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Which Drive Offers the Best Cloud Storage For Your Business?
The rise of cloud computing has contributed to the increased need for cloud storage. Competition is fierce in this ...
The rise of cloud computing has contributed to the increased need for cloud storage. Competition is fierce in this space, but five leading contenders have emerged. These companies have all amassed a large customer base. While one focuses on business clients, the remaining four also serve personal consumers.
Which one is the best cloud storage?
That depends on your operating system, business suite and needs.
The 5 Best Cloud Storage Options
People generally feel very committed to the cloud drives they use. These are five of the most used, in no particular order:
- Microsoft OneDrive: Microsoft initially launched OneDrive in 2007. While it's not a popular choice for everyday consumers, business customers use it frequently.
- Google Drive: Google Drive is one of the most common choices for consumer use but is less common for organizations. However, this is rapidly changing.
- Dropbox: Dropbox is a common choice for consumer use and small teams. It is not as common for larger enterprises.
- iCloud: Apple's storage services mostly apply to iPhone and iPad users and do not offer comprehensive business storage beyond this. That may change over time.
- Cloud Storage on AWS: AWS differs from the other cloud storage providers on this list as it's a part of Amazon Web Services, which is a suite of tools for businesses and developers.
The Best Cloud Storage Based on Varying Factors
Before choosing a drive, assess your business needs. Once you have a list of your top priorities, narrowing down the best option for your business becomes much easier. Here are a various factors to consider when you decide on your cloud storage:
Workers waste a lot of time moving between tabs and applications. Companies can experience much better synergy by using the drive storage created for their operating systems and business suites. Most companies already use Microsoft products, so OneDrive becomes the most obvious choice.
Those companies that use Apple products may experience better synergies with iCloud. Android and Chrome devices are a growing sector of the business user market and companies that use them could consider Google Drive. Amazon has bundled its storage services with web services and could offer synergy there.
Companies increasingly rely on apps to facilitate collaboration and boost productivity. These include apps for hosting conference calls, co-editing documents, managing projects and creating reports. Several standalone apps do an excellent job of each one, but synergy also plays a critical role here.
No business suite boasts an ecosystem as rich in productivity tools as Microsoft. This might be the number-one factor contributing to Microsoft's control of the business market. Consequently, OneDrive wins this round of best cloud storage options as well.
Slow cloud storage is not just annoying, it can also severely cripple productivity efforts. The longer people wait for apps to load or files to download, the more susceptible they are to distractions and frustration.
Most drives boast impressive speeds to keep up with cloud computing needs and a culture of immediacy. However, one company does stand out here: DropBox. It can take less than a minute to download a 1GB file from this drive using a high-speed connection.
Most companies expect to use far more than the amounts allotted for free cloud services. Even so, it's worth knowing what those are ― if provided ― and the prices for paid services.
Google provides the best cloud storage free option by offering 15 GB at no cost. Google Workspace plans range in price from $6 to $18 per user per month. Storage ranges from 30 GB to 5 TB per user, respectively. It also has a custom enterprise plan.
The basic OneDrive plan for individual use provides 5 GB for free. Businesses can purchase OneDrive storage for $5 to $12.50 per user per month. It does not specify storage space. Instead, the plans vary based on the apps included, such as Teams, Outlook and Word.
Dropbox provides only 2 GB of free space. It then offers plans for personal and business use. Teams pay $15 to $24 per user per month. Storage capacity ranges from a shared 5 TB to as much space as needed. There is also a custom size for larger enterprises.
Apple's iCloud product mainly targets individual consumers. It starts with a free 5 GB. Paid monthly subscriptions vary by region. Americans pay $0.99 to $9.99 per month. Storage capacity ranges from 50 GB to 2 TB, which does not compete well as far as the best cloud storage capacity.
In 2021, Apple launched its Business Essentials program. However, the storage capacity would likely not be enough for business needs beyond smartphone use. Prices range from $2.99 per device per month to $24.00 per user per month. Storage capacity ranges from 50 GB to 2 TB.
Cloud Storage on AWS
Amazon provides 5GB of S3 storage to its free AWS users. From there, it has a pricing model so complex that it built a calculator to help companies estimate their costs. Storage costs vary based on tiers. For example, companies can purchase S3 storage for data retrieved once or twice yearly at $0.00099 per GB. Companies can expect to pay $0.021 per GB or more for frequent access to S3 storage.
The Best Cloud Storage Drive for Your Business
These criteria are just the starting point for your business. You likely have additional concerns, such as data security policies or the location of data centers. Some organizations may prefer to work with smaller, independent cloud storage options because hackers target them less often.
Cloudficient provides S3 cloud service for enterprise-level usage at 25% of what most comparable services cost. Request pricing to get started with one of the best cloud storage options on the market.
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