Technology

Cloud: what is the best storage service for you?

To summarize :

  • All in one office / cloud / workflow: Box, Google Drive or Nextcloud
  • Apple users: Amazon, Dropbox or Google Drive (until iCloud Drive matures)
  • Ease of use and multiple devices: Dropbox
  • Google users: Google Drive
  • Linux users: Nextcloud
  • Users who want fine data control: Box or Nextcloud
  • Windows users: OneDrive

In 2007, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston was fed up with losing his USB drive. He therefore created the first cloud storage service for individuals and small businesses. If the solution seemed radical enough, everyone can now afford free or cheap cloud storage. If this solution is revolutionary and greatly facilitates our daily life, the question now arises of which service is best suited for you.

While most people previously made their choice based on the free storage space of the services available to them, this characteristic is no longer as decisive as in the past. The real value of a cloud storage service now lies in its efficiency. And as you will see in this guide concocted by the writing of , certain services work much better with certain operating systems and certain options than others. You choose !

Amazon Drive

If Amazon is doing a great job with its Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for developers and IT managers, its Amazon Drive for individuals and businesses has never stood out as a premier storage service. plan. However, it has improved over time and now has synchronization services for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. Only downside: Amazon Drive still does not have a Linux client.

However, Amazon’s service has strengths that could tip the scales in its favor. Amazon Drive indeed moves files using block level file copying,
that is, “differential synchronization” or “synchronization
delta “. With this method, which Dropbox also uses, when you
synchronize a file, you send and receive only
differences, delta, between files. This makes synchronization
files much faster on these services than their
competitors.

Amazon Drive also includes notifications in the
tasks. This allows you to keep an eye on your file transfers
and limit the synchronization speed when you are busy
by a bandwidth-intensive videoconference in the foreground, by
example.

If Amazon Drive was once available through unlimited offers, the e-commerce giant ended this generous offer in 2017. Amazon Prime members today get 5 GB of storage for
use of Amazon Drive and unlimited photo storage with
Prime Photos.

If you want more, the annual storage offers
from Amazon start at a price of 19.99 euros for 100 GB of
storage and 99.99 euros for 1 TB of storage. You can even
offer up to 30 TB at an additional 99.99 euros per TB of
additional storage.

In conclusion, if you are an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Drive is worth it. If not, go your way.

Box

Box excels in the area of ​​file and file privacy
data encryption. You have full rights control
read / write to your files and directories. In addition, you
You can also connect Box to many professional applications such as Salesforce and NetSuite. It really is a cloud storage service for business users.

As
the other services you can use your files through the website
of Box and even create basic text documents there. But for the
pushing it all the way, you’ll need Box Sync and Edit apps for Windows or Mac OS X.
Box also comes with Android and iOS apps that let you
will allow you to view, download and share files. Box is
also now integrated directly for Google users
Chrome OS or Chromebooks.

Box is best suited for IT use. Its value is revealed if you
deploy in your business not only to store and share
files, but also to execute team projects.

But where Box really shines is as collaborative work software or as a workflow application. Used in this way, it allows you to share files with colleagues, assign tasks, leave comments on someone’s work and receive notifications when a file changes. The Box Business subscription for SMEs offers unlimited storage, integrates with Google Docs and Office 365 and costs 12.8 euros per month per user.

In addition to unlimited storage, this subscription allows you to store files up to 5 GB in size. It also works with Active Directory (AD) and single-sign on (SSO). A real plus. You can of course get a free Storage Box account with 10 GB of storage, and for 10 € per month with the Box Personal Pro plan, you get 100 GB of space. But it’s quite limiting for what the product offers under the hood.

Dropbox

As a pioneer in the sector, Dropbox has had time to dig into the ocean of cloud storage offers. No wonder so many of us have Dropbox accounts. If the free storage capacity of the service is limited to 2 GB, it stands out for its ease of use and proves to be an excellent alternative to its competitors from this point of view.

You can indeed use Dropbox on any platform: from the Dropbox website, desktop applications for Mac, Windows and Linux,
native file systems, iOS, Android mobile applications,
Kindle Fire and even Blackberry phones, which are still supported. Using this service is a breeze, and you won’t have to worry about even a second of file synchronization.

It’s also easy to add storage without paying. Follow the getting started tutorial,
and you get 250 MB more. Install a mobile app and
activate the automatic photo upload function, and you
will get 3 GB of additional space. You can also
earn 500 MB for each friend who signs up for Dropbox for up to
16 GB in total.

The fact remains that if you need more storage space – much more space – the Dropbox Business offers start at a price of 12 euros per month for 5 TB of storage. If you are even more greedy, Dropbox also offers unlimited storage from 18 euros per
user per month.

Note that all these subscriptions benefit from a trial
30 days free. Bottom line: where Dropbox shines the most is its simplicity – and the simple fact that you can use it on almost any platform. If you value simplicity, speed, and ease, Dropbox should be your first choice. But it goes without saying: you are probably already using it.

Google Drive

Before, Google Drive only offered storage. But that was before. Google has indeed lost no time in launching its online office suite, Google Docs, and integrating it into the Google Drive platform. So that after simply creating a Google account, you now get 15 GB of free storage and an excellent office suite. Many businesses and all Chromebook users now use it as a complete cloud office tool.

Still married to Microsoft Office and not Google Docs? No problem. With a Google Chrome extension, you can view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Need more storage space? No problem on this point either: the price of Google Drive storage starts at 1.99 euros per month for 100 GB of storage or 1 TB of storage for 9.99 euros per month. You can also go up to 10 TB of storage for 99.99 euros per month. And with all these subscriptions, you can share your storage space with your family.

If you want to build your business around Google Drive, you can subscribe to a G Suite subscription starting at 4.68 euros per user and per month for a Basic offer offering, among other things, 30 GB of storage. These offers go up to 9.36 euros per user per month for a Business offer and its unlimited storage and 23 euros per user per month for a Business offer with more security options.

If you’re a Chromebook user or an advanced Google user, Google Drive is an obvious solution. It might just be the best cloud storage option for you.

iCloud Drive

Apple’s iCloud Drive isn’t always a top option. Certainly, Apple’s service is showing its advantage if you use the latest equipment from the Apple brand. But even there, the storage service can also be seen to say the least … Eccentric. The service is however economical. Apple’s iCloud comes with 5 GB of free storage, whether you’re using it from a Mac, iPhone iDevice, or iPad. If you use it from Windows, you can also get 1 GB of free storage. For 0.99 euros per month, iCloud offers 50 GB. For 2.99 euros, you get 200 GB, and 2 TB will cost you 9.99 euros per month.

Like Google Drive, iCloud Drive is also integrated into an office suite, although these are just office applications for beginners from Apple: Pages, Numbers and Keynote. However, unlike other services, there is no professional version of iCloud Drive. Although it supports Windows, it does not support Android. Perhaps the clearest problem with iCloud is the confusion between iCloud and iCloud Drive.

It’s not the same thing. For example, contacts, notes, photos, and reminders are saved to iCloud, but TextEdit, iMovie, and Mail data resides in iCloud Drive. In addition, iCloud Drive also suffers from a slowness compared to its competitors. If iCloud Drive will be enough for Apple users – the same way OneDrive will do the job for Windows users – it doesn’t stand out as a leading solution for professionals.

Nextcloud

Nextcloud is an open-source program that allows you to set up your own cloud storage service using your existing servers and hard drives. This DIY service is intended for all those who attach importance to security and protection of privacy. You can use Nextcloud to set up your own cloud storage, either on a desktop server or on your own external servers. However, if NextCloud is easy to configure for a Linux user, using it on another platform can be a real challenge.

Nextcloud is available in free and professional versions. With the free version, you install it yourself using your own computers. You get as much storage here as you have on your machines. If you don’t want to use it yourself, the professional version, Nextcloud Files, is offered with basic assistance for up to 50 users for 1,900 euros per year.

There are Nextcloud desktop clients for Linux, macOS and Windows
and mobile apps for Android and iOS. You can also
use the WebDAV protocol to directly integrate Nextcloud players
in your local file system.

Nextcloud is much more than
simple way to set up an IaaaS infrastructure. The
Nextcloud program suite also includes Nextcloud Talk for
Web conferences and NextCloud Groupware, for email,
calendar and contacts. This cloud storage solution is for anyone who wants to have maximum control over their cloud and who does not hesitate to do a little extra work to get it.

OneDrive

Formerly SkyDrive, Microsoft’s OneDrive is now integrated into the operating system since Windows 8. For a Windows user, OneDrive is just another directory in file explorer. Anyone can use it on the web, with a desktop app for Mac and earlier versions of Windows, and with OneDrive apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Xbox.

The real selling point of OneDrive is that in addition to working
hand in hand with Windows, it also works closely
collaboration with Microsoft Office programs. With Office 365,
you can also collaborate with other people in
documents and spreadsheets in real time with your partners.

OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free storage. Office 365 users get an extra terabyte from a subscription of 6.99 euros per month. If you are an Office 365 user, this is not a headache. You can also add 50 GB to OneDrive for 1.99 euros per month. Like Google and Chromebooks, Microsoft also offers free storage if you buy a Microsoft Surface device.

If you want to integrate OneDrive into your business, Microsoft is ready to help you with OneDrive for Business. It is not a storage subscription per se. But, as Google Drive was merged into Google Docs, OneDrive for Business is a marriage of OneDrive and Office 365. With Office 365 Business, Business Essentials or Business Premium plans, prices start at 5 euros per user per month with a commitment annual. With any of these packs, you get 1 TB of storage per user.

There is no doubt as to who will get the most out of OneDrive. Anyone familiar with Windows and Microsoft Office will take full advantage of it.

What is the best cloud storage for you?

Ultimately, it depends on what you use and what you want to do with it. All of these services give you enough free or cheap service for small businesses. In short, don’t get distracted by the number of gigabytes of free storage you get; it is not so important. Personally, I prefer Google Drive and Nextcloud because they are the ones that best meet my needs. For you, it may be another story.

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