Hard drives used to be considered safe for storing important files and folders, but not anymore. These are not only prone to crashing and losing your important documents but also suffer from a space crunch.
Nowadays, cloud storage is becoming the preferred choice. And if you think this form of storage remains a secondary option, think again. It provides many more benefits than mere storage – it makes file sharing easier; is universally available to most operating systems and devices; makes it possible to retrieve your important files and folders, in case your hard drive crashes; and, more importantly, is affordable.
Popular cloud storage services
We give below the most popular cloud services, choose the one that suits you best:
#1 Amazon Drive
If you hold an Amazon account, Amazon Drive provides 5GB of cloud storage. With Prime subscription, you enjoy unlimited photo storage at a nominal monthly payment. In addition, you also get access to Prime Video. However, what is not included in shipping and other benefits.
What’s more, the app automatically uploads your files and folders to the cloud after syncing them, without you having to do anything.
However, it does not allow editing documents beyond renaming the files and folders. This rules out real-time collaboration, making it a bare-bones cloud storage solution.
#2 Apple iCloud
If you have an Apple ID, you get 5GB of iCloud storage that can be accessed from the iCloud site, as also through your iPhone and iPad. This cloud storage is ideal if you require it only for storing documents, images, and videos. Apple not only offers its own productivity applications to all iCloud users but also makes real-time collaboration across devices possible.
Although Apple iCloud is not suited for large files, operating it is most simple since it looks exactly like iOS on the web. It can not only store your reminders, calendar, iMessages, and notes, but also the backups of your iPhone and iPad in case you want them transferred to a new device. However, storing them may eat up your 5GB storage space rather quickly! It caters only to iOS devices.
This service offers 10GB of cloud storage on signing up individually. The best part is it allows you to create text documents that can be edited in real time with collaborators. Not only are you able to edit text documents, but also other types of documents thanks to Microsoft’s Office tools integration.
On the downside, Box limits the cloud storage to 100GB and doesn’t even give the in-between option, if you want only 50GB or increase it to 1TB. However, to compensate for it, Box is compatible with almost every device, even BlackBerry and Windows Phone.
Opening a Dropbox account gets you only 2GB of cloud storage, but enables you to collaborate with others in Dropbox Paper in real-time. At present, for basic users, Dropbox is limited to text documents but allows editing of stored documents in Microsoft’s Word and Excel for free.
Paid service, such as Dropbox Plus, offers a host of features not available to basic users, such as 1TB cloud storage, offline file access, instant backing up of photos and videos captured in your smartphone.
#5 Google Drive/One
As a Google account holder, you get 15GB free cloud storage on Drive that is everlasting. Although you have the option of backing up everything, it works well with documents. You not only get real-time collaboration but also editing in plain text, presentations, and spreadsheets. If you opt to store your emails and the documents received through Gmail, it will count against your storage.
This service comes in handy for Android users, who can back up their SMS messages, apps, settings and call settings to Drive. Google Drive app can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices. It allows editing of files in your browser on your desktop and the files are automatically sent to the cloud storage via Google’s Backup and Sync app.
#6 Microsoft OneDrive
A Microsoft or Outlook account is required to get free 5GB cloud storage. It allows storage and editing of documents, as also collaboration through Office Online. Monthly rent can get your cloud storage of 1TB, as well as a full suite of Office 365 apps. This makes sense for those who want to pay monthly for Office.
Windows 10 users will find OneDrive already loaded in the operating system by default. What’s best about it is it minimizes the chances of your losing important documents, if you fail to back them up.
If you are still saving your work in your overflowing hard drive, it is time to switch to cloud storage. Some of the best cloud storage services are given above, choose the one that suits you best.