Cloud Storage is important for every internet user. With Cloud Computing increasing globally, there are many Free Cloud Storage providers. Free cloud storage is a good way to penetrate into the Cloud Computing industry without any extra effort. With good backend security and front end GUI, a Cloud solution provider can always make a huge number of user database. These customers turn to upgraded customers in future yielding the companies more profit.
With many such services the end users are left in a dilemma to choose the best one. So, we have compared four well known services
- Google Drive
- Sky Drive
The most well known free Cloud Storage. Also the pioneer of free Cloud Storage we all know. It gives you 2GB to start with and you can gradually increase the space by referrals and purchasing.
Features of DropBox:
1. Clean design and order in the files.
2. Two step authentication (recently added)
3. Up to 500 MB for each referral (Max size limited is 18GB)
Drawbacks of DropBox:
1. Had some bad security history. Accounts were hacked last month and also had permission issues at the start.
2. The two step verification code takes a lot of time outside major countries.
3. A starting 2GB is very less compared to Google Drive, Box and Sky Drive which provide 5GB at the start.
Pricing of DropBox:
Starter – 2GB – Free
Professional – (100,200,500 GB) – $9.99 p/m
Dropbox referral link: http://db.tt/2TfbRRa
If you are planning to use DropBox, use this referral link, it gives me an extra 500 mb 🙂
Microsoft Azure tops the Cloud Computing industry right now. Backed by the same Microsoft, the Sky Drive was available from a long time in every Hotmail user account. Things weren’t recognised until Microsoft changed their whole outlook to the Metro/ Modern / Windows 8 GUI (I am sorry but I really don’t know which name they are using now).
I was on outlook/Hotmail for a very long time. As a reward Microsoft granted 25 GB free for long time Hotmail users. Right now, the offer isn’t available but the starting free storage is 5GB that beats DropBox.
Features of Sky Drive:
- Securely linked to you Hotmail/outlook account.
- Backed up by Microsoft Cloud platform.
- File Preview and Editing options for Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets (Web based Microsoft Office)
- There are no security breaches in Sky Drive till now. So consider it highly secure.
- Integrates with Windows 8 as an App without need of downloading the app separately.
Drawbacks of Sky Drive:
- The new layout is somewhat confusing to users when it comes to Sky Drive.
Pricing of Sky drive:
Starter – 5GB – Free
Upgrade – 20GB – 9$ p/a
– 50GB – 23$ p/a
– 100GB – 47$ p/a
The latest Cloud competitor is Google. Google Drive was a bit late to the industry. Nothing fancy but the same starter storage, 5GB.
Features of Google Drive:
- Google’s one sign in solution. Got a Google account, you got everything.
- Backed up by Google’s world class platform.
- In built document, spreadsheet editor through Google Docs.
- Google Chrome Cloud Print can be used to send documents to the Drive.
Drawbacks of Google Drive:
- The same old design, which keeps users boring accessing Google products.
- Upgrade pricing is a bit costly for the features they provide.
Pricing of Google Drive:
Starter – 5GB – Free
Upgrade – 25GB – $2.49 p/m
– 100GB – $4.99 p/m
The leader in Cloud Collaboration is Box. With enterprise security and a clean GUI, it beats all the others in business collaboration. A business level collaboration on the Cloud.
Feature of Box:
- Top notch security for your Cloud files.
- Many Apps to improve your productivity with Box.
- Tonnes of options for File sharing, previews
- Easy to use GUI
Drawbacks of box:
- A basic desktop Sync tool is only available in the Business plan. Let’s face it, we all need desktop sync tools these days. Atleast a feature limited desktop Sync would be better for the free plan.
- The pricing option only suits business people. End users must have a low priced plan less than the business one.
Pricing of Box:
Starter – 5GB -Free
Business – 1000GB – $15 /per user p/m
Verdict of Free Cloud Storages:
Though there are many other service providers like these, it is not possible to maintain your files all across them. The best possible way is to choose two of them and utilize them for your Cloud Storage. One will be the main cloud storage and the second will be your back up cloud.
For this i suggest Box.com and Sky Drive.
SkyDrive is linked to your Microsoft account, so it would be the best choice as a primary cloud storage as most people use Windows computers.
Box.com is highly secure, it serves the purpose of serving as your secondary cloud storage.
If i missed any best Cloud Providers out there, let me know. I’ll create a comparison with them too.