Top cloud storage services in 2021

How much do you actually know about cloud computing? For many of us, our first exposure to the cloud is through our email platforms, which give us free storage space for sending and receiving emails, documents, and other media. Then came the popular cloud storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox, which enabled us to store our files and access them from anywhere in the world.

Basically, a Cloud storage service is as reliable as your phone memory and can save almost anything you want to save. These things could range from important documents, picture media, music, videos, and even software. With the cloud storage service, one gets access to the stored media from anywhere across the world. It has made data sharing more accessible, reliable, and secure. It is maintained, monitored, backed up, and made accessible to users over a network, usually the internet. Users typically pay a monthly fee based on how much data they store in the cloud.

On the other hand, some service providers offer free-of-cost cloud storage. A hosting company usually owns and manages the physical environment, which consists of several servers in multiple locations. These cloud storage services are in charge of keeping the data safe and usable and the physical environment secure and operational.

To date, numerous companies have started providing cloud storage services based on the modern technical aspects of software development. Some of which are paid for on an annual or a monthly basis. Free of cost services are also widely available. Let’s have a look at some of the top cloud storage providers.

Google Drive

For many people, Google Drive is their default choice when it comes to storing and sharing files online. Google Drive has become a household name for both desktop and smartphone users, mainly due to its user-friendly interface and versatile features. Moreover, you also get access to Google’s office suite, which features cloud-based applications like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.

These applications enable you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations directly on the cloud server, so you don’t have to move them to your storage later on. Moreover, you can access your files from any device, thus making the entire process much faster than before. This is highly beneficial for students, as they can complete their assignments and presentations at home, and simply pull them up from Google Drive when it is time to submit or present them. This makes it one of the best choices for university students.

The biggest advantage of Google Drive is that it provides 15GB of free storage, which also includes Gmail and Google Photos. Depending on the plan you choose, your total capacity increases to 100 GB or more when you upgrade to Google One, which also brings you affordable plans and the option to share your storage with family and friends, as well as Google expert support. This service is appreciated and taken advantage of all over the world by the service sector.

Google’s industry-leading security protocols safeguard your critical jobs, archives, and priceless memories. You can rest assured knowing that the information you value is securely stored in the cloud. All can be kept in one place, from videos to music to documents, so that it is all available and easy to share. Ample cloud storage has proven to be very useful for commercial as well as educational purposes.

Features:

Free planPaid plans
–          Includes GSuite (document, spreadsheet and presentation) even in the free plan

–          15 GB of storage space

–          Extra member benefits

–          100 GB, 200 GB and 2 TB plans

–          Option to add your family

–          Access to Google experts

Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive is a cloud storage service provided by Microsoft Corporation which lets you manage your important files on their cloud platform. It allows you to store your files on their server, download them when needed, transfer them from one computer to another, protect your files using their state-of-the-art encryption system, share them with your teachers and friends, and access them from anywhere on all your devices. It also provides you with various helpful features, such as scanning and storing documents, receipts, business cards, notes, and more in OneDrive.

Accessing OneDrive is easy with your mobile device, and on Windows 10, you can access all of your OneDrive files without taking up any room on your computer. Moreover, it also allows you to sync your MS Office files on its cloud server so that you can always have complete and uninterrupted access to your files.

OneDrive also offers a feature called the Personal Vault, where you can store important files and photos with an extra layer of protection. It uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect files that are being transferred, whereas some other cloud storage providers only use AES 128-bit encryption. OneDrive provides 5 GB of storage space for free, with additional storage options of 100 GB, 1 TB, and 6 TB available individually or as part of Office 365 subscriptions. You can get up to 1TB storage for as low as $10/month, and it also provides you access to Office 365.

Features:

Free planPaid plans
–          Includes a free version of MS Office (document, spreadsheet and presentation) even in the free plan

–          5 GB of storage space

–          File change history

–          Personal vault

–          100 GB, 1 TB and 6 TB plans

–          Option to add your family

–          Better customer support

–          Comes with MS Office 365 if 1TB or 6TB plan is purchased

–          Ransomware detection and recovery

–          Files restore within 30 days

–          File change history

Yandex Disk

Yandex is a company that provides similar services to Google. It also offers a cloud storage service known as Yandex Disk which is a cloud storage service and was launched in 2012. It offers 10GB of free space to all of its primary users but is not limited to this. Additionally, it provides some premium plans too, and these plans come with insignificant price tags. The services are gaining popularity across the globe because of their storage capacity and bandwidth limit.

The biggest flex of Yandex Disk is that they are the most versatile and most secure storage service providers. It is an affordable service, and one gets charged based on the storage service that he/she is acquiring. For example, for an additional 1GB, one is charged $0.016167 per month. Special features of Yandex Disk include priority support, file change history, and no advertisements. It is a reliable cloud storage service for your personal and business needs.

Features:

Free planPain plans
–          10 GB of storage space

–          Free mail

–          The free version of Online Microsoft Office to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files online

–          100 GB, 1 TB and 3TB of storage space

–          No advertisement

–          Prioritised customer support

–          3 months of history of file changes

–          Free mail

–          The free version of Online Microsoft Office to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files online

–          File change history

Box Drive

Box Drive is a US-based cloud storage service that provides 24/7 phone support and encompasses other e-mail and Web support services. It offers 10 GB of space free of cost. It is a pretty premium service; that is why they charge $14 if you want to acquire 100 GB of space. Box drive offers numerous other customized plans for its users too. It supports Android OS, iOS, OS X, Windows, and Blackberry, and it is as secure as the data saved on your mobile phones. The most significant advantage of using Box Drive is that it provides 256-bit encryption to the user’s data while accessing the servers and after that. Special features of Box Drive include a fully mobile-optimized website and additional support of recognizing and working with more than 70 file types.

Features:

Free planPain plans
–          10 GB of storage space

–          Microsoft Office 365 to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files online

–          Secure file sharing

–          Standard customer support

–          Note-taking and project management

–          100 GB of storage space

–          Standard customer support

–          3 months of history of file changes

–          Microsoft Office 365 to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files online

–          Note-taking and project management

–          Secure file sharing

Apple iCloud

Everyone is familiar with Apple’s uniqueness, reliability, and elite features in the tech field. Apple has introduced a 5GB free space offer for all of its users. However, there are some premium packages too. These packages include:

  • 50GB for $1.49 per month
  • 200GB for $4.49 per month
  • 2TB for $14.99 per month

The biggest flex of Apple iCloud is that it is compatible with IOS, OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Apple TV. It provides state of the art security to the data stored on its servers. The minimum 128-bit AES encryption is applied when the data is being accessed or saved. Additionally, Apple iCloud puts full focus on authenticity and, therefore, takes into account security tokens. Along with this, no one else can gain access to the encryption keys of the service. Apple iCloud is all about customer support and, therefore, provides an online knowledge base, from which the customers can find all the answers to their possible questions. Special features of the service include enough storage for photos and videos, and on top of that, one can invite other people to save data in your storage space.

Features:

Free planPain plans
–          5 GB of storage space

–          Tight integration with Apple devices

–          Secure file sharing

–          50 GB, 200 GB and 2 TB of storage space

–          Standard customer support

–          Tight integration with Apple devices

–          Secure file sharing

Amazon Drive

You obviously know what Amazon is and what they do, and if you have a keen interest in cloud computing, you would also know about Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the leading cloud hosting platforms that provides you with robust and helpful features to set up all kinds of websites and applications. Although you may not have heard of Amazon Drive, it is among the most popular cloud storage platforms out there.

Amazon Drive offers you secure and seamless cloud storage that is managed by the same state-of-the-art infrastructure that powers their e-commerce platform and AWS. Therefore, there is no doubt about the level of service you receive by signing up with Amazon Drive. Like most platforms, it provides you with 5GB of free storage, which is sufficient for storing thousands of documents, images, videos, and much more. You also get efficient file backup, file and photo sharing features with Amazon Drive.

In selected locations, Amazon also provides its customers with a feature called Prime Photos, where you get unlimited storage for high-definition photos and RAW files, which have a large file size. You have the option of accessing Amazon Drive through web, mobile, or desktops, and you can easily access your documents and files whenever you need them.

There is no initial fee on Amazon Drive, and the consumer just pays for what they use. It is one of the most well-known cloud service providers. Its features include quick capacity addition and removal, and there is practically no limit to the amount of power available.

Features:

Free planPain plans
–          5 GB of storage space

–          Secure file management

–          100 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB of storage space

–          Prioritised customer support

–          Secure file management

Dropbox

Dropbox provides several cloud storage options for students and professionals. Dropbox for cloud storage allows you to store everything securely in the cloud and access file uploads from various devices, so you can easily manage your presentations and assignments without the need for a laptop or external hard drive. Dropbox assists people in staying organized, in touch, and share files remotely with their peers.

Although it provides you with only 2GB of free storage, Dropbox allows you to earn more free space by referring other people, completing an introductory guide, and contributing to their community forum. It also has a helpful feature called Dropbox Paper, which allows you to collaborate with your peers in real-time. You can also share files and photos through its rapid file sharing platform.

The price of cloud storage is determined by the amount of space you need. Dropbox provides various plans, ranging from 2 TB to unlimited capacity, to meet the needs of individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. Dropbox Basic is a free plan with 2 GB of storage for those who don’t need too much space.

Security is of the essence when it comes to cloud storage, and nobody understands it better than Dropbox. Therefore, even if your computer or smartphone is lost or stolen, you can rest assured that your data will be secure. You can uninstall all the files and directories from your missing device’s Dropbox account using a remote wipe. All your files are safely stored in the cloud and are regularly backed up.

Features:

Free planPain plans
–          2 GB of storage space

–          Secure file management

–          Document scanning

–          Web previews

–          30 days of file recovery and version history

–          2 TB of storage space

–          Document scanning

–          Web previews

–          Prioritised customer support

–          Secure file management

–          Remote device wipe

–          30 days of file recovery and version history

–          Personal vault

–          Ability to add family members

Conclusion

Cloud storage has proven to be one of the most popular technologies. It allows businesses to scale and adapt quickly, accelerating creativity, driving business agility, streamlining processes, and lowering costs. Moreover, it is also a useful resource for students all over the world, as it allows them to store their lectures, assignments, presentations, and other important files on the cloud, so that they can access them whenever they need to.

Today’s world has made a shift towards virtual education and even though most places still follow a traditional method of teaching, attempting assignments, creating presentations, and many other functions are done online, thanks to cloud computing. The education industry will continue to be revolutionized as cloud storage providers come up with new and innovative methods and technologies.

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