Top 10 Cloud Storage Services

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Cloud storage has seen a huge rise in uptake over the last few years as more of our devices are used on the go. With big companies like Microsoft, Windows & Amazon beginning to wade into the market, who offers the best product if you’re looking to send your files to the big Hard Drive in the sky?

Here’s a breakdown on some of the most popular Cloud services available on the market today and what they can offer to the home/small business user. 

SkyDrive

skydrive

SkyDrive is Microsoft’s foray into Cloud technology and as you can imagine is one of the better designed services. The layout follows on with the Windows 8 tiled theme and is easily navigable when you’re involved. For those using Windows software SkyDrive is deeply integrated and is a great option for its ease of use. You get 7GB free to start with which can be easily upgraded to 50/100/200GB options.

What do you get for free? 7GB

Best Features –Usability over devices and integration with Windows.

Disadvantages- 200GB max storage at the moment and a lack of admin tools. 

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GoogleDrive

googledrive logo

Google jumped into the Cloud service in April 2012 with the GoogleDrive- A pimped up version of the very popular GoogleDoc’s format. The integration with google products and your account is seamless and the drag and drop upload it super easy. You start out with the free 5GB account and can upgrade for small amounts- 100GB is £4! As with many Google product Privacy is a bone of contention with Google’s ‘terms of use’ seemingly giving the company access to files that are uploaded to their servers.

What do you get for free? 5GB

Best Features- Silky smooth upload service and super cheap upgrade options.

Disadvantages- Can put up a bit of a fight on non-Google platforms and devices. Not available on Linux at all. Privacy issues have and will continue to be highlighted.

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DROPBOX

dropbox-logo1

Dropbox is one of the oldest and most popular standalone Cloud services. Released in 2008 Dropbox is very user-friendly and is already established across the various platforms. Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers, where you can add files to, software then synchronizes the files and makes them available over the Cloud.

Dropbox is renowned for its file sharing system, simply post a link to your desired recipient and they can share files from your public Dropbox. You only get 2GB of storage for free but can earn more by performing basic tasks- Sharing on social media, recommending to friends etc…

What do you get for free?  2GB but you can earn up to 16GB

Best features- Super simple layout & features, easy install and universally used.

Disadvantages- It’s more expensive than its close competitors for ‘pro packages’.

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iCloudapple-icloud-logo-1

Those with Apple devices will be familiar with the iCloud service. If you need more space than the restricted Apple products come with iCloud offers additional storage.

Music purchased from iTunes doesn’t count against your storage limit. Obviously iCloud is perfect for use with the iPhone, iPad, iPod , and Apple TV. The software is geared more towards streaming than bulk storage so is much better for use with MP3’s and Videos rather than documents.

What do you get for free? 5GB

Best Features- Great for streaming and seamless integration with Apple products.

Disadvantages- Lacks a proper document storage system and doesn’t work well with non-Apple mobile devices.

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Amazon Cloud

amazon cloud

Amazon have been a big part of the Cloud market in the business world but have been a little off the gas for the consumer market. Cloud has seen gradual improvements over the last two years and seen it split from the music streaming service Amazon Cloud Player. Amazon Cloud accounts get 5 GB of free storage, and like iCloud, music purchased through Amazon MP3 store doesn’t count towards the storage limit. If you are a regular Amazon customer or Kindle user it’s a pretty good shout but improvements need to be made to tackle the current in-crowd.

What do you get for free? 5GB

Best Features- simple, reliable and rewards Amazon users.

Disadvantages- File sharing is limited and the higher packages are more expensive than competitors.

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MediaFiremediafire-logo

For those wanting a lot for free MediaFire gives you 50GB straight off the bat- No cost. It also supports Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows and Android and iOS on mobile devices.

Naturally for something so big for no cost there’s going to be some drawbacks. Firstly you get Ad’s- this is removed for the paid version. There is an upload limit for standard users of 200MB per file.

All your files are not permanently stored on the server, files can be deleted by MediaFire due to “Account inactivity” which is a bit risky for Cloud storage. There have also been a number of reports of overzealous file rejection due  supposed “copyright infringement”.

What do you get for free? 50GB

Best feature – 50GB storage for free

Disadvantages- Ad’s & Risky storage policy for free users.

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BOX

Box logo

Box is a little more business aligned but can still be used as a consumer. The service is a great alternative if you don’t fancy one using one of the Big 5 services and their shaky privacy policies. The interface is simple and looks as good as any other service. You get a 5GB under the standard account but upgrading to the business model gets you about a Terabyte. The service is popular with small businesses due to the value for larger capacities.

What do you get for free? 5GB

Best Features- Business Orientated, great value, brilliant tech support

Disadvantages- Feels very business-like, 5GB free allocation lacks features

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SugarSync

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For the platform hopping amongst you SugarSync is the best supported service over various devices. The smooth running file sync service will accommodate: PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, and BlackBerry. There’s no max file size for your uploads either so no need to worry about chopping files to fit. Many people in the tech industry enjoy SugarSync due to its reliability, control over choosing what to sync and support over major platforms.

What do you get for free? 5GB

Best Features- Intuitive, selective sync options and multi-platform use

Disadvantages- Cost for pro is high

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Mozy

mozy-logo

Although not the biggest name in Cloud storage Mozy has been around for a long time and has established itself in the market as varied option for both home and business. MozyHome, MozyPro, and MozyEnterprise offer different levels of storage for users. The MozyHome is particularly good value for those needing smaller size Cloud storage as a straight backup, cost is £4.99 50GB &125GB £8.99, you can bolt-on additional 20GB upgrades for £2 each. Mozy offers “One click restore” if you need to instantly download bulk files like system backups. The 30 day file retention means Mozy keeps unlimited versions of a file for up to 30 days.

What do you get for free? 2GB + Rewards for referring

Best Features: “Instant Restore”, established brand, low price for smaller ‘Home’ packages

Disadvantages- Power hungry when running alongside other programmes

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Otixootixo-logo

Want to have your cake and eat it? No problem. Although this technically not a Cloud service it is more of management client for Cloud services. Otixo is a single-stop platform for managing multiple Cloud storage accounts. Ideal if you have personal work account on, let’s say, GoogleDrive but have a corresponding work file on DropBox- Otixo lets you drag and drop files from each one and update as you go.

Otixo isn’t available for every Cloud service so make sure your service is eligible before you go ahead with it.

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5 Comments

  1. Jem F

    I don’t understand why Mega isn’t on this list. With 50Gb (fifty) free encrypted storage, iOs and Android Apps, and now supporting sync – its the top One cloud, providing far more for free than any others I have come across.

  2. Paul

    MEGA Is the best. 50Gb for free and good drag and drop in windows. Good android app too. Not even a mention on here….

  3. Dean

    I cannot recommend SkyDrive enough. I’ve been using it to sync files between computers (and access them online via a browser) for ages- since the days of Mesh and Live Sync. It offers great collaborative document editing within a browser, supports and maintains the fidelity of feature-rich industry-standard office formats, and has native applications across Windows, OSX, Windows Phone, Android, and iOS- with support for document access on other platforms available via the web interface. I’ve never been quite as impressed with a free service as I am with SkyDrive.

  4. Laura

    Hi Danny,

    You’ve certainly mentioned one of the best cloud storage solutions on the web today. I especially like Otixo because it combines services into one beautiful interface.

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