9 Best Cloud Storage Providers in 2020

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Chanchal

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: July 31, 2020

From a sea of cloud storage providers on the Internet, choosing the best option that is perfect for you or your business can be a tough proposition. In this article, we will discuss cloud storage in detail so that you have all the information you need before you make a choice. We will also discuss our top picks for cloud storage providers to make the decision easier.

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is a flexible and convenient new-age solution to store data. In the past, data stored on hard drives and external storage devices such as floppy disks, thumb drives, and compact discs.

Over time, they replaced by local on-premise storage devices. More recently, cloud storage has become a popular medium of choice for enterprises as well as individuals. Today, individuals and enterprises alike are embracing cloud storage to store data.

All the data is stored remotely without taking up physical space in your home or office or exhausting the megabytes on your computer.

In other words, cloud storage is a service that lets you transfer data over the Internet and store it in an offsite storage system maintained by a third party. The Internet connects the computer to the offsite storage system. The Internet is all you need to access your files anywhere and at any time. 

How Does Cloud Storage Work?

Cloud storage lets you store data on hosted servers. The remote servers are managed and owned by hosting companies. You can access your data via the Internet.

With so many cloud storage providers that have flooded the market today, the size and maintenance of cloud storage systems can be quite different based on the provider. 

The smallest cloud storage system may consist of a single data server that connects to the Internet, while some cloud storage systems are so enormous, that the equipment can fill entire warehouses. These warehouses are called “server farms.”

Leading cloud storage providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Computing maintain such gigantic data centers that store data from all over the world.

Data for Cloud Storage Providers


Data Limit for Free VersionPremium OptionApp Store RatingGoogle play Store Rating
2GB$11.99/month for 2TB4.54.3
googledrive15GB$1.99/month for 100GB4.64.4
10 GB$3.99/month for 500GB3.54.4
onedrive5 GB$1.99/month for 100GB4.74.6
mediafire10 GB$2.49/Month for 1TB3.94.1
opendrive5 GB$5/month For 500 GB53.2
box10 GB$10/month for 100GB4.84.7
idrive5 GB$4.34/moth for 83GB4.53.7
icloud5 GB$0.99/month for 50GB4.93.5

What Can Cloud Storage Do for You? 

Cloud storage offers many benefits which can potentially improve efficiency and productivity in terms of backing up and securing the data. Here are a few of them:

  • Accessibility: Data stored on the cloud can be accessed on-the-go, anytime, and anywhere. All you need is an internet connection. 
  • Mobility: Cloud storage providers even offer applications that work with various devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
  • Synchronization: You have the option to sync all your files across all devices so that you have the most current available to you all the time, creating a single source of truth.
  • Collaboration: Cloud storage services come with features that allow multiple people to collaborate on a single file even if they are spread across various locations across the world.
  • Cost-Saving: Cloud storage providers generally require you to pay only for the amount of storage you use, which prevents businesses from over-investing into their storage needs. Moreover, purchasing servers can be very costly. Hiring specialized resources to maintain these servers can be even more harmful. 
  • Scalable: Cloud storage providers offer various plans that can quickly scale your data storage capacity to meet the growing needs of your business.
  • Low Maintenance: The responsibility of upkeeping of the storage lies with the cloud storage provider. 
  • Space-Saving: Servers and even other forms of physical storage devices such as hard disks and USBs require space. This situation does not arise with cloud storage. You also do not have to worry about files eating up all the area on your hard drive and lowering the speed of your device.
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Even a small data center requires servers, networks, power, cooling, space, and ventilation, all of which can contribute significantly to energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Switching to cloud computing, therefore, can drastically reduce your energy consumption levels.
  • Security: Cloud storage solutions are designed to be very resilient. They work as resistant standby as most cloud storage providers have about two to three backup servers located in different places globally.

How to Use Cloud Storage?

While individuals use it for personal storage to store email backups, pictures, videos, and other such own files, enterprises use cloud storage as a commercially-supported remote backup solution, where they can securely transfer and store data files and even share them among various locations. 

Cloud storage solutions are relatively simple and easy to use. You are generally required to register and set up your account. Once you do that, you use your unique username and password to save your files via the Internet.

Thus, your data remains safe and secure and inaccessible to unauthorized entities. You also are typically given an option to put individual permissions in place and share your data with other collaborators. You have the liberty to choose the amount of space you need and scale the storage size up or down as you go.

Read Also: Cloud Sync vs. Cloud Backup – Let’s Understand the Difference

What Are the Different Types of Cloud Storage?

There are primarily three types of cloud storage solutions:

1. Public Cloud Storage

Suitable for unstructured data, public cloud storage is offered by third-party cloud storage providers over the open Internet. They may be available for free or on a paid basis. Users are usually required to pay for only what they use. 

2. Private Cloud Storage

A private cloud allows organizations to store data in their environment. The infrastructure is hosted on-premises. It offers many benefits that come with a public cloud service such as self-service and scalability; the dedicated in-house resources increase the scope for customization and control. Internal hosting and company firewalls also make this the more secure option. 

3. Hybrid Cloud Storage

As the name suggests, hybrid cloud allows data and applications to be shared between a public and a private cloud. Businesses that have a secret, the on-premise solution can seamlessly scale up to the public cloud to handle any short-term spikes or overflow. 

Choosing the Right Cloud Storage Provider

Here are some things you may want to consider before you zero in on a cloud storage provider:

  • Understand Your Storage Needs

Fully understand how much storage you will need and what kind of files you need to store, be it photos, videos, or documents. Also, consider how often you share this data. Identifying your daily storage needs will help you pick an optimal cloud storage solution.

  • Look Beyond Storage

Ideally, a cloud storage solution will be much more than a backup service. It must facilitate easy sharing and collaboration and make managing your data a breeze.

  • Check Security Levels

While most cloud storage providers offer highly secure solutions, it wouldn’t hurt to take a closer look at the types of encryption they provide and how securely the data will be stored. 

  • Look at Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Take a look at the customer satisfaction ratings and reviews on various app stores, sites, and forums before you make a decision. Try to opt for a solution that seems to be generally well-liked.

  • Consider the Cost

Most cloud service providers offer a free version which takes care of your basic storage needs. Use the free version before you decide to settle for a paid plan. You might not need it at all. Also, take a closer look at how you will be billed, how often, and on what basis.

What are the Best Cloud Storage Providers?

  1. Google Drive

google-drive

USP: Collaboration

Features:

  • It supports most file formats- photos, drawings, videos, recordings, etc.
  • Up to 15 GB of free storage capacity.
  • You need a Google account to get started.
  • Upload files from your phone and tablet too and not just your computer.
  • Share data and collaborate on them without an email attachment.

 Cons: The interface can be confusing.

 Platforms: Apps available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices

  1. pCloud

pcloud

USP: Storing large files

Features:

  • Free storage up to 10 GB
  • TLS/SSL encryption for data security
  • Supports file management from the web, desktop, and also the mobile
  •  Multiple file-sharing options.
  • Saves versions of files for specific amounts of time
  • Back up your photos from social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Picasa)

Cons: It has bandwidth limitations.

OS Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux

  1. Microsoft OneDrive

onedrive

USP: Great for Windows users

Features: 

  • Works with Microsoft Office and Office 365 suite
  • Built-in Windows file syncing and restoration features 
  • Integrated into the file explorer, automatically jumpstarting online backup. 

Cons: Only 5GB of free storage

OS Platforms: Windows, iOS, and Android

Looking for Mobile App Development Companies? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best mobile app development companies solutions.

  1. Dropbox

dropbox

USP: Excellent for light data users

Features:

  • Store files in one central space
  • Create and share anything with Dropbox Paper- rough drafts, videos, images to code and sound
  • Suitable for freelancers, solo workers, teams, and businesses alike
  • Admin controls to simplify team management tasks

 Cons: Only 2GB of free data

 OS Platforms: Windows, Windows Phone, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

  1. MediaFire

mediafire

USP: 50GB of free cloud storage 

Features:

  • Start with 10GB of free space which can be increased through usual activities such as referrals.
  • Supports files up to 4GB large
  • Unlimited downloads
  • Automated photo and video syncing and streaming 

Cons: The free version comes with too many ads.

OS Platforms: Windows, iOS, Android

  1. OpenDrive

open-drive

USP: No file upload limitation

Features:

  • Comes with tools for data management, project and workflow, and branding
  • Available for personal use with features like online storage, online backup, file syncing, online file sharing, and file hot linking, etc.

 Cons: Limited support.

OS Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  1. Box

box

USP: High-performing enterprise solutions 

Features:

  • Work online with others, share folders and co-edit with Microsoft Office 365 or Box Notes.
  • Large files can be shared straight from the Box.

Cons: Costlier than most other solutions

OS Platforms: Accessible from any device

  1. IDrive

i-drive

USP: File backups

Features:

  • Real-time, automatic backups 
  • Entire drive including the OS and settings can be backed up
  • Backup from unlimited devices from a single account
  • Backup storage remains unimpacted by sync storage
  • 256-bit AES file encryption 
  • You can only delete files manually or run an Archive Cleanup
  • Deleted files can entirely be recovered within 30 days.

Cons: Just 5GB of free storage 

OS Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

  1. iCloud

USP: Excellent for private users, suitable for Apple users 

Features:

  • It is Apple’s proprietary cloud storage solution
  • Collaborate with Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Notes
  • Pick up every conversation from where it was left off
  • It will work perfect if you change your phone 

Cons: Some things such as To-do-lists, schedules, and presentations can be shared only with people who have an Apple ID 

OS Platforms: Windows, iOS, and Mac OS

Conclusion

Choosing a cloud storage provider, especially from the business standpoint, surely warrants careful consideration. It is crucial to pick a cloud storage solution that offers the most optimal amount of storage, bandwidth, and data security. We hope that the list above will help you make the right decision. We recommend using the free plan before settling on a solution. 

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Chanchal Soni is a Growth Hacker and CRO Specialist at Appitsimple. She has experience in digital marketing, social media, content strategy, and marketing communications. Lover of huskies, the ocean & Boston sports.

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