloud storage is that the user doesn’t have to rely on local storage on their computer or on physical storage (like picture albums). If important files are stored locally on your computer and not to any cloud drive or online location, it can be easy to lose those files if the computer crashes or it’s storage becomes corrupted in some way. In this way, cloud storage can act as a back-up for storage of important data, even if you choose to keep it stored locally as well.

How much does cloud storage cost?

Some cloud storage providers offer a set amount of free storage, which can range from 2GB up to 15GB. DropBox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive all offer some level of free storage. However, this free storage usually doesn’t include all the functionality that comes with a paid plan.

Paid cloud storage plans can range anywhere from $2 per month up to $100 per month, depending on the number of people who need access to the online storage and how much storage space is available.