Cloud storage comparisons: Pros and cons of each service
Having now been introduced to Microsoft’s SkyDrive and Google’s Drive earlier this year, more and more of us are opting to store our e-files on the cloud. But which paid service is the best for what you want? Read on for an overview of each cloud storage service…
Applications support iCloud and synchronisation across all the user’s Apple devices, so this isn’t necessarily a cloud storage service in its own right – unless you’re an Apple customer.
Beware, though, because although it’s handy that syncing occurs automatically, this automation also means that documents you might not really want to entrust to the cloud might actually get shared to it – not great. And, as you’d expect, cross platform support is virtually non-existent.
This service carries the highest premium, but is also the most business centric. Offering a host of extra apps that are compatible with its service, its plans also include LDAP support and Active Directory.
Because this service works well across a number of platforms, any change in service policy from the bigger companies is less likely to affect your business much. On the other hand, now that free alternatives are emerging, watch out for companies like Box, who will need to alter their offerings if they’re going to compete.
Users can save a file to their Mac or PC’s Dropbox folder, which will automatically sync everywhere, even to iOS and Android mobile devices. The assimilation with Mac and Windows is great with this service, and it also offers fantastic apps on the supported mobile platforms – i.e. Android and Apple – no Windows Phone 7/8 yet. The downside with this one is that its security record isn’t flawless.
Egnyte’s service is user-friendly and offers comprehensive smartphone compatibility. Not only this, but it’s competitively priced and offers users a wide variety of pricing plans, as well as a number of access options.
While Egnyte isn’t necessarily the least expensive service around, users can be sure that their documents are safe, because Egnyte has one of the best security records in the industry. (www.egnyte.com)
An extension of Google’s online office suite, this isn’t really an online storage service proper. And while it’s true that users can upsize storage capacity to 16TB, it’s likely that those with this need will stick with Drive instead of turning to a specialist company.
Unfortunately, users aren’t able to edit documents offline, and Google will, as it does with your Gmail, probably go through any data in the documents and use it as fodder for targeted advertising.
Much like that of Google’s Drive, SkyDrive’s service is mainly a support service to Microsoft’s other online apps. There’s no Android client, unfortunately, but documents are editable both on- and offline, which is handy.