Gone are the days of burning CD’s and DVD’s every time you want to store important files, family pictures or your favorite music and movies and cluttering your shelves with them. Nowadays, everything is entirely digital, whether we like it or not. And since cloud storage lacks the tangibility of physical storage mediums, you have to carefully choose a provider who offers a reliable, secure and cost-effective service. To make your choice easier, we have decided to compile a small list of cloud storage services that will cover the needs of everybody. These are the best five cloud storage solutions of 2018.
Arguably the grandfather of cloud storage, Dropbox is still one of the most stable and wide-used storage services both by companies and individuals. Initially, it started as an idea born out of necessity – a reason for which it is still the cloud storage service for people who want to keep it simple without dealing with tons of features and functions. CloudStorageAdvice, a review specialized website, highlights the Dropbox pros and cons by comparing it with OneDrive. Through this comparison, we can see that when it comes to security and average upload and download speed, Dropbox takes the day.
This service is designed, from the ground up, to provide users with the best results without investing any effort. As with many other cloud storage services, your account is fully synced to all your devices. If accessing Dropbox through their browser website is not your cup of tea, you can easily download a desktop app to drag and drop the files at your discretion.
Although it falls short when it comes to the number of files that can be stored, offering only 2 GB of free storage (two episodes of your favorite TV show, to put things into perspective), this can be easily increased to 16 GB by linking your Dropbox to social media or referring your friends to join the service.
On the other hand, by activating a Dropbox Plus account, you can increase the amount of free storage to a whopping 1 TB for $9.99 a month, or $99 a year and get one extra GB of free storage per referral, up to a maximum 32 GB.
Considering Mega’s ridiculously generous free tier and easy to use, drag and drop interface, some people might be wondering why this cloud storage service is not more popular. However, despite its lack of exposure, Mega is still one of the best cloud storage options on the market, and you will agree with this as soon as you boot up the service for the first time.
By simply creating a Mega account, you can access its free tier service that offers 15 GB of storage space. If you feel like this amount is not quite enough to cover your storage demands, for a measly 5 Euros (6 dollars) per month, you unlock Mega’s first plan that offers a baffling 200 GB of storage space and a 1 TB monthly bandwidth limit.
However, ridiculous storage limits for low prices is not everything that Mega has to offer. One of the biggest selling points for this cloud storage service is its excellent security policies. Mega puts you, personally, in charge of your encryption keys. Moreover, during transfers, your files are automatically encrypted end-to-end, so you do not have to worry about your data being intercepted while this process is in full swing.
To put it in simpler terms, this means that only you and nobody else (not even Mega employees) have access to your files. And if the high storage limit was not enough to convince you, then maybe the company’s security policies will.
Another perfectly reasonable storage service is the one offered by Apple. While the free 5 GB of storage space that iCloud offers might not be enough for some people, you can easily extend it to 50 GB by paying just $0,99 per month, 200 GB for $2,99, and 2 TB for $9,99. Not to mention the fact that if you are an avid Apple user, this is the most appropriate storage option that you can use due to its tight integration with Apple’s platforms, automatic sync and intuitive, easy to use interface.
If you are a Windows user, then you most likely have OneDrive already installed and dutifully ignored it like many other stock apps. But OneDrive deserves more credit than it gets. Regarding features, set-up, structure, and functionality, it is very similar to its rival, Google Drive. The same thing applies to pricing, with Microsoft OneDrive offering 5 GB of free storage space, and an additional 50 GB for just $2 per month.
However, some people might consider Microsoft’s 1 TB offer, at $6,99 per month or $69,99 per year, better value, and in some respects, they are right, because it includes the Office 365 package. For another $3 per month, you will receive five free licenses which can be used on up to 10 different devices and tons of other neat bonuses.
Another perfectly viable cloud storage service is pCloud. This service is compatible with all desktop and mobile platforms, including the browser website itself. While some people might be disappointed by the bandwidth limits, pCloud offers enough free storage space (up to 20 GB) to cover every casual user’s daily storage needs. Another positive aspect of pCloud is the fact that the company itself is registered in Switzerland, a country with extremely tight privacy laws. Naturally, Switzerland’s views on privacy extend to the service itself, so you can expect one of the safest and most secure file sharing experiences on the market, on par with what Mega offers.
Ultimately, the best storage solution is highly dependent on your personal needs. While there are many other cloud storage services out there that we did not have the time nor the space to mention, the five options that we have highlighted in this article are reliable, cost-effective and will satisfy all categories of users, whether casual or professional.