What is cloud storage?
Cloud storage simply means a hard drive on the internet, a place to store your files and easily access them from any device, anywhere in the world. You can also use cloud storage as a backup, but you must be careful as many services will delete files in the cloud when they’re deleted from your computer to keep everything in sync.
Storing your files in the cloud has many advantages. You can view your files from any phone, tablet or computer that’s connected to the Internet, and the cloud can also provide backup for files so they’ll never disappear if your phone gets lost or your computer crashes. Using the cloud is a no-brainer, but picking which service to use is a bit more difficult.
There’s a huge choice for cloud storage services, with big names and some unfamiliar ones. Fortunately for you, we’ve rounded up the best cloud storage to help you pick the one that’s right for you.
We’ve rounded up a comprehensive list – 18 of the best cloud storage services, including Google Drive, Dropbox, pCloud and OneDrive, where you can securely back up your data.
Opening a new account with pCloud will give you a respectable 10GB of free storage (twice that of OneDrive, and five times Dropbox’s basic offering). This can be quickly upgraded to 20GB through the regular incentives such as recommending friends.
Prices are very competitive: 2 TB for €9.99/monthly,€95/yearly and €250/lifetime (one-time payment for a lifetime of usage!)
There are clients available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android, plus you can also access your account via the website.
pCloud imposes no file size restrictions, so you can upload anything that your storage space allows. This is done in impressively quick fashion, with syncing proving fast and efficient. All data transfers between the pCloud servers and your machine are handled with TLS/SSL encryption, so they should be safe on their travels.
There are import options which can automatically transfer files from other cloud services including Dropbox and Google Drive, which is convenient if you’re switching from one, or simply want an extra backup of important files.
One unique feature of pCloud is called the pCloud Drive where the service creates a virtual drive on your device. Everything that you put inside the drive is instantly uploaded to pCloud’s servers and removed from your computer. However, to use the files you don’t have to wait for them to download as the pCloud Drive acts like an external drive, giving you access to your files with just a click.
The free Basic account comes with a 2GB of storage. For documents this is huge, but if you want to store any kind of media – photos, music, or video – it will disappear very fast.
Prices: 1 TB for €9.99/monthly, €99/yearly, no Smart Sync (similar as pCloud Drive) is available for free and regular premium users.
Dropbox works by creating a local folder on your device or PC that then syncs with an online version. This means you have all your data available whether you are on or offline. This doesn’t apply to mobile devices, though: you can make select files available offline on your tablet or smartphone, and offline editing is among the best we’ve seen.
The reality is, though, that while Dropbox has several hundred million users, many of them may be better off looking elsewhere. For productivity, Google Drive has Dropbox beat. For security, file sharing and overall value, pCloud and Sync.com are both better options.
A great collaboration tool that is lacking in other areas.
Google Drive is probably one of the best cloud collaboration tools out there, but is lacking when it comes to syncing features, security and backup options.
Google Drive starts you out with a generous 15GB of free cloud storage and has multiple options beyond that, all the way up to 30TB.
Prices: 100 GB for $2/monthly is the starter plan.
The old Google Drive app has been replaced by Backup & Sync for Windows and macOS, with mobile versions of Google Drive for Android and iOS. There’s selective sync, so you can choose which folders sync on each PC or laptop.
Very fast transfers, both backup and restore. Solid compression and security, but not the easiest program to use.
Free plans gives you 5 GB of storage. Premium plan is 2 TB for $59.50/yearly
Mega is a New Zealand-based company set up by the German-born entrepreneur Kim Dotcom in 2013, who now has no involvement with it.
Best solution if free storage is all you want. Great security features. Decent usability and speed, but minor bugs with file sharing.
The standard free package affords a whopping 50GB of space. If this isn’t enough you can have 500GB (€99 per year), 2TB (€199 per year), or 4TB (€299 per year) and increased bandwidth with each package so you can share files back and forth with friends.
Microsoft’s alternative to Dropbox, OneDrive is great for Office 365 users, but only middlin’ for anyone else.
Microsoft’s OneDrive is the obvious cloud storage service for Windows users because it’s built into Windows 10. However, the basic account offers only 5GB of free storage. That’s enough for some people, but it used to be 15GB and you still get that with Google Drive.
The free package gives you 10GB of free space. This isn’t quite as good as it sounds though, due to the fact that Box limits files to 250MB for free accounts.
It’s just a shame that many of the best features – such as versioning – are only available to paying customers.
Tresorit is a European based cloud storage solution provider, solid and highly secure,Tresorit may be too expensive for the average user.
There is no free plan and premium plans started as 200 GB for €10/monthly,€100/yearly
One of the reasons that Tresorit is so secure comes down to the way files are encrypted. With a local client installed on either your Windows or mac OS machine your data is encrypted locally, then sent to the Tresorit servers where it remains encrypted.
In addition to storing files, Tresorit lets you sync them between devices. Computer sync clients are available Windows, Mac and Linux.
A decent service with some sharp edges, MediaFire offers limited functionality at a low price.
Free account gives you 10 GB of storage. Premium plans started as 1 TB for $5/monthly,
There’s no doubt that for MediaFire’s low price, you’ll be making some compromises. Folder uploads aren’t an option. If you’re looking to sync devices, the lack of desktop integration makes it impossible. Even if you’ve replaced your laptop with a tablet, the mobile app doesn’t offer deep enough operating system integration to be used as a general-purpose storage service for all of your files.
Yandex.Disk is the company’s cloud storage platform, released in beta a few weeks prior to Google’s own launch of Drive. Since then, Yandex.Disk has been tough for external cloud services to beat in Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey.
Yandex Disk gives you 10 GB storage for free. Premium plans started as 1 TB for €10/monthly
Yandex.Disk is certainly a solid service in its own right, offering many of the best features of its Western competitors within a clean and well-designed user experience. Heavy users and those outside of Eastern Europe will be annoyed at the upload restrictions, occasional throttling, and slow download speeds, and the security conscious might be a bit wary about its lack of security disclosure. However, if you’re looking for a non-U.S. based cloud service with a killer feature set, Yandex.Disk is worth a try.
SpiderOak ONE may be the most secure cloud storage provider out there, but has some weaknesses when it comes to speed and ease of use.
SpiderOak focus on security and privacy. If these are the most important elements you require then it is one of the good chooices choices (Together with pCloud and Sync). It may lack the sophistication and integration of some rivals, but what it does it does very well.
SugarSync has an excellent set of features, yet also has some drawbacks that give pause to potential consumers.
SugarSync is a good any-folder cloud storage service, due to the simplicity and powerful features that anyone can use.
On the downside, the newest version of SugarSync removes some features, such as bandwidth throttling and SugarSync Drive.
Offering ease of use, good speeds and unlimited backup for one device, Carbonite is a one of the leading online backup provider.
It requires little setup, backs up most file types, backs up external drives, keeps previous file versions and lets you backup as much data as you want. Carbonite can perform local (aka mirror image) backups, in addition to the cloud.
However, upload times are so slow that, depending on how much data you have to backup, you could be looking at months for your initial backup to complete. While its low cost might lead users to signup anyway, Backblaze ($50 a year) or IDrive ($52 a year) are both cheaper and faster.
hubiC is a close-to-defunct cloud hybrid (storage and backup) service that tries to lure users with promises it can’t truly deliver on.
hubiC’s generous free storage plans, extremely low cost and the fact that it’s usable as a both cloud storage and cloud backup service, are all very fascinating features, but only on paper. The lack of block-level file transfers means you’re not going to get the same syncing and backup speeds as you do with competitors. Worse, without server-side encryption, your content can be accessed and read by others.
A very affordable backup provider with great upload speeds, Jottacloud falls short of the bigger names in the market.
Jottacloud is a privacy-oriented Norwegian backup and syncing platform that’s both relatively inexpensive and easy to use. The service isn’t without its issues, though: Jottacloud falls behind the bigger names in cloud backup with inconsistent customer support, no block-level file copying and no private encryption.
On paper, Jottacloud would seem to offer more than your typical backup service thanks to the inclusion of device synchronization (sync) capabilities. .
Zoolz is a smart backup service with good functionality but some worrying security features.
The pricing offers a good range of choice, just be aware that the free tier comes with no support. For that you’ll have to pay.
If you’re thinking about signing up for JustCloud – don’t. There are much better online backup services out there. Ones that don’t nickel and dime you for extra features. Ones that actually care about the security of your data.
They hide the full price, and hope customers won’t notice or won’t care.
Another lie from the JDI Backup team of companies is that they offer unlimited cloud storage. They don’t. Sync space is limited to 2GB. You can pay extra money to get 5GB, but it is not “unlimited”.
|Provider/Feature||Rating||Free Storage||Premium Plans||File Size Limit||Storage Limit||File Versioning||Restore Files||Apps|
|pCloud||⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑||10 GB||2 TB for €9.99/monthly|
|–||10 TB||✓||✓||Windows, Mac,iOS, Android, Linux|
|Dropbox||⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒||2 GB||1 TB for €9.99/monthly|
|20 GB||2 TB||✓||✓||Windows,Mac, iOS, Android|
|Google Drive||⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒||15 GB||1 TB for $9.99/monthly|
|5 TB||2 TB||✓||✓||Windows,Mac,iOS, Android|
|IDrive||⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒||5 GB||2 TB for $59.50/yearly||–||5 TB||✓||✓||Windows, iOS,Android|
|One Drive||⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒||5 GB||50 GB for €1/monthly||10 GB||1 TB||✓||✓||Windows, iOS, Android|
|Mega||⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒||50 GB||200GB for €4.99/monthly|
500 GB for €99/year
|–||8 TB||–||–||Windows, iOS|
|Tresorit||⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒||–||200 GB for €10/monthly|
|10 GB||2 TB||✓||✓||Windows,Mac,iOS|
|Box||⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒||10GB||100 GB for €8/monthly||2 GB||100 GB||✓||–||Windows|
|Media Fire||⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒||10GB||1 TB for $5/monthly|
|20 GB||1 TB||–||–||Windows, iOS|
|Yandex Disk||⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒||10 GB||1 TB for €10/monthly|
|10 GB||1 TB||–||–||Windows, iOS, Android|
|SpiderOak||⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒||2 GB||150 GB for €5/monthly|
|–||250 GB||✓||✓||Windows, iOS, Linux|
|SugarSync||⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒||–||100 GB for $7.49/monthly|
|–||500 GB||✓||✓||Windows, iOS, Android|
|Carbonite||⭑⭒⭒⭒⭒||–||Unlimited for $72/yearly||–||?||✓||✓||Windows, iOS, Android|
|HubiC||⭑⭒⭒⭒⭒||25 GB||100 GB for €1/monthly|
|–||10 TB||✓||✓||Windows, iOS, Android|
|JottaCloud||⭑⭒⭒⭒⭒||5 GB||Unlimited €9.90/monthly|
|–||10 TB||✓||✓||Windows, iOS, Android|
|ZoolZ||⭑⭒⭒⭒⭒||5 GB||100 GB for $36/yearly||1 GB||1 TB||–||–||Windows|
|JustCloud||⭑⭒⭒⭒⭒||–||75 GB for €12.83/monthly|
|5 GB||1 TB||✓||✓||Windows, iOS|
Top 8 Cloud Storage Providers Infographic