The use of online or cloud storage such as One Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and many others has become an important facet of our daily lives. Business personnel and individuals are using online storage tools frequently nowadays to store their data. We have rounded up the top five online storage services used in 2016.
Unlike its rivals, Dropbox offers its services to clients that use platforms like Linux and Blackberry along with the usual Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac OS X. Dropbox has an official app for its Windows Phone users. Moreover, it has a various cloud storage plans.
The free account has a standard 2GB storage, which is quite enough for storing documents. However, if you need to store images, videos, or music, it definitely is too small. Nevertheless, no worries, you can upgrade to Dropbox Pro, which offers 1TB of storage for $9.99 a month or you could buy it for a year for $99.99.
Dropbox also gives an additional space of 500MB if you get a friend to sign up with Dropbox, but there is a limit of 16GB to this. You also get 1GB of storage space if you set up a mailbox account and you get to have an additional 250MB of storage if you take a tour of Dropbox basic. You can also get a 3GB storage space if you enable your camera uploads to Dropbox; this automatically uploads your images on your smartphone or tablet. Dropbox also offers 50GB of space for two years if you buy certain tablets or smartphones.
Here is How Dropbox Works
Dropbox creates a folder on your PC, which synchronizes with an online version. This feature enables you to have your data with you whether you are online or offline. Although this feature is not available on mobile devices by default, you will have to select your files in order to get them to work offline. Dropbox has a very good offline editing feature.
Dropbox files and folders are easy to share with others, but the basic account does not allow you to set permissions, which means that other users can delete files. However, Dropbox backs up changes to files for up to 30days, so you could always recover deleted data. If you upgrade to Dropbox Pro, you will be able to set permissions and set expiry times to links you have shared.
Dropbox has servers encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption and files uploaded or downloaded are secure with SSL.
Dropbox remains a solid cloud storage service provider and it is compatible with many platforms and devices.
Microsoft’s one drive offers a very impressive 15GB of free cloud storage space and you get an additional 15GB of space by linking the camera roll to One Drive. Users, who sign up with Office 365, get unlimited storage space.
Unbelievable right? Well, in November 2015, announced that it would cut down on all storage allowances and remove the 15GB bonus you got by linking camera roll. It would revert to the 5GB storage. It blamed a minority of its users who abused the service by storing hundreds of gigabytes of videos.
One Drive has a modern UI. It is easy to create folders or files on the internet. It supports Office files and One Note formats because of the tight office integration. Windows 10 introduces selective sync, which allows you to synchronize selected files to your laptop or PC.
One drive allows you to share media and files easily with friends and colleagues. It allows you to connect to various social media networks like Facebook. This does not really improve productivity but does make it easy to share files.
There is a feature that allows you to access files on another PC remotely through the one drive website. However, take note that if you are concerned with privacy, Microsoft like Apple has the rights reserved to scan your documents and files to check for copyright material or files that are explicit in nature.
The changes in cloud storage coming to one drive are a disappointment, there was a time when one could easily recommend one drive as a very good storage solution, but that is not the case now.
Similar to the ways One Drive links its self to other Microsoft products, Google drive also does the same. Google drive links itself to various services Google offers.
Google Drive offers 15GB of free space once you create an account or if you link it to an already existing account. In fact, you get a Google Drive account if you use any Google service like Gmail, Youtube or even Google calendar.
Google Drive’s shares its storage space across all other services Google has to offer, so, for example, large attachments in your email will be stored in the 15GB space you have. Photos backed up from a smartphone also get stored in the 15GB space.
How it Works
When uploading heavy data like videos or photos, Google Drive gives you the option to choose between “High quality” and “original”. High Quality offers a great upload quality and a reduced file size without taking up space in your storage. Original on the hand takes up storage space.
Unlike its rivals, Google does not offer any ways of adding extra cloud storage space, although you can get 100GB free for two years if you purchase a Chromebook.
Google drive works like most cloud storage services. It synchronizes its local folder on the PC with one on the cloud. Google drive is available on Macs and PC, though there is no mobile version for windows phone.
Unlike its rivals, it does support selective sync allowing you to choose which files you want to synchronize with your PC.
One can select the files to be made available when offline and can be edited on the mobile version. Edited documents that are created using Google docs are synced once the connection to the internet is established.
Google uses the 128-bit AES encryption like Apple to secure data. Google has a policy of not snooping around personal data unless forced by law enforcement agencies.
In my opinion, Google Drive is the best cloud storage available. It has a lot of storage to offer with many of its services linked together.
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