Best Cloud Storage for Files

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Cloud storage is one of the most popular services out there, and it’s getting more so every day. If you want to keep all your files in the cloud, though, you need to be sure you have a good plan. Here are some things to consider before making a decision.

It can be difficult to find the Best Cloud Storage for Files for your specific needs if you don’t know what to look for. As part of this guide, we’ll take a look at what cloud storage is, and which services are best suited to your needs. There is also a list of frequently-asked questions you might find helpful.

Best Cloud Storage for Files

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage, also known as cloud-based storage, is a service that allows users to store files online. files can be stored on any computer or device that has an internet connection. The files can be either digital or physical.

Cloud storage is often cheaper and faster thantraditional methods of storing data. Additionally, it offers an easy way to share files between multiple computers or devices.

Cloud storage can be used for a variety of purposes such as storing personal photos, music, videos, and documents.

Cloud storage providers vary in terms of their prices and features. Some providers offer free services while others charge fees for more advanced features like drag-and-drop file sharing and automated backup functions.

Best Cloud Storage and File-Sharing Services

1. Google Drive

Google’s cloud storage walks hand in hand with Android and Google Workspace. If these platforms are already a part of your workflow, Google Drive offers a feature-rich, affordable native backup-and-sync solution.

While not as barebones as some of the other options listed, we found Google Drive’s UI to be clean and intuitive. It is worth remembering, however, that it’s more than cloud storage. It comes with companion apps including Google Photos(opens in new tab), Docs, Sheets, and Slides—together known as Google Workspace—meaning you can create, edit, store, view, and synchronize files via this unified, web-based interface. 

When you open a new account, Google offers you free storage of up to 15GB on Google Drive. This plan is yours to keep forever, and if you wish to upgrade to a higher storage plan down the road, you can do so. The paid plans, offered under the banner of Google One(opens in new tab), start at $1.99 a month for 100GB. From there, you can upgrade storage to a maximum of 30TB for $299.99 a month

The web interface, while very attractive, isn’t the easiest to use. This problem is easily solved however by downloading the Google Drive desktop application for Windows and macOS. This file explorer-based drag-and-drop system is not dissimilar to Microsoft OneDrive, which lets you back up, store, modify, and delete files directly from your desktop.

Free100GB200GB2TB
Cost per month/yearFree$1.99 / $9.99$2.99 / $29.99$9.99 / $99.99
Storage capacity15GB100GB200GB2TB
Number of usersSixSixSixSix
File versioning✔ (30-days)✔ (30-days)✔ (30-days)✔ (30-days)

2. Sync.com

More Details About Sync.com:

  • Pricing: 5GB free, 2TB for $96 per year ($8 per month)
  • Number of devices: 5 on Individual Plans
  • Website: Sync.com

Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • Secure cloud storage
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Slower than some rivals

Sync.com is our choice for the best cloud service, hitting the top spot in many of our cloud storage lists. It’s one of the most secure cloud services out there, and it keeps improving its service and adding new features as the service matures and grows.

Security & Collaboration in One Package

To start with, Sync.com comes with zero-knowledge encryption as standard. This means that if there was a security breach or the authorities demanded access to your account, the intruder would only see scrambled data because you’re the only one holding the encryption key.

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To add to this, Sync.com offers advanced sharing controls, including passwords, download limits and expiry dates for sharing links. Plus, Sync.com allows you to create and edit Microsoft Office documents (including Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents) in a privacy-friendly collaboration environment, without breaking zero-knowledge encryption.

Sync.com Pricing & Free Storage

Pricing is where Sync.com truly shines. Sync.com comes with 5GB free storage, which isn’t much, but it’s enough to try the service out. However, its paid plans are some of the cheapest around. For just $8 per month (paid annually), you get 2TB of storage space.

For comparison, the same amount of file storage from Dropbox is $9.99 a month. In fact, there is no provider in our top 10 that offers 2TB of storage for a lower price.

3. IDrive

IDrive takes first in our list of the best premium cloud storage providers, and for good reason. It offers great value-for-money, provides highly secure cloud storage solutions, and has an option for every user. 

The basic free-forever plan only supports 5GB of storage, but this should be enough for you to test it. Personal plans that support one user and unlimited devices cost $59.62 a year ($79.50 on renewal) for 5TB or $74.62 a year ($99.50 on renewal) for 10TB of storage. IDrive is also currently offering 10TB for a hugely discounted price of $3.98 for the first year(opens in new tab) — one of the most affordable high-capacity plans available, though you need to prove you’re using a competitor as part of the signup.

All plans can be used on various desktop and mobile operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can set up continuous data backup if required, and it’s even possible to create a copy of external hard drives and NAS (network-attached storage) devices. 

We found that files can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, and file sharing is extremely easy. All plans come with the innovative IDrive Express feature, which enables you to back up files and data to a physical storage device, which is then mailed to your chosen address. This is available once per year with the Personal plans.

FreePersonalTeam**Business**
Cost per month/yearFree$5.79* / $79.50***$8.29* / $99.50$8.29* / $99.50
Storage capacity5GB5TB***5TB250GB
Number of usersOneOneFiveUnlimited
File versioning✔ (30 versions)✔ (30 versions)✔ (30 versions)✔ (30 versions)

4. pCloud

More Details About pCloud:

  • Pricing: 10GB free, 2TB for $95.88 per year ($7.99 per month)
  • Number of devices: Unlimited
  • Website: pCloud.com

Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • Choice of encryption levels
  • Clever virtual drive
  • EU servers available

Cons:

  • Zero-knowledge encryption isn’t free
  • No document integration

You’ll often see us praise pCloud in our cloud storage reviews, and it’s not hard to see why. It has a number of unique features wrapped in a sleek and secure package. Plus, it offers great pricing, putting it alongside Sync.com.

Top-Shelf Media & Sharing Capabilities

pCloud is a great option for media lovers. That’s thanks to features offered in the embedded pCloud music player, which automatically crates playlists by artist, album or folder. Its video player is also fairly advanced, even letting you change playback speed and convert video files to other formats.

If you’re running out of media storage space on your device, pCloud’s virtual drive will come in handy. pCloud can mount a virtual drive on your device (similar to Local Disk (C:)) which uses your cloud storage instead of your hard drive’s storage.

If you’re a creator that loves to post on social media, pCloud lets you back up images that you previously uploaded to your socials as part of its backup feature. This feature also lets you back up your entire device to the cloud, or even move all your files from another cloud service to pCloud.

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5. Dropbox

Only a file storage service that allows for app integrations, unlike the competition

Dropbox is a fantastic choice for personal cloud storage. Plans are affordable, the user interface is impressive, and it integrates well with many third-party platforms.

It is a leader in file sharing, with several features helping to make it easy to share large files with others, whether they use Dropbox or not. However, one limitation we found is that you can’t back up external or network drives — Dropbox only stores what you transfer to the Dropbox folder on your device. This isn’t a major issue, but differentiates it from competitors like IDrive. 

Security is impressive without being exceptional, with all files are encrypted at rest and in transit, though there is no end-to-end encryption. Accounts can also be secured with two-factor authentication (2FA).

It has a free plan with 2GB of storage, as well as two other personal plans(opens in new tab). Of these, the Plus Plan is $9.99 a month for 2TB of storage, and enables you to send files up to 2GB per transfer. The Family Plan has the same storage and transfer capabilities, but for six individual users, for $16.99 a month. Despite its limitations, we think you could do much worse than Dropbox for cloud storage. 

BasicPlusFamilyProfessionalStandardAdvanced
Cost per month/yearFree$11.99 / $119.88$19.99 / $203.88$19.99 / $1,198.96$15 / $150 (per user)$25 / $240 (per user)
Storage capacity2GB2TB2TB3TB5TBUnlimited
Number of usersOneOneSix (maximum)OneThree (minimum)Three (minimum)
File versioning✔ (30-days)✔ (30-days)✔ (180-days)✔ (180-days)✔ (180-days)

Best Cloud Storage For Business

1. pCloud

pCloud offers an excellent storage service across the board, with plenty of features tailored to businesses. You’ve got real-time file syncing, and the ability to upload and manage your files across all your desktop and mobile devices. It also supports unlimited files sizes – which iDrive notably does not. 

pCloud lets you give different members of your team different access levels, and offers commenting tools that make it easier to collaborate. Security is enhanced with dedicated modules, the search function is impressively sophisticated, and the whole thing scales up well even once a lot of users have been added. You can even customise it with your own branding. 

Everything that you upload to pCloud is covered by 256-bit AES encryption, and there’s two-factor authorisation. pCloud keeps backups of your deleted and altered files for thirty days, and your files are stored in a minimum of three different physical locations. Redundancies upon redundancies; it’s the kind of thing we like to hear when it comes to data storage. 

Handily, pCloud also plays well with other services, and is capable of automatically backing up files from Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. Price-wise, there are annual and monthly subscription options, as well as lifetime payment options on some tiers, so you can just fork out a lump sum and then never have to think about your storage again. Overall it’s an impressive package!

2. Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive(opens in new tab) is the perfect platform for businesses already using Microsoft 365. Integration across those applications, including Word, Excel, Teams, and SharePoint, enables users to collaborate dynamically, making OneDrive our choice for the best cloud storage platform for business.

One of its greatest strengths is that it’s both a cloud storage and cloud syncing platform. File versioning, tracked changes, and link sharing all operate seamlessly alongside OneDrive’s core functionalities, strengthening its credentials. Security is another strength, as while AES 256-bit encryption is applied to all data at rest, Microsoft goes further with the Personal Vault, with this subfolder providing unlimited end-to-end encryption for all business customers.

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Data is also backed up across several servers, so you can be confident it won’t be lost. Microsoft’s enterprise plans(opens in new tab) also offer best-in-class cybersecurity services and advanced threat detection functionality. Ensuring the integrity of employees’ accounts is easy too, with administrators able to enforce 2FA and periodic password changes.

Its business plans(opens in new tab) offer a choice between a OneDrive plan or Microsoft 365 bundle. Two standalone OneDrive plans cost $5 per user a month (Plan 1) and $10 per user a month (Plan 2), with the first including 1TB of storage space per user, and the second unlimited storage space as well as a suite of security and compliance features such as file auditing, data retention, and sensitive labels. 

There are two packages with Microsoft 365: Microsoft 365 Business Basic, which includes 1TB storage per user, Microsoft Teams, and web access to apps such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for $5 per user a month; and Microsoft 365 Business Standard, with 1TB storage per user, Microsoft Teams, desktop and mobile access to all Microsoft 365 apps, and collaboration tools such as Yammer and Microsoft Planner, for $12.50 per user a month.

3. IDrive

The popular iDrive cloud service offers a huge list of features, putting it in the clear lead for best cloud storage for business. With real-time syncing, multiple device backups, support for older file versions and 30-day retention of deleted files, it’s one of the best cloud storage services for peace of mind. 

iDrive works with mapped network drives and can preserve full disk images, and allows you to manage computers with a web-based console – this makes it ideal for navigating a larger network with lots of files and folders. The service can also provide activity reports, boasts end-to-end encryption, and can offer two-factor authentication for extra security. Apps are available for iOS and Android, and there’s 24/7 support available should you need it. 

Completing the impressive list of features are bare-metal disaster recovery and improved data stamp standards for working with sensitive data. If you really, really want to keep things safe, you can send physical drives to iDrive for extra security. They’ll be housed in facilities boasting custom-designed protection systems, including complex cooling zones and server racks braced against earthquakes. Your data will be safe, is what we’re saying here. 

The various iDrive pricing tiers are affordable and offer decent capacities, and larger businesses can contact iDrive directly for bespoke deals. It’s an impressive option for any size of business, and best of all, Creative Bloq readers can get 95% off a one-year 10TB plan – a brilliant option for creative businesses.

How to Storage Files in Cloud Storage.

There are a number of cloud storage providers to choose from, and it can be difficult to determine which one is the best for your files. To make sure you’re getting the best deal, compare prices and features before selecting a provider. Additionally, be sure to read the customer reviews to get an idea of what users have had to say about their experience with the service.

Create a File

When you create a file in cloud storage, you need to provide information about it such as your name, email address, and other important information. You can also choose to create a password protect file. The next step is to store your files in the cloud storage provider’s provided space. After you’ve created your file and set up your settings, you can access it online or offline.

Store Files for Later

Once you have stored your files in a cloud storage provider, it’s important to keep them safe and secure. You can use features like two-factor authentication or encryption to ensure that your data is safe when outside of your control. Additionally, consider using Dropbox or iCloud for backup and archiving purposes so that if something goes wrong with your cloud storage provider, you have backups of your files available as well as an explanation of why the files were lost in the first place.

Conclusion

Cloud Storage is a great way to store files, but it’s important to choose the right provider and create a file. Prices for Cloud Storage vary, so it’s important to research which storage service will work best for your needs. Overall, Cloud Storage can be a great way to store files and make online life easier.

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