Best Cloud Storage Services in 2021 (Ranked)

Cloud storage is quickly becoming the primary way to organize and share files thanks to it being more secure than physical servers, and with more storage space than hard drives.

With so many options to choose from, this guide to the top cloud storage options will make your decision easier. I have ranked and reviewed these cloud storage tools based upon their usage for individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises.

So let’s get started.

What is the Best Cloud Storage?

Here are my top picks for the best cloud storage to use this year.

1. Google Drive

Best for safeguarding your data (Starts at $1.99 per month).

Google Drive Storage

Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage and synchronization service that allows you to store, share, and collaborate on your files.  You can store, access, and share your files from any device like laptop, mobile, computer, tablets, and more.

Additionally, Drive integrates with apps like Sheets, Google Docs, Slides, and several cloud-based apps to help you collaborate with your colleagues. All your works in Slides, Docs, Sheets, and others get automatically saved in Drive. This saves the migration cost involved in moving your content from one tool to another.

Drive integration with Microsoft Office assists you in collaboration with multiple team members and work on the same file simultaneously. Not only this, but Drive also collaborates with Adobe, Salesforce, Atlassian,  DocuSign, Slack, and other business tools.

Moreover, the cloud storage tool supports more than 100 file formats like images, PDFs, CAD, videos, and more. Thus, you don’t have to go through file conversion every time you store a file in Drive.

Drive uses Google AI search technology that helps your team to find the right content accurately and quickly. Also, the AI-based Priority feature predicts and assists you in searching for the most relevant content based on your past activities.

Key Features of Google Drive

  • Offline Access – You can edit, view, and create files even if you don’t have an internet connection. Additionally, all of the changes made in offline mode get automatically sync when you get the internet.
  • Security – Google Drive provides numerous security features like Vault for eDiscovery, Data Loss Prevention, and archiving to safeguard your data. It also prevents team members from sharing sensitive content with outsiders.

Pros of Google Drive

  • You can store 15 GB of data for free.
  • It’s compatible with both macOS and Windows.
  • All paid plans come with a 14-day free trial.
  • Every Google Drive plan includes integration with other Google tools like Sheets, Docs, Slides, Gmail, etc.
  • It also works with all Adobe products and business tools like DocuSign, Atlassian, Salesforce, Slack, etc.

Pricing Plans

Google Drive offers plans based on the amount of storage provided:

  • 100GB: $1.99 per month
  • 200GB: $2.99 per month
  • 2TB: $9.99 per month
  • 30TB: $299.9 per month

2. Dropbox

Best overall software for cloud storage (Starts at $15 per user per month).

Dropbox Cloud Storage

Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers client software, file synchronization, personal cloud, and cloud storage. Now you can save your content, tools, and files in one place and share them with whoever you want.

You can also store content from Google Docs, Slides and Sheets, DropBox Paper, and Microsoft Office files in your Dropbox folder. Dropbox also lets you access your files from multiple devices like phones, computers, tablets, laptops, and more.

Not only this, but you can access your files from your web browser by signing in to your account without installing any kind of software. Or you can install the mobile app to manage and access the files directly from your smartphone. Both your mobile and desktop app allow you to upload files to the Dropbox folder.

Additionally, you can take a backup of all your essential files. Plus, you can upload files from your phones, SD cards, and camera.

It integrates with several business tools like Slack and Zoom that helps you collaborate with your team. There’s also a calendar integration option that suggests relevant files, content, and note taking templates for your upcoming meetings.

Security features include SSL/TLS encryption of files in transition as well at rest and offer two-factor authentication for Dropbox accounts. However, Dropbox doesn’t provide any end-to-end encryption.

Key Features of Dropbox

  • Dropbox Transfer – With Dropbox transfer, you can send files up to 100GB to anyone you want.  Also, send files up to 250GB with creative tools add-on.
  • Content Suggestions – Offers content suggestions based on your Dropbox activity that assists you in reaching the most needed file directly.
  • File Recovery – This allows you to recover accidentally deleted files from the Dropbox backup folder. The recovery software lets you restore all of the files deleted in the past 30 days.

Pros of Dropbox

  • Activate 2-factor authentication.
  • Phone support 24/7 in English.
  • It’s compatible with all operating systems like Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows.
  • You can recover your files for up to 180 days.
  • SSL/TLS and 256-bit AES encryption for secure and safe file transfer.
  • The ‘Advanced’ plan provides access to unlimited space.
  • Dropbox lets you share over 175 types of files without installing any software.

Pricing Plans

Dropbox provides the following four plans:

  • Professional: $19.99 per month
  • Standard: $15 per user per month
  • Advanced: $25 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Quote-Based

The Professional plan offers a 14-day free trial, while the other two paid plans provide a 30-day free trial.

3. iDrive

Best cloud storage tool for taking backups ($74.62 for 250 GB of storage).

iDrive

iDrive is a cloud storage and data backup company that allows you to backup unlimited devices in a single account. You can backup any device you want, including Macs, iPads,  iPhones, PCs, and Android.

The storage tool protects all your data in your cloud account, and the stored data is encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption. iDrive also provides a mobile app that you can download from Google Play Store or App Store. It lets you take backup directly from your smartphone that includes your photos, contacts, calendar events, videos, files, and more.

The Versioning and Snapshots feature provides an overview of historical data for protection against ransomware and point-in-time recovery. The tool also retains up to 30 previous versions of all of the files backed up in your account.

Key Features of iDrive

  • Vision – Vision is a free add-on that helps you enhance remote troubleshooting, customer support, and internal training using video assistance.
  • RemotePC – This allows you to operate your PC anywhere and anytime from any device. The remote desktop software lets you manage your files,  transfer data, print documents, and more remotely.
  • Offline View – You can use the offline view to view your files on your mobile devices without any internet connectivity.
  • Archive Cleanup – Your data never gets deleted until you do a manual cleanup or run an archive cleanup
  • Backup Levels – Provide file-level backup or sector-level backup to secure your entire system.
  • Automatic Backups – It automatically detects and backs up the modified parts of your data. Plus, You can retrieve deleted files within 30 days.

Pros of iDrive

  • They provide 24/7 technical support.
  • Remote management.
  • Provide you an option for snapshot-based restore.
  • It provides multiple computer backups,  Hybrid backup, Linux backup, and more.
  • 256-bit AES encryption provides an additional layer of security.
  • Also, you can install the iDrive app on an unlimited number of devices and take backup.

Pricing Plans

iDrive offers two types of plans for personal and business use.

iDrive Personal:

  • 5 TB: $52.12 first year
  • 10TB: $74.62 first year

iDrive Business:

  • 250GB: $74.62 for the first year
  • 500GB: $149.62 for the first year
  • 1.25TB: $374.62 for the first year
  • 2.5TB: $599.62 for the first year
  • 5TB: $1124.62 for the first year
  • 12.5TB: $2249.62 for the first year

Besides, you get a free plan for up to 5GB of cloud storage.

So now let’s cover the basics.

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage leverages a cloud computing model to store data on virtual storage servers. You can download and upload data on the servers of a cloud computing solution that offers management services and data storage.

Here are some of the benefits of using cloud storage services:
  • It provides much-needed agility, scale, and efficiency to businesses globally.
  • On-demand services for the required storage capacity.
  • They charge you only for the amount of storage you actually use.
  • It eliminates the requirement of managing and buying a physical data storage infrastructure.
  • Provides flexibility to add or remove data storage capacity in real-time to manage performance and retention metrics.

Apart from this, centralizing your data storage provides you the advantage of managing information management tasks. You can leverage automated tiering or lock down the data to meet compliance requirements.

Cloud storage also allows IT teams to deliver the right amount of required data storage efficiently. Additionally, it spares you more time on focusing on complex business issues rather than managing data storage.

Which Features Do You Need in a Cloud Storage Platform?

Here are a few essential features that you should look for in a cloud storage service.
  • Flexible Storage – You should be able to decrease and increase cloud storage anytime you want to suit your business requirements. It will also help you cut down costs whenever you require lesser data storage.
  • Collaboration Tools – Collaboration features can enable teams to work simultaneously on the same file or folder.
  • File Versioning – Look for a cloud storage service that offers storage of unlimited file versions. That will help you extract overwritten data from any version of files.
  • Remote Access – You should be able to edit and view files from anywhere and at any point in time.
  • Auto Sync – The auto-sync feature automatically saves all of the changes made to the file. This means you don’t have to worry about losing any edit or change made even when you’re offline.
  • Security – Your cloud storage should offer security measures like encryption of files, SSL/TLS and 256-bit AES encryption, 2-factor authentication, and access control.

Best Cloud Storage Services – Final Summary

This wraps up my list of the best cloud storage service providers. I will keep updating the list with more relevant software available in the market. Cloud storage is one of the best storage options and can eliminate your complex storage options like hard disks and USBs. Plus, cloud storage is now more affordable than ever both for personal and business use.

However, each cloud storage platform has its own USPs that might interest you based on your requirements.

For instance, you might want to try Google Drive if you are looking for secure and free cloud storage. Or if you only ever use Apple products and need cloud storage for personal use, then I’d suggest Apple iCloud.

All in all, make sure to review each cloud storage tool carefully before making your final choice.

Which one of these cloud storage platforms are you planning to use, and why? Let me know in the comments below.

More from Smashitbuck: Do refer to my other articles on task management software, document management software, best OKR software.

Authored By Amey Sarode
Amey Sarode is a Lead Web Developer in GOMO Group with expertise in multiple software verticals. Before starting this blog, Amey managed multiple projects for startups and now reviews the best software to run your online business.

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