Cloud Storage Benefits And Service Comparisons

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The term Cloud Storage is a namesake for an online space where you can upload your files to, be it documents, music or pictures. All of us know that storing large volumes of information on a Local Area Network is expensive. However, other methods of storing information such as Storage Area Networks (SANs) and electronic data storage devices such as hard disks provide high performance but have limited lifetimes, require backup systems, have a physical presence, etc. which make them unsuitable as the best available options for data storage.

This is where Cloud Storage comes into the picture. Cloud storage providers such as Amazon S3 provide data storage in extremely remote facilities that are affordable and virtually unlimited. The information that has been stored is accessible via the internet or the WAN.

  • Disaster Recovery.

One of the best reasons to use cloud storage is that it isolates our expensive collection from any disaster such as a flood, earthquake or any other local infections such as a virus in the device. Our data can easily be recovered even after such incidents in case of usage of Cloud Storage.

  • Easy Access.

Use of cloud storage enables usage of data from anywhere in the world, at any point of time without having to depend on an external, sometimes even non-portable devices

  • Easy Sharing.

Many cloud storage networks allow easy sharing of data using playlists for music and albums for pictures etc. This can be achieved with the help of social networking sites such as Facebook. However, care must be taken not to share anything that infringes the copyrighted materials.

At this juncture it is important to mention that Cloud Storage and Online Backup, are in fact, two different services, although many companies advertise under both the heads. Online Backup and Cloud Storage services are very similar in that they both store your files online for safe keeping, allowing you to access them anywhere with an Internet connection. But while Online Backup is primarily designed to non-intrusively backup your files and restore them to your computer in case of hard drive failure or theft, Cloud Storage is designed to make it easy to regularly access, share and sync your files across multiple devices. In most cases all cloud storage services include online backup services too.

SugarSync is one example where the cloud services are very good but it is not a high ranked program when it comes to online storage. When syncing files with SugarSync, whatever changes you make in a folder on one computer will show up on the other computer. You can even “merge” folders, meaning that the folder on each computer will be a perfect duplicate. Syncing is especially useful for people who find themselves working on multiple devices and need their files to be as up-to-date as possible no matter where they are. This is where Cloud Storage comes to the rescue and therefore, SugarSync is a great Cloud Storage program.

It is also noticed that a lot of host companies try to flatter you with a free account or total free storage etc. How to trust which of these sites are actually honest? Is it actually possible for the online storage to be free? Well, it depends on site to site. For example, sites like JustCloud and Carbonite offer 100% free online storage and others like LiveDrive require credit card details.

So which one should you use, Cloud Storage or Online Backup? It really depends on what you need. If you simply need a service that will backup all of your important files and safeguard you if a computer catastrophe were to happen, look into services such as Carbonite and Mozy. On the other hand, if you are always on the go and need your documents to be easily accessible, use a Cloud Storage service like ZipCloudSugarSync, etc. The pick is yours!

Also remember free accounts are never unlimited, there is no company which we know of offering unlimited storage space for free as this will be a huge loss from them.

 

Service Name / Rating: Cheapest Price: Free Trial /
Discount:
Gigabytes (GB) of Storage Included: Gigabytes (GB) of Sync Space Included: # of Computers Backed Up: Bottom Line:
SugarSync

$4.17/mo
(w/ annual plan)
30-day free trial;
5 GB of free storage
30 GB;
pay extra for more space
30 GB;
pay extra for more space
Unlimited Feature-filled cloud storage solution with an intuitive user interface and easy music streaming; best for those who need to do a lot of file syncing
Mozy Stash

$4.45/mo
(w/ 2 year plan)
15% off 1 mo;
22% off 1 yr;
26% off 2 yrs;
(w/ promo code: NEXT)
50 GB;
pay extra for more space
50 GB;
pay extra for more space
1;
$2/mo per add’l computer
Low-cost cloud storage great for those with one main computer; easy to use syncing and exclusive discount
JustCloud

$4.49/mo
(w/ 2 year plan)
14-day free trial; .015 GB of free storage 75 GB;
pay extra for more space
1.015GB;
pay extra for more space
1;
$24.95/yr per add’l computer
Affordable and comprehensive cloud storage service with the option of unlimited file storage; best for users with light syncing needs
SpiderOak

$8.33/mo
(w/annual plan)
2 GB of free storage 100 GB;
pay extra for more storage
100 GB;
pay extra for more storage
Unlimited Good option for more advanced users looking for extra encryption capabilities and lots of space to store files online from an unlimited number of computers
Service Name / Rating: Cheapest Price: Free Trial /
Discount:
Gigabytes (GB) of Storage Included: Gigabytes (GB) of Sync Space Included: # of Computers Backed Up: Bottom Line:
Google Drive

$2.49/mo 5 GB of free storage 25 GB;
pay extra for more space
25 GB;
pay extra for more space
Unlimited Cheap, easy to use and good for users who like Google Docs; does not have full backup capabilities
SkyDrive

$0.83/mo
(w/annual plan)
7 GB of free storage 27 GB
pay extra for more space
27 GB
pay extra for more space
Unlimited Includes large amount of online syncing space for very low price, but not the best for full computer backup
Dropbox

$9.99/mo 2 GB of free storage 50 GB;
pay extra for more storage
50 GB;
pay extra for more storage
Unlimited Easy to use, but can’t match the safety of off-site backup
LiveDrive Briefcase

$13.33/mo
(w/ annual plan)
14-day free trial
Save up to 53% with annual plans
Unlimited 2,048 GB Unlimited Pricey yet robust cloud storage best for those who want to sync all of their files with 2 TB of space; great mobile app

(Comparison By: NextAdvisor)

Go ahead and try one of the easily available cloud storage options or if you already use one, leave a comment below. For any queries, feel free to write in to us.