Top 7 Cloud Storage Services in 2020
There are multiple uses for cloud storage services in 2020. Knowing which one has the best features for you requires comparison shopping and research. The essential purpose of cloud storage is housing digital data online for personal and business use. File sharing and data transfers are also popular features.
Instead of transporting portable external hard drives and risking them being damaged or lost, online cloud storage services offer safe and convenient ways to access your important data. Most services work on Android and iOS systems as well as internet browsers, laptops and more. Cloud storage is also affordable and flexible as most companies offer both monthly and annual plans with no-penalty options to upgrade or downgrade as needed.
Which cloud storage service is right for you? While all cloud storage works the same on a fundamental level, personal or business accounts have different features. Pricing, plans and storage limits all vary between companies. Read on to learn more about the top 7 cloud storage services in 2020.
What is Cloud Storage?
For those new to the concept of online storage services, cloud storage is an online replacement method for physical hard drives or other data-storing hardware. Instead of saving files to a flash drive, DVD or other hardware method, personal or professional data and files are stored in virtual spaces online. Files are uploaded when needing to be stored and downloaded when needing to be edited or otherwise modified. Files can be accessed without downloading, however. Data can also be shared between multiple users via email or share-enabled links.
Personal or Business Cloud Storage?
Personal and business cloud storage service both base the pricing of plans on how much data a customer requires and how many users are active in an account. Some business plans are so affordable it makes sense for personal users requiring higher storage amounts to purchase them.
There are some distinct differences between personal and business plans. For example, business plans tend to automatically include higher security measures and file encryptions. Business plans also allow for multiple users with tiered fees priced accordingly. Both types of plans have a lot to offer consumers. Some do stand out above others, however. 7 of the top cloud storage services in 2020 are:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Apple iCloud
Every Google Gmail account includes 15 GB of free general storage space. This is great for general purposes but some users need more. The Google Drive consumer storage service is renamed as Google One and provides much more than the free 15 GB of available free space. Pricing is set up in tiers starting at $1.99 per month for 100 GB of storage space. The 2 TB plan is priced at $9.99 per month, which is relatively cheap compared to many other services. Some consumers find Google to be invasive and have security concerns using its services. However, Google is a household name and offers its storage services to anyone with a Gmail account. Shareable services also include Google Docs, Photos, Calendar and more, making Google One a flexible and affordable option for multiple functions.
There are eight plans available for the Microsoft OneDrive storage services. These plans are split into Business and Home accounts. Pricing plans are displayed on the Microsoft OneDrive website, where potential customers can compare plans to make the most informed decision. File uploads are limited to 15 GB and it has been reported there are occasional syncing issues with this service. However, OneDrive is completely compatible and integrated with the popular Microsoft 365 service. It is also full customizable to your business needs and its functions are fairly easy to learn. The free plan is the OneDrive Basic 5Gb, which allots 5GB of free data storage per user account. Business plans are more elaborate and have extensive and convenient pricing options.
Hightail was formerly known as YouSendIt. YouSendIt was founded in 2004 and renamed as Hightail in 2013. The company initially began with a focus on transferring files too large for regular email attachments, making it a popular service among musicians and photographers sharing larger files. Since 2015, Hightail Spaces has been growing in popularity due to its focus on professional level storage and creative collaborations. One of the best features of Hightail services is unlimited storage for just $12 per month. This beats out the commonplace Dropbox, which charges a penny less for a limit of 2 TB in storage space.
Making online storage and file sharing simple has been a focus of MediaFire since it was founded. MediaFire allows potential customers to upload files prior to officially signing up with a user account, which displays confidence in its product while simultaneously building trust with consumers. 10 GB of space is included with free accounts. 1 TB of space is available for $7.50 per month in the Pro plan, with a one-user limit. Business plans allow up to 100 users and a shareable 100 TB of space for $80 per month. Free accounts are reported to contain in-application advertisements. However, this is eliminated in paid accounts and file uploads are quick and simple to accomplish.
Apple online storage pricing is dependent on global location. The free iCloud accounts offer 5GB of free space. Similar to Google, Apple has a reputation of being invasive with private data. iOS and Apple OS updates, which happen frequently, also make things complicated by rending older systems unusable and creating technical issues causing delays. U.S. prices start at just .99c per month for a respectable 50 GB of storage. 2 TB of space costs only $9.99 per month. Some of the best features of Apple iCloud services include:
- Cross-platform compatibility with Windows systems.
- Fast and easy file transfers between all your personal Apple devices.
- Convenient and affordable family sharing options.
Dropbox is one of the most consistently popular cloud storage services on the market. Dropbox offers 2 GB of free space in free accounts. Dropbox Plus is now $11.99 per month for 2TB of storage, while the professional plan is $19.99 per month for 3 TB and additional security watermarks plus time-based video commenting. This service is one of the more expensive in 2020 for the amount of space offered per plan. However, Dropbox recently expanded its features to better service business needs and is known for its reliability. Dropbox is a dedicated service also known to be non-invasive like some of its popular competitors.
Box.com boasts simplicity in its plans and is popular among creative using its paid plans. Free plans include 10 GB of space but limit file transfer sizes to 250 MB per file. Paid accounts costs $10 per month with 100 GB of space and a 5 GB file limit. This makes Box.com more expensive than even Dropbox, but the convenience of use and focus on creative needs helps it maintain popularity. Box.com paid plans are integrated with both Microsoft 365 and G Suite, which is another major strength of this service. Business, Business Plus and Enterprise plans are priced at $15, $25 and $35 respectively. Features of all three plan options can be found here.