November 22, 2014
When anyone thinks of storing files in the cloud, Dropbox is probably the first service that comes to mind. The company, started in San Francisco, has been around for 6 years now. Dropbox is taking a clear and strong position in this market niche, which has strong prospectives of growth in the years to come.
There are, however, alternative services that users can count on. Some are not so well-known to the general public, but each offers quality services with, many times, free plans that offer a lot of interesting functionalities.
Apple’s storage service, iCloud, is actually one of the most used in the world, even though it is limited to users who own Apple’s devices. It offers 5GB for free, with larger options coming for reasonable monthly prices that actually get increasingly cheaper by the gigabyte, all this with the brand’s well-known functionality and flawless designs.
Amazon has only recently entered this market, but is actually doing great. Its Cloud Drive is now taking third place in the US, only falling behind iCloud and Dropbox. It provides 5GB for free to every user, with premium plans of 20GB, 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, 500GB, and 1,000GB, costing £0.30 per gigabyte. It has an interesting functionality called Cloud Player, where users can stream their music stored in Cloud Drive on any computer or Android device with an Internet connection.
After the email, map, translation, video and social network services (among others), it was quite obvious that Google would not let the cloud storage boat sail without being on it. So, Google Drive was born, 2 years ago. It sets itself apart from the remaining competition with the ability of collaborative file editing, through the use of Google’s own office suite, containing Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. It provides 15GB for free to every user, with monthly-paid premium plans going from 100GB to 30TB.
A not so well-known alternative is Citrix ShareFile, a premium enterprise service specifically designed with security, mobility and collaboration in mind. It also aims to be a trusted place to save sensitive information, like the one used on health services, providing measures to make sure that said information is kept the most secure way possible. It also offers solutions for small businesses and services providers.
Last but not least, there is Microsoft’s OneDrive. The computing giant has recently entered the cloud storage market, with the launch of its own service back in 2012, then named SkyDrive. It provides, initially, 15GB for free, with additional storage available for purchase. Just like Google’s Drive and Gmail, OneDrive has a perfect integration with Microsoft’s very own email service, Outlook.
With all these options in mind, users can not only opt for other services other than Dropbox’s, which is really not the most attractive service for users wanting free storage. Better than that, however, is to be able to combine several services, making it possible to have a huge quota of cloud storage.
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