Cloud computing and storage has revolutionized the way major industries work. According to an article on CIO Applications, this technology is being embraced everywhere — from finance and manufacturing to healthcare and education.
On top of this, the availability of information online means that practically anyone can become a cloud expert. There’s no shortage of resources for understanding and using online storage, as evident by the variety of cloud computing courses on virtual academy Udemy. With over 500,000 students currently taking courses on everything from how to get started with cloud computing to introductions into cloud services from leading tutors from around the world, it is clear to see that there are so many wonderful resources to learn from. And because of cloud computing’s potential, there’s always something new to learn, whether it’s cloud migration or building a server from scratch.
But even if you’re not a tech professional, the ability to upload anything securely and sync your information across devices is a great asset. That said, here are some of the best cloud storage and file-sharing services for home users.
Google is dominating the tech world, so it’s no surprise that Google Drive makes this list. The entire Google Suite is a great option for remote workers, as one of its main selling points is the ability to share your files and have others collaborate in real-time. Each Google account comes with 15 gigabytes of free storage, making it the default option for freelancers and remote workers. As Google Drive is mostly web-based, however, users have to install Google’s apps and select the files that need to be accessed offline.
IDrive offers five gigabytes of free storage, but its great paid packages are what make it worth the money. You can get 5 terabytes annually for about $75 and is thus a worthy investment for those in the creative industry. Our post on ‘2018’s Best Vlogging Cameras’ notes that lots of cameras shoot in high-quality definition, which is why videographers would do well to invest in extra storage. The same can be said for other creatives, such as illustrators who work with large Adobe Suite files.
Whereas most cloud computing apps have a web-based platform that’s supplemented by desktop apps, SugarSync’s strength actually lies in the latter. Its app works on all platforms, from iOS to Windows, making it easy to sync up with as many devices as you want. You can also choose to encrypt specific folders through the platform’s Protected Folders option, which automatically creates new versions of a folder on a schedule that you can set. Just remember to choose wisely, as these backups can eat up your storage.
OneDrive is the best option for those who are already working in the Windows ecosystem. ProPrivacy notes that similar to Google Drive, sharing files is as easy as choosing your chosen file and clicking the share option. One of the biggest benefits to OneDrive — and indeed, Microsoft’s entire Office suite — is that the application is made accessible. Features like VoiceOver and keyboard shortcuts are a great help to those with auditory or visual impairments.
Dropbox is the simplest option on the list, which means it’s most suitable for those who want a no-frills, easy experience. The platform only offers 2 gigabytes of initial storage. This may be a dealbreaker for some, but for those who deal mostly with documents and scans, this option should be more than enough. It’s desktop app works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and you can easily get extra storage by downloading the mobile app and referring friends (successful referrals can get you up to 16 gigabytes in extra storage).
Technology has grown to be a part of our daily lives, which means that the amount of data we consume every day has also risen. Gone are the days of tiny USB sticks (not to mention floppy disks), and it feels like a lifetime ago when a 16 gigabyte iPhone seemed like a reasonable option. This is why cloud computing, with its capacity to store large amounts of data, has become a viable option for all.