Choosing the right cloud can be difficult. There are so many options and plans available that it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. When considering a cloud provider it’s important to look not only at their pricing structure and services but also at things like, where data centres are located and what kind of security they provide. Another important detail to look at is what customer support is provided, what happens if the cloud provider loses your data and how often the cloud provider has had outages or downtime in the past (hopefully never).
Today at get2Clouds®, we’ve picked some of the most popular cloud providers worldwide, presented some basic information about their service, looked at how much data storage each offers to start off with and broken down some of the most basic price plans so that you can get an overview of what’s currently on offer. (Please note: The cloud market is volatile and offers change frequently, details are correct at time of publishing this blog.)
The cloud service offered by AWS (Amazon Web Services) has different price plans depending on whether users already have an Amazon Prime account. Prime users get unlimited free photo storage with their Prime subscription, for example, but users without an Amazon prime subscription have to pay $11.99 per year for unlimited photo storage. AWS also has a cloud storage service directed towards businesses called Simple Storage Service (or S3), this option has up to 5GB free storage. The ‘Unlimited Everything’ plan gives users the chance to store any files or document for an annual fee of $59.99.
Although iCloud is made for Apple users, there is also an app for Windows. Android devices, however, need a third party app in order to access files saved in iCloud. Users get 5GB free, must pay $0.99 per month for 50GB, $2.99 for 200GB and $9.99 for 1TB.
The cloud provider Box offers lots of options, the most simple of these being the free plan for single-users which has 10GB of free storage and limits the allowed file size to 250MB. For 10 US dollars per month users can gain access to 100GB of storage and the upload limit increases to 5GB. Box also has many different plans for businesses and organisations where multiple users can access one account, the cheapest of these being the start pack for just five dollars and up to ten users. Alternatively, users can also design their own custom-priced storage arrangement too.
Aside from the 2GB of free cloud storage, Dropbox’s most popular subscription plan is the $9.99-per-month ‘Dropbox Plus’ with one terabyte of storage space. Businesses can hike this up to 2TB for just a small amount more, $12.50 per month or get ‘as much space as they need’ for $20 per user per month.
Photos can be easily organized with FlipDrive, which offers online photo albums for easy viewing and a handy management system to organise stored contacts. Start off with 10GB of free space, a 25MB upload file limit and 10 sharing links. More storage space can be bought from FlipDrive for $5 a month, $10 a month or $20 a month, giving users 25GB, 100GB and 250GB respectively.
Those who opt to use Google’s cloud get the most free data storage, 15GB. However, gmail account data and Google Photos count towards this start-out 15GB limit, so it can get used up pretty quickly. Google Docs, Sheets or Slides however are not counted in the 15GB of free space, and buying extra storage is fairly cheap from Google; for the monthly subscription fee of just $1.99 users can get 100GB, or £9.99 for 1TB.
The German technology company Starto AG hosts HiDrive, whose data centres are based in Berlin and Karlsruhe. The EU Cloud Provider grants 5GB of free storage.
Offering a huge 50GB of free storage space, Mega was founded by Kim Dotcom, the infamous German-Finnish hacker turned internet entrepreneur, and it is based in New Zealand. This cloud provider does not store users passwords so if you lose yours, you won’t be able to get any help recovering it nor your files, so it’s best to keep back-ups of both.
Microsoft OneDrive, formerly called SkyDrive, offers 5GB of free storage. 15GB of free storage used to be available to cloud users, but now Microsoft has reduced that. However the Microsoft cloud does come with other benefits for users - like 500MB for each friend referred (limited to ten friends which would mean 5GB of free storage space in total). Subscription plans available for the OneDrive cloud come at 100GB for $1.99 a month or for 1TB, $6.99 a month.
Get around 20GB of free storage with the Switzerland-based pCloud by starting with the free 10GB and gaining up to 10GB more of free storage by inviting friends. pCloud offers more space for the subscription prices of $4.99 for 500GB or $9.99 for 2TB.
With SugarSync you can start out with a trial of 5GB of free space, and after that it’s most popular plan provides users with 250GB of storage at $9.99 a month. SugarSync starts every plan with a 30-day free trial, giving their users the option to opt-out or change plans should they be dissatisfied.
The popular Russian search engine Yandex now also offers cloud storage, with 10GB of free space. User can increase this to 20GB for $1 a month, to 100GB for $2 a month or get 1 terabyte of data storage for $10 a month.
The cloud alone is not a safe place to store your data, clouds can be easily hacked. Unless your data is encrypted it might be at risk in the cloud as hackers can find their way in and steal your personal photos, files and information.
Encrypted data can still be stolen, but it is useless to cyber criminals unless they can unlock the encryption – which is near enough impossible.
The encryption tool get2Clouds® ensures your data is safe when stored in a cloud, not even the cloud provider will be able to read it and you will only be able to decrypt and see your files using get2Clouds® and your personal password.
get2Clouds® is currently compatible with Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, Sugarsync and Telekom, with more cloud providers to be added soon.