This blog was last updated in January 2023.
The show must go on! This show business phrase is as relevant to today’s business scenario as it is for a theatrical performance. Irrespective of whatever challenges one faces, it’s necessary to perform when you are on stage, similarly the business should go on as usual, whatever challenges may come.
This is even more applicable for modern business leaders – the CXOs, who burden the responsibility of keeping the cashboxes ringing with zero interruption in business operations, whatever may be the conditions. Work-related data including documents, e-mails, audio/video files, presentations, databases, graphics, spreadsheets, etc. are all the lifeblood of businesses today and for business leaders, their 24/7 availability and accessibility are of great importance.
Moreover, today’s business landscape requires leaders to work from different locations and many times on the same set of documents from different devices.
Further, those working in industries like financial services, media houses, content management, and development environments often face data storage and security-related issues due to the large volume of data they handle on a daily basis.
These changing business needs and environments necessitate the need for a safe and scalable solution for data storage and easy transfer of data and information- internally within an organization and externally, to whom it’s intended.
Here, modern cloud storage helps you not only process information regularly with automation, but allows you to work on different devices with real-time syncs, and also acts as a backup and recovery tool that enables you to keep your business running 24/7—the core necessity of any digitally transforming business.
Why cloud storage is the best option for businesses?
- It is fast- Besides providing you with unlimited storage and anywhere-anytime access, it helps you deploy your data securely by using the cloud provider’s infrastructure and hit go. Creating a new data center for your churned data may mean a massive investment in time and money.
- It offers personalized storage options – Different cloud storage providers offer a wide range of customized offerings to differentiate themselves like security, privacy, migration, compliance, and other services. This allows business leaders to send more data to the cloud and also prevents their teams from using “shadow IT” solutions.
- It helps you work smarter– With the cloud, you can take a closer look at your data center spending, including your space and type of data to be secured and use your storage more efficiently. These insights will help you plan and spend your budget and space only where it’s actually needed.
Further, it helps you reduce your bandwidth consumption as you don’t need to upload files every time you edit, and empowers you with the e-sharing of files and documents.
There are major players that offer different cloud storage for business solutions, but choosing the right one depends solely on the kind of files you want to store, your security needs, whether you plan to collaborate, and also on devices you will use to edit and access your files.
We have compiled a guide of the best cloud storage providers and their services to help you pick the best one per your needs. All these offers to sync and sharing capabilities, but some like Microsoft OneDrive also offer media-playing and device syncing. Many of them specialize in a specific area like document co-editing, and some also provide a limited level of backup. Read about each one in detail below.
Best Cloud Storage Providers and Services
If you are looking for the best cloud storage services, then we have done a comparison for you:
1. Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive is a storage option of Microsoft for Windows 10 and Office 365 users. It comes along with file folder syncing and online backup features. Integrated with Windows 10, it handles all common types of files – documents, music, photos, and video and does an impressive job of displaying photos and videos via a web interface. For business users, OneDrive has added features for improving team collaboration and productivity. Some of these features include the ability to directly add files to OneDrive, Teams sharing integration, synced metadata support, up to 100GB file updates, and more.
Microsoft cloud storage solution includes the feature to auto-tag images and OCR to extract text from images, EXIF camera to help view the photos as a slideshow, and a map of where they were taken along.
Microsoft OneDrive Pricing:
- 5 GB for Free
- 1 TB (1000 GB per user – as part of Microsoft 365 Business Basic)
2. Google Drive
Another cloud-based storage and syncing service that enables you to create, edit, store and collaborate on documents with Google Drive’s companion apps- Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. But for offline edits, Microsoft OneDrive is surely the best choice.
With the Google cloud storage solution, you also get built-in OCR and Backup and Sync feature, which helps you designate any folder on your system for syncing but this doesn’t turn your Drive into a complete backup utility.
Other features of Google Drive include the ability to save files directly to Drive, convert PDFs to Docs, share with others, extract ZIP files, etc.
Privacy is a concern with Google Drive as it gathers information from the online activity of users.
Google Drive Pricing:
- 15 GB for Free
- 100GB for $1.99
- 200GB for $2.99
- 2TB for $9.99 per month
Dropbox is a simple and full-featured file-syncing and storage service with apps for almost every operating system. It offers a new Dropbox Paper suite of tools and file requests that makes collaboration even better for teamwork. It supports file sharing. The only downside is that it is expensive.
- 2TB for $9.99/month with Dropbox Plus
- 3TB for $16.58/month with Dropbox Professional
Highly customizable syncing and storage tool, Box is easy to use with its rich feature set. It does offer workflow tools but it doesn’t offer built-in document editing. It lacks some collaboration features offered by the best of the competition – Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. Some of the noteworthy features include Box Canvas – for rich, interactive visual collaboration and whiteboarding, Box Sign – e-signature tool, Box Notes, and Box Mobile.
- Up to 100 GB for $10 per user/month (Personal Pro plan)
- Up to 100 GB for $7 per user/month (Shorter Business plan)
- Unlimited for $20 (Business), $33 (Business Plus) per user/month
5. Amazon Drive
This is secure cloud storage for your photos, files, videos, and more. It allows you to back up your files to the cloud and feel safe for your data. You can use free Amazon Drive and Prime Photos apps for computer, iPhone, and Android for sharing and access on the go.
But the desktop app doesn’t work well with your file system, you can only use it to upload or download files.
Amazon storage pricing:
- Unlimited photo storage, and 5GB video storage with Amazon Prime membership
- 100 GB for $19.99 per year
- 1TB for $59.99 per year
6. Apple iCloud
This service also includes productivity apps and collaboration tools like Google Drive and OneDrive but is best for Apple ecosystem users. It allows Apple users to create folders for their files and provides online storage for Apple’s productivity apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
It offers a very good interface but you don’t get web access to all your cloud data in Apple’s iCloud and it is difficult to centralize all files if you use Apple apps. You have to pay high prices for increased storage.
Apple iCloud pricing*:
- 50GB for $0.99/month
- 200GB for $2.99/month
- 2TB for $9.99/month
*for the US region
Comparison of best Cloud Storage Providers
|Core Features||Amazon Drive||Apple iCloud||Box||Dropbox||Google Drive||Microsoft OneDrive|
|Free Storage Space||5GB||5GB||10GB||2GB||15GB||5 GB|
|File Upload Limit||2GB||50GB||250MB for free plan, 5GB for paid plans||50GB (online), 1 TB (for desktop or mobile apps)||5TB||250GB|
|OS Supported||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire||Windows, Mac, iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
|Pricing||-Unlimited photo storage, 5GB video storage with Amazon Prime membership|
-100 GB for $19.99 per year
-1TB for $59.99 per year
|-50GB for $0.99/month|
-200GB for $2.99/month
-2TB for $9.99/month
|-100GB for $10 per user/month (Personal Pro)|
-Unlimited for $20 (Business), $33 (Business Plus) per user/month
|-2TB for $9.99/month with Dropbox Plus|
-3TB for $16.58/month with Dropbox Professional
|-15 GB for Free|
-100GB for $1.99/month
-200GB for $2.99/month
-2TB for $9.99/month
|-5 GB for Free
-1 TB (1000 GB per user – as part of Microsoft 365 Business Basic)
There are many more cloud storage options available in the market- SugarSync, SpiderOakOne, IDrive and more in addition to the top ones above.