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

(1-12 of 62) Sorted by Most Reviews

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…
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.
WPS Cloud
Kingsoft offers WPS Cloud, a cloud storage platform including 1 GB of free storage, as well as collaboration and file sharing tools.
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, the vendor sa…
Recruitive Ltd
Recruitive offers a wide variety of end to end Recruitment Solutions, including ATS Software, Cloud Based Recruitment Software, Onboarding Software, and Careers Websites.The vendor says they provide HR Professionals, Recruiters and Hiring teams with innovative cloud based technology aimed at streaml…
TeamDrive is a secure Sync & Share solution with end-to-end encryption for storing and synchronising files. With TeamDrive users can create secure spaces in their file system that synchronize between all their devices. The client lets users share those spaces with friends and colleagues. The ven…
DRACOON is an enterprise file sharing and cloud storage solution from the German company of the same name.
FileCatalyst Spaces
FileCatalyst Spaces is a pay-as-you-go SaaS file transfer portal, cloud file storage, or migration service, available to enterprises.
NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for AWS
NetApp's Cloud Volumes Service for AWS is a managed cloud service that enables users to move mission-critical workloads and applications to the cloud, and manage them. The vendor states that their Cloud Volumes Service provides shared persistent storage with high throughput and low latency to meet t…
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 without infrastr…
BKP365 a Cloud BaaS (Backup as a Service ) is a Bi-Product of Spectra Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. The vendor states they offer Cloud Storage options from BKP 365 starting as low as Rs 1.90 per monthPowered by Amazon AWS and Security Layer of AES 256 bit combined with Artificial Intelligence-based …
Bynder Orbit (Discontinued)
Bynder discontinued their free DAM Orbit September 2018.