Finding the Best Cloud Storage for Business and Personal Use

Finding the best cloud storage for your needs is becoming a little bit of a hunt due to the increasing number of companies and competition for your business. This isn’t a bad thing, but you’ll need a little help wading through the options and prices. Moving your precious data to the best online cloud storage service you can find could be one of the best moves you can make this year.

best cloud serviceThe phrase “I’m saving my data in a cloud” has gone from sounding like the ramblings of an insane programmer to normal everyday conversation. Most people are coming around to the understanding that with the price of computer memory dropping like a brick year by year, that saving huge amounts of data on remote and very secure servers is a very good idea.

Which cloud storage company is the best is a tough question. There are a lot of things to consider including your lifestyle, whether you are an individual or are operating a business, and what prices you are looking to pay.  We’re focusing on business and personal online cloud storage here, which should include the three basics: security, redundancy, and easy accessibility.  We’ve done the research and we’ll cover the stuff you need to know for all of the best cloud storage companies.

List and Reviews of Cloud Storage Companies

To kick off this article here are some quick links to reviews of the various cloud storage providers out there.  Click through below for a detailed review with options and price info of each cloud service:

Mozy

Dropbox

Google Cloud Storage

Amazon

Microsoft SkyDrive and Windows Azure

iCloud

Novatech Cloud

Yandex

Carbonite

SugarSync

Amazon’s CloudDrive

Box

Otixio

Syncplicity

Spideroak

SkyNox

Best Personal Cloud Storage

Most individuals living in the 21st century share a great deal of information with others. If they want to collaborate on a project or share pictures with friends and family, they can do it with greater ease online with personal cloud storage. There are advantages and disadvantages to using personal cloud storage, and we’ll break down what is the right type of system for you.

What is Personal Cloud Storage?

Personal cloud storage means that any file or document that needs to be shared with different pieces of technology is accessible through the Internet because it is stored on an online storage server.

Prior to personal cloud storage, individuals stored their files on floppy disks, CDs, flash drives, or some other external storage device that could go almost anywhere. All of these examples, however, can be damaged or lost. Visual memories and important documents would be gone forever if anything happened to those devices. A personal cloud storage system is off site; an online server monitored for security and backed up on a regular basis.

Personal cloud storage is ideal for anyone who has files or documents to save and not enough space on their devices to store it. They may just want a safer place to store it and access from any of their devices. Businesspeople can use it between the office and home, travelers can access their files away from their usual devices, and music lovers can store more music files than their other devices can handle.

What are the Advantages of Personal Cloud Storage?

Whether you’re looking for cloud storage for family photos, music, household documents, or all of the above, personal cloud storage is a great way to make sure your important files are backed up and safe.  You want to be able to know your files are safe, secure, and readily available from any device anywhere you are in the world.

Access files from anywhere. 

In general, the average person has more than one piece of technology. Whether it is a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or even computer access from a different location such as the library or college computer lab, files are stored safely at another site. Files can be accessed by you or approved individuals at any time.  The best photo cloud storage services are the ones that allow fast access.  If you upload your family’s large photo collection to a cloud service, you want to be able to access those photos from anywhere, and allow your family to have easy access as well.

Enjoy uninterrupted access to files.

 Some cloud users take advantage of using the service when they can sync multiple devices. Consider a student who is working on a paper for a class. They are halfway through their work on the laptop when they have to catch the bus to get to work or home. If their tablet is synced with the laptop through personal cloud storage options, they can finish their paper using the different device. With the best cloud storage providers, regardless of time or day, anyone can access their files without interruption so long as they have Internet access and the right equipment.

Experience easier file sharing.

In most cases, personal cloud storage users can allow family and friends to access one or more files by allowing them as contacts with permission to access the cloud by email or social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook. This is more secure than a public cloud storage option.

What are the Disadvantages of Personal Cloud Storage?

The disadvantages of personal cloud storage depend on the user. The most significant complaint is the level of control people have over their data.  A third-party is responsible for the security and housing of files and documents. It is a matter of comfort rather than efficient use of space. Another disadvantage is related to Internet access. While personal cloud storage relieves a user’s devices of storage space issues, low Internet bandwidth or poor network coverage can hinder access to the data when the user wants it.  General risks of personal cloud storage include corruption and down time.  That said, the best cloud storage services will offer exceptional security, access, and control over your data regardless of where you are.

Who Offers Personal Cloud Storage?

As the demand for personal cloud storage increases, more companies are offering their services, space, and infrastructure. Companies that are known for their technology and innovation have joined the movement, but so have other companies that focus their attention specifically to cloud storage.

An excellent cloud storage provider is Livedrive.  You can get a free trial with 5,000 GB without a credit card.  But what’s really attractive is the cloud storage features.  With Livedrive you can share and access files from any device and stream movies and music directly from your cloud storage folder.  That’s about as good as it gets.  Click here to check it out.

Others among the best personal cloud storage choices are:

cloud storageBest Cloud Storage for Business

A business needs to be able to share files and documents between employees. This is especially true when they are traveling to meet clients or visiting multiple offices within the corporation. Small businesses also need the features offered by cloud connection options. Business cloud storage is ideal for companies with numerous large files and the need to share them easily.

What is Business Cloud Storage?

Similar to personal or public cloud storage, the best business cloud storage providers offer storage and access of data and files from a third-party. These companies that offer cloud storage services offer enhanced security as well as regular backup for data. These features are especially important to a small business.

The idea is to allow employees to access the data they need for their work. Business cloud storage means sharing files between members of a project or accessing a document started in the office and completed on a tablet at a different location. An employer can organize files from the administration portal which can include the transfer of large files or establishing an access limit to a folder, be it read-only or full-write.

What are the Advantages of Business Cloud Storage?

Reduce operations costs.  Small business owners are more conscious about their operations expenses and budget. They hire what they can afford. Employers are looking to keep their growing data in a safe place rather than rely on the stability of the PC on their desk. Data consolidation with business cloud storage can reduce the number of outages and the costs of storage management labor demands.

Data access is simplified, but capable of increasing productivity. The ability to use the Internet as a tool to access data files and folders makes it easier for employees to reach their projects at any given time.  The best cloud storage will increase productivity while employees are out in the field. Teams can make corrections or additions even if they are not in the office.

Additional security backed by a company.

Computer viruses affect the files saved onto the hard drive. Files stored onto a floppy disk, CD, or flash drive can be broken or lost. Files saved with a business cloud storage company are regularly backed up or protected with high security encryption.

Ability to sync files with integrated software. With some business cloud storage companies, they feature an ability to sync files with the software already used by the company. For example, Sugar Sync will make sure that the work is backed up and secure while it can be integrated with Microsoft Outlook.

Support multiple devices.  The larger the company, the more devices they will need to have supported by the business cloud storage option. Some cloud storage companies are ideal for businesses as they do not establish a limit on the number of devices.

What are the Disadvantages of Business Cloud Storage?

Assumes small businesses have integrated services. In terms of business cloud storage, Google Skydrive supports their own services. This may be problematic for companies not using them.  For other providers this isn’t an issue as a data storage company like Dropbox doesn’t require specialized software.

Limitations of devices or storage size.  Small business cloud storage companies offer limited data storage or access for devices that are less than what a small business requires.  If your business needs for data storage are large, you’ll need to go with a large and solid provider.

Internet connection is required.  The Internet is not accessible in all areas. If an employee relies on working with a service connection to access business cloud storage files, they will not be accessible if the connection is down or not available in their area.  This won’t be a problem if the employee is in the office, but outside of the office can present some difficulties.  And of course, nowadays most people can find strong connections where ever they might be traveling.

Security of data. Small business looking into business cloud storage need to ask the following of their service they will be provided: will their files remain confidential? How often can users access it? Who has full control of the data? How often is the data backed up? What will happen to the data if the business cloud storage company goes out of business?  A lot of these questions can be answered by investigating the individual provider, which means DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE!  Make sure your chosen cloud storage company hits all of the required marks.  The best cloud storage providers will treat your data like Fort Knox treats its gold (or even better!)

Overall Cloud Storage FAQ:

Let’s get down to brass tacks.  What is the very best cloud storage for individuals?

This depends on your needs but JustCloud is a very popular service that uses 256 bit secured socket layer encryption. You can sync multiple devices, share files, and enjoy mobile access to your files.  Another top cloud storage service is Google Drive.

How do I find free cloud storage?

Ah, it’s free you’re looking for!  The good news is, many of the best cloud storage providers offer a certain amount of free storage.  For example, Dropbox offers 2 Gigabytes of free storage just for signing up. That’s a nice little amount for some photos and files, but it will fill up pretty quickly. After that, storage prices go up incrementally.

Is there a limit to how much storage I can use?

There is really no limit to how much storage you can use. With multiple server centers, most cloud storage providers will have more than enough for everyone. And if the limit of their storage is neared, the best cloud storage providers will always install more servers to accommodate the needed space.

How does cloud storage work?

This is a big, complex topic full of coding and science, but here’s the 15 second answer…. think of the best cloud storage as extra hard drive space. The only difference, OK not the only, but the big difference is, that your data is stored on very secure servers that are at a remote location.  (For those who are new to this concept or have perhaps investigated a little bit and want to know more, we’ll break down the main things to know when looking for the best cloud storage out there click here).

Can I access my files anytime and from anywhere?

With the best cloud storage services, yes, you should always be able to access your files. There will occasionally be the rare hiccup in any type of online activity as any regular user of the Internet will recognize, but those instances are exceedingly unusual.

The best cloud providers will allow you to access your files anywhere you are in the world if you have a good Internet connection and the access information to your cloud storage account.

Overall, we hope you take the time to read all of the information that you can get your hands on and make the most informed decision you can.  You don’t want to leave your data on vulnerable external hard drives at home or at the office, but you also want to make sure you chose the best cloud storage company out there that will guard that data with the best security and most solid backup protocols.  Best of luck and thank you for visiting BestCloudStorageNow.com!

 

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4 thoughts on “Finding the Best Cloud Storage for Business and Personal Use

  1. Alexei says:

    Looking for a service that provides the same features and much more space.

    • kmotc says:

      Well BitCasa offers virtually unlimited space, but it has some limitations. It uploads rather slowly, there is no way to move folders around and rename them on the site–you can’t reorder things up at BitCasa, you have to organize things in folders and name folders before uploading. But it’s free and the most space I have found so far. Hopefully it will improve.

  2. Patricia says:

    I think that OpenDrive is one of the better cloud storage providers out there. I tried a few others and they were lacking in some way. OpenDrive has a lot of features for one of the best prices considering they are unlimited. I think they should be added to your list for sure.

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