The best cloud storage services in 2022

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that someone sends you an urgent message asking you to add a few final touches to a document. But there’s a problem: you can’t access the document without your computer.

As this situation is prevalent in our digital world, people are increasingly turning to cloud storage. According to one report, individuals, businesses, organizations and governments will store 100 zettabytes of data in the cloud by 2025. Research also shows that 50 percent of individuals use cloud storage in the office or at home.

If you’re not one of those people, or if you’re looking to switch cloud storage services, entering the world of online storage can seem daunting.

But we can help. This article reviews ten cloud storage tools to help you choose your best cloud storage option.

What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage allows you to store your documents, photos and files in a secure location outside of your device.

There are three main types of cloud storage:

  1. Private cloud storage: When you store data on a private server (such as a server owned and operated by your company)
  2. Public cloud storage: When you store data on a server set up by someone else (public cloud storage is a form of “Infrastructure-as-a-Service” or “IaaS”)
  3. Hybrid cloud storage: When you store data both publicly and privately

19 percent of organizations use public storage, 2 percent use private storage, and 78 percent use both public and private storage, according to the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud report.

Cloud storage popularity.(Source: Flexera)

How does cloud storage popularity work?

You need a cloud storage provider to classify your data in the cloud. When you activate this tool, it takes a backup of your file and stores it in a third-party location. This third-party location can be a server in your office, an organization-controlled area or a data center.

When you file and retrieve a document with cloud computing, the process looks like this: your device → internet → data server → internet → your device.

Which cloud storage option is right for you? ️ Learn more in this Click to Tweet guide

Benefits of cloud storage

Adopt cloud storage in your

your organization can help you :

Save money

Although many cloud storage tools charge monthly and annual fees, storing files in the cloud is often cheaper than storing them on an external hard drive

.

For example, if you want to store five terabytes of data, it would cost $59.62 per year with cloud storage provider iDrive or $123.04 + tax to buy a Seagate portable external hard drive.

Investing in cloud storage is also more flexible than local storage, as you can use tools that offer pay-per-use and auto-scaling, so you only pay for the storage you need.

Protect your files from hackers and malware

While many of us only know hackers from their role in science fiction dramas, they are a growing threat to organizations around the world – primarily when they use malware

.

In 2020, hackers used more than 677.66 million known types of malware to break into people’s computers, steal their data and demand ransomware.

A malware attack can have disastrous consequences for organizations. A survey of 1,998 consumers from Germany, France, North America and the United Kingdom found that 59 percent of consumers are likely to avoid doing business with an organization that has suffered a cyber-attack in the past year.

In addition, more than 66 percent of consumers will leave for a competitor if a company cannot restore its systems and applications within three days of a cyberattack.

While each hacker has a unique approach, many use social engineering techniques such as phishing and ransomware to attack organizations through vulnerable channels like email.

Since secure cloud storage tools allow you to share documents without email, it reduces the risk of someone hacking you.

Access files from other devices

Because cloud storage files are outside of your computer, you can access them from any device, at any time, from anywhere (as long as you have your login information handy)

.

How to choose the right cloud storage option for you

If you search for “cloud storage tools” on Google, you’ll get about 908 million results.

Results for Google search “cloud storage tools”.

How do you find the right tool with that volume of results? Let’s walk through four steps detailing how to choose the best cloud storage.

Step 1. Consider the type of storage and features you need

Since every storage tool is different, you must first establish the tool you need. To identify your needs, ask yourself the following questions

  • How much storage do I use?
  • What is my budget?
  • How can your organization help you?Why do I need to create backups?
  • Can colleagues, clients and external users view my files without downloading software?

Next, you need to consider the features you need in your storage tool. Common features include:

  • A mobile application
  • A sorting system that allows you to group files with folders, lightning bolts or labels
  • Password protection for confidential files
  • Download restrictions (these limit who can edit or download each file)
  • Real-time backup (this synchronizes your file as you edit it)
  • Multi-user access (this allows others to access your files with your permission)

Once you’ve identified your needs, select a handful of potential storage options within your price range. We’ll cover ten of these options in the “Cloud Storage Recommendations” section, but the most popular tools are Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.

The popularity of cloud storage tools.(Source: Goodfirms)

Step 2. Consider security

Before you choose your tool, you should consider how cyber-secure it

is.

Cloud storage tools that offer good security typically offer :

  • Password protection
  • File encryption (encryption changes the contents of your file so that anyone who steals it cannot read it)
  • Remote device lock (this feature allows you to prevent a stolen device from accessing your files)
  • Scheduled expiration for old files (this feature allows you to automatically delete files that you have stored for a specific period of time)
  • Two-factor authentication (two-factor authentication requires you to confirm your identity with two devices before you can log in)
  • Controlled user permissions (this allows you to control who can view, edit and download each file)

Additionally, let’s assume you need to store data that is subject to laws such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In this case, you’ll need to double-check whether your tool meets the requirements.

After you find a tool that offers good cyber security, it’s time to test it.

Step Three. Test your first choice with a free trial

It’s easy to look at a tool on paper and assume it will work for you, but you never know all of its capabilities until you try it yourself. Naturally, we recommend testing your best storage option with a free trial or by signing up for a month.

When evaluating your tool, look at :

  • Sync speeds (how fast the tool backs up your files)
  • The ease of use of the tool
  • The way it worksIt integrates with your other enterprise systems
  • If it works for your team

Once you’ve found a tool that works for you, you’re ready to move on to online file storage.

Step Four. Transition to your new storage solution

To transition to your new tool, identify the files you need to transfer and follow the developer’s instructions for bringing them online

.

For best results, make sure you :

  • Transfer your files from a location with a reliable Internet connection (so a network outage doesn’t impact your transfer)
  • Monitor your device throughout the transfer process
  • Name your files appropriately so you can find them
  • Organize your files as you go
  • Only delete the local version of each file after the transfer is complete

If you have a lot of files to transfer or if the Internet is slow, you can upload files in small chunks.

Cloud Storage Recommendations

There are a

wide range of cloud storage tools available today, and while they may seem fairly similar, each tool has different features, benefits and drawbacks that make it perfect for different users

.

This section presents ten potential tools you could use.

Best Cloud Storage in 2022

iDrive

iDrive is a flexible and scalable data storage tool perfect for storing business and personal files. iDrive works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. iDrive currently offers up to 5GB of free storage.

iDrive.

The company that operates iDrive (iDrive Pty Ltd.) is based in California.

Features

  • iDrive backtrack (which can restore files to earlier versions)
  • Snapshots (which takes “snapshots” of your files for posterity)
  • iDrive Dashboard (which lets you manage users and files from a central location)

Price:

iDrive offers:

  • iDrive Personal from $79.50 per year (includes 5TB of data)
  • iDrive Team from $99.50 per year (includes multiple computers and users)
  • iDrive Business from $99.50 per year (includes unlimited users, servers and computers)
  • Enterprise Plans

For

  • You can access your files from any device
  • Excellent user interface (UI)
  • Wide range of pricing plans (plus discounts for your first year)

For

  • Some users report slow technical and customer support

pCloud

pCloud is an affordable and highly secure data storage tool. It works on…


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