Which cloud storage is king? We compare Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.
We’ve previously covered what the cloud is and the benefits of storing your data remotely so it can be accessed online from any connected device without worrying about issues like hard drive space and RAM on individual machines. But with a range of cloud storage services on offer, which of the various business options is right for you?
Dropbox is a familiar name in cloud storage and for good reason. Its clean interface is simple to set up, easy to navigate and generally reliable. You can access your files from Dropbox’s website, desktop applications for Mac, Windows and Linux, or the iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire mobile apps.
You can store files in Dropbox by uploading to the website or using the desktop app to simply drag and drop from your file system into the Dropbox folder. The service syncs your files across your devices so you can access them easily. There is no limit on file size uploaded to Dropbox via the desktop or mobile apps, but large files can take hours to upload depending on your connection speed.
That being said, the free version, Dropbox Basic offers only 2GB of storage. However there are opportunities to earn extra storage by referring friends. The Dropbox Plus subscription gives users 1TB of storage space, as well as additional features including advanced sharing options such as password protection, remote wipe of a lost or stolen device and extended version history.
Dropbox remains a good option for those looking for a simple design, ease of use and a cloud storage solution that works equally well across PCs, Macs, Android and iOS.
If you have a Google account, you can already access Google Drive just by enabling the service. This offers 15GB of free storage space in total, although that capacity is shared with your Gmail account and Google+. There are also paid plans available offering a number of options between 100GB and a massive 30TB. Google Drive combines storage with some handy office tools including a word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation builder. This means that, beyond just storing and accessing files, Google Drive is great for collaborative working.
You can access files from the Google Drive website, or use the desktop app to manage files from your computer. Changes made on your desktop will sync with the cloud so you will always see the most recent updates when you access them from elsewhere. Like other cloud storage services, Drive has iOS and Android apps for viewing and managing files from your phone. Drive is built into Google’s Web-based operating system Chromium, so if you have a Chromebook, Google Drive is an obvious choice for cloud storage.
With very little setup required for those who have a Google account and a good amount of storage space (providing your Gmail doesn’t swallow up too much of that capacity), Google Drive is a particularly attractive option for teams who need to work collaboratively on files and documents using the web-based office suite.
This is Microsoft’s storage option and if you use Windows 8 or 10, you already have OneDrive built into your operating system. Alternatively, anyone can use it on the web, by downloading a desktop app for Mac and earlier versions of Windows, or via their Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Xbox apps.
Their free option provides 5GB of storage, with additional space available through paid options or with subscriptions to other services such as Office 365. Perhaps OneDrive’s biggest strength is that it interacts intelligently with Microsoft Office apps, such as Word or PowerPoint. When you launch an Office application you’ll see a list of recent documents saved to OneDrive. If you have an Office 365 subscription and open a document saved in OneDrive, you can collaborate on it with other people in real time.
For those of us who use Windows 8 or 10 and are heavy users of the Microsoft Office suite, OneDrive offers a cloud storage service that is seamlessly integrated with the operating system and ease of use when opening and editing files in Microsoft’s own apps.
At MSP Blueshift, we tailor our services to your needs! Contact us to discuss which cloud options best suit your needs.