Decoded: Top 5 Cloud Storage Services
Juggling between smartphones, desktops, laptops and tablets makes it increasingly hard to keep track of all our files. For example, as easy it is to snap a picture, the harder its become to keep tabs of the every-growing bulk of images. We tend to keep scattered folders for our pictures on various storage devices and laptops. Cloud storage rescues us from these restraints, ensuring that the files we need are available where and when we want them. Clearly, it should now be a fundamental part of our modern, mobile lives.
The ultimate advantage? You never have depend on your gadgets or fear losing any important data. We review the best cloud storage services and see what each of them have to offer:
Dropbox is the only online storage solutions to offer clients for Linux and Blackberry, along with the usual Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS standards – even though an official Windows Phone app still remains indefinable. This goes a long way to ensuring that your data can be with you, no matter what kind of technology you want to use. The basic free account provides a with a somewhat small – in contrast to competitor services – 2GB of storage. For documents, this amount works, however if you want to store any kind of media – photos, music, or video – it will fade away very fast. You have an option of investing and upgrading to the 100GB plan. Dropbox also offers 500MB of additional free storage for each friend you get to sign up to the service – with a limit of 16GB.
Overall it is an excellent cross-platform service, a benchmark which is hard to compete. It may lack several services which others provide, but its user-friendly interface and multi-technology compatibility makes it one of the most popular choices.
Google drive is a heart of various services Google currently offers. It offers 15 GB of free space on signup or when you link it with your old Google account. Drive works in the same fashion as most cloud storage solutions, with a local folder on your PC linked to a replica for cloud version. The interface across the apps is smart and simple to navigate, with a basic file tree showing where your data is kept. You can choose specific files to be available offline on the mobile versions, and these can be edited – if they were created in Google Docs – then synced when you return online.
Google Drive is the most munificent of all the services in this category. If you live in the Google universe then it actually is an brilliant storage option, predominantly if you use Google Docs a lot.
Our Favourite find! The lesser known Streem is a cloud-based hard drive that offers unlimited storage space for your files. All files are securely stored in the cloud and streamed to you on-demand, saving you terabytes of space on your devices. Unlike other cloud storage services, you are not require to store your files on your hard drive and sync them to the cloud. All your files are securely stored on the servers and streamed to you on-demand.
The edge about this storage service is that they give you free unlimited storage and that you don’t have to keep a copy on all of your computers in order to access them. As long as you have an internet connection, you’re set.
Sometimes mistaken for the similarly named Dropbox, Box is the eldest of it’s competitors, having launched in 2005. It’s major focus is cloud computing for business side of the market and has impressive enterprise reputation.
Box still offers solid personal storage options, however, with a generous 10GB of space for any new account. However Box limits the file size to 250MB, which is a major drawback. This is noticeably lower than the 10GB limits of both Google Drive and Dropbox, with OneDrive’s 2GB limit still plenty for most people. Of course 250MB is more than sufficient for most documents and spreadsheets, but if large media files – especially videos – are part of your plan then this could be a problem.
Much of the functionality of OneDrive (previously SkyDrive) is equivalent to Dropbox, with its apps available to Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and of course, Windows Phone users. Microsoft to attract more users launched as offer whereby users gain 500MB of storage for every friend that signs up to an account through them.There’s also an added 3GB offered if you link OneDrive to your mobile phone’s camera roll, enabling it to routinely back up your photos online.
The OneDrive interface is similar to Windows 8’s Modern UI design. You have a choice between the boxy style or a more traditional file tree. Folders and files can be created on the web, including Office and OneNote formats thanks to tight Office Online integration. They’ve also added a social element to the web version – a range of popular messaging services are accessible to be connected to your OneDrive account.