Why waste valuable storage space on your PC or phone when you can store your documents and media in the cloud and share it across devices? These top-rated services let you do just that. See them below.
IDrive offers continuous syncing of your files, even those on network drives. The web interface supports sharing files by email, Facebook and Twitter. Cautious or click-happy users will be pleased to hear that files deleted from your computer are not automatically deleted from the server, so there's less danger of removing something important by accident. Up to 30 previous versions of all files backed to your account are retained.
Another thing to note is that IT admins have access to IDrive Thin Client application, which allows them to backup/restore, manage settings, and more for all their connected computers via a centralized dashboard.
For photos, you have a neat facial recognition feature that helps you to automatically organize them as well as syncing them across all your linked devices. IDrive also offers IDrive Express which sends you a physical hard disk drive if you lose all your data, allowing for the swift restoration of all your backed up files. That applies to the newly introduced disk image backup feature.
A business version exists and offers priority support, single sign-on as well as unlimited users and server backup. Furthermore, IDrive Cloud, an enterprise-class cloud object storage is also available.
While some bandwidth limits apply, there seems to be no limit to the size of files you can upload, so feel free to sync large media files with pCloud. The service is available for all desktop and mobile platforms – users can also log in via the website. The company itself is registered in Switzerland which has strong privacy laws and you can also pay a premium of $4.99 a month for pCloud Crypto to lock (and unlock) individual files with passwords.
Note that it is one of the very few cloud services that offer lifetime subscriptions. The latter come with 30 days trash history and unlimited remote upload traffic (you only need the URL of the file); you are - as expected - limited on the download link traffic: 500GB for the Premium package and 2TB for the Premium Plus package.
There are lots of things to like about Zoolz Cloud Backup for both personal use and business deployment. It offers an easy to follow interface with excellent web management options, and the ability to combine cloud operations with local external storage.
This UK-based company leverages Amazon’s Glacier infrastructure to deliver a compelling price/performance ratio, with prices far cheaper than the competition. With 20PB of data stored for three million users for more than a decade, Zoolz is also not as ephemeral as some of its rivals.
Swedish outfit Degoo is not a household name, and therefore it comes as a surprise that it has managed to carve itself a niche inside the ultra-competitive cloud storage market.
With only two offerings, this outfit has managed to attract more than 15 million users globally since its inception earlier in 2019 – an estimated 20,000 people join Degoo every day. It is one of the few cloud storage companies worldwide that encrypts stored files and disperses them across four different continents. It also supports two-factor authentication via the Google sign-in.
With an insanely generous free tier and a simple drag-and-drop interface, New Zealand-based Mega is one of the cloud storage heavyweights. There's a handy mobile app to allow you to upload files and photos, as well as sync clients with desktop machines. The company also has business tailored plans.
Mega claims that all data stored in its cloud is encrypted on your device before it reaches the firm’s servers. As the company has released the source code to its sync client, experts can check that there are no vulnerabilities.
OneDrive is integrated into Windows 10's File Explorer. You don't have to download an additional app – it's there to use out of the box, which is obviously very convenient for those who have made the jump to Microsoft’s newest operating system.
Microsoft's Photos app can also use OneDrive to sync pictures across all your devices. As of late March, Autodesk AutoCAD has been integrated with OneDrive which is good news for anyone using the software's drafting tools. In addition, you have a feature called Personal Vault, which gives you an added layer of protection. There's an app for Android and iOS devices, and there's even one in the App Store for Mac users (although it has received mixed reviews).
If you want to back up your iPhone to iCloud, you'll need more than the free 5GB allowance Apple gives you, but compared to rivals iCloud prices are very reasonable.
The Mac Finder app integrates iCloud Drive, where you can store any files you wish. Documents created in the iWork office suite are also saved to iCloud and can sync across your devices. Windows users can also sync their files with iCloud Drive using the official client, and access the iWork apps on the iCloud website.
Google Drive is a natural choice for owners of Android devices as it's already integrated, but users of other platforms may appreciate the generous free storage too. You can also store high definition photos on your mobile phone with companion app Google Photos, and make use of Google's own office suite (now known as G Suite). Also, upgrading to paid Google Drive plans is now called Google One (although it might not yet be available, depending on the region).
Downsides include the fact that the web interface isn't very easy-to-use, although Windows and Mac users can download a desktop app to drag-and-drop files easily.
Box's website currently seems to be pushing its Business plans as clicking ‘sign up’ takes you to the pricing page where for $15 per user (£11, around AU$19) you can benefit from advanced collaboration options and unlimited storage. But there is a 10GB free option, too.
As Box has been around for a while, it is supported by a number of mainstream apps such as Google Docs and Office 365. It's also integrated with G-Suite, which means Docs, Sheets and Slides are automatically saved and managed in Box. Additionally, like OneDrive, it's also been integrated with AutoCAD. The Box Sync client is available from the Downloads page for Mac and Windows, plus there's also an official Android client.
NextCloud isn’t an online cloud storage provider itself, but offers free software to download and install a cloud storage service on your own server. Using a server on your home network for cloud storage is much faster. You can also enable encryption and make sure the information never leaves your home network, which is far safer.
If you've no server or IT experience, you can even purchase a preconfigured NextCloud Box (if you can find one) which comes with a 1TB hard drive and will work with an inexpensive Raspberry Pi board to keep your data synced. Unfortunately, NextCloud Box is sold out but you can check out the alternatives on their website
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