The Best Cloud Storage Solutions

Increasingly, lower capacity solid-state drives are replacing traditional mechanical hard disk drives in computers and laptops – meaning cloud storage is becoming more of a necessity.

Cloud storage is a model in which data is stored remotely on servers, and accessed via the internet, or “cloud”. A cloud storage provider maintains the data, and the virtual storage architecture is scalable according to requirements. For an increasing number of people, finding adequate space to store all of their data is a challenge – which is where cloud storage comes in. When data is backed up to a cloud storage system, it can be accessed from any location that has internet access, meaning physical external storage doesn’t need to be on-hand. Some cloud storage systems allow multiple users to access the same data, allowing collaboration on projects. There are literally dozens of cloud storage providers out there – here are some of the best.

Microsoft OneDrive
Formerly known as SkyDrive, Microsoft offers 5GB worth of free storage through its OneDrive cloud storage service, which comes bundled in with most Microsoft Office software packages. For this reason, OneDrive is particularly suitable for collaboration on the same Office files, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. After the basic, free version of OneDrive, Microsoft offer 50GB of storage for £1.99/month. There are two additional personal packages, offered as part of Office 365. For £59.99/year (or £5.99/month), you can get 1TB of cloud storage, and for £79.99/year (£7.99/month), you can get 6TB of storage for a total of six users. Both of the premium packages come with ransomware detection and recovery, as well as the ability to share password-protected links. Microsoft also offer multiple cloud storage packages for businesses, including unlimited storage for five or more users for just £7.50 per user per month, with an annual commitment.

This cloud storage provider offers additional storage to users working on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux and Blackberry. For personal users, Dropbox offers 1TB of cloud storage for £79/year, or £7.99/month, making it slightly more expensive than OneDrive. This basic level cloud storage package also offers offline folders on mobile and the ability to remotely wipe devices. For £199/year, or £19.99/month, Dropbox offers 2TB of storage, along with the benefits of the previous package. In addition, users on this “Professional” plan get a 14 day free trial, a smart sync feature, full text search of all data, and advanced sharing controls. Both of the plans that Dropbox offers for personal users can be cancelled at any time. For businesses, Dropbox offers 3TB of space for £10 per user per month if billed yearly, or slightly more if billed monthly. Businesses on this standard package get 3TB of storage space. The advanced business package offers unlimited storage a small amount more - £15 per user per month. Finally, Dropbox offers bespoke solutions on its Enterprise plan.

Google Drive
Google lets users store the first 15GB of their data for free upon registering their Google Account. Files and folders can be shared; you can invite other users to view, download and collaborate on files. If you require more than the complimentary 15GB of storage, you can upgrade to Google’s One service. £15.99/year gets you 100GB, £24.99/year gets you 200GB, and Google’s plans go all the way up to a whopping 30TB, for a hefty price tag of £239.99/month. Google Experts are on hand at all times to help you with any issues you might be having with the cloud service.

Best Cloud Storage