Updated: Jul 1, 2020
These days, small businesses increasingly need access to their data on the go, with no overhead for storage maintenance and no hardware maintenance costs. Cloud storage provides an efficient solution and is rapidly gaining in popularity.
There are so many cloud services out there; it may seem overwhelming picking which one to use with your business. When picking a service you need to consider a couple of things like security (which can turn into a disaster), ease of use, cost, and availability. Not all cloud services are created equal, but a few are typically regarded as the best in the business.
Dropbox for Business
Functions: File Storage, Sharing, Synching Price: Free 14-day trial; $12.50/month (minimum of 5 users); 1 TB of storage per user
You may have heard of Dropbox because it’s commonly used as a personal cloud. They offer free space to anyone looking to store files in the cloud, but they also excel when it comes to small businesses. Dropbox is a leader when it comes to file storage, sharing a synching, making it easy to share files across all of your teams, anywhere, anytime. Dropbox for Business bulks up its free offerings lending support to multiple users. You also get 1 TB of storage per user – which is basically a whole desktop computer’s worth.
Functions: file storage and sharing Price: Individuals get 15 GB free, 100 GB for $1.99/month, 1 TB for $9.99/month, 10 TB for $99.99/month, 20 TB for $199.99/month and 30 TB for $299.99/month.
Anyone who’s ever used Gmail has probably used Google Drive. It’s renowned for its personal cloud storage services and helps all of us get around that pesky 25 MB limitation in email attachments. Google Drive includes a number of insanely helpful features that foster collaboration. It basically has Microsoft Word built into the system, allowing you to create documents that your team can edit, save, and share. You can even suggest edits for your entire team to see. Create spreadsheets, slideshow presentations, and more.
Features: Storage, Synching, Sharing Price: 15 GB free with sign up; 100 GB for $1.99/month; 200 GB for $3.99/month; 1 TB with Office 365 Personal for $6.99/month.
Microsoft OneDrive is Microsoft’s answer to Google Drive, and it’s seamlessly integrated into Windows operating systems. If you’re a business who’s life and soul runs on Windows computers, this is the service for you. For example, if you use Windows 8 or Windows Phone, you can sync your system/device settings and apps and files and folders. Don’t be fooled by the integration, though – you can run Microsoft OneDrive on iOS, Mac, and Android, too. Much like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive lets you collaborate and edit documents simultaneously and in real-time from any device – PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. You can also upload photos from your phone and tablet and have them synchronized with your desktop.
Functions: Online Backups for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris Pricing: Free 30-day trial: unlimited storage for $10/month or up to 20 laptops and desktops
Those of us who use Linux and Solaris may feel a little left out when it comes to cloud storage solutions. Most cater to either Windows or Mac. Where the competition fails, CrashPlan swoops in because it works with Windows, Mac, and Linux and Solaris. It also has unique pricing. You can choose to backup an unlimited amount of data per single computer or choose how much data you need in advance and spread it across an unlimited amount of computers. This really helps certain business models. Some businesses may have a lot of employees that share computers, so it’s less cost-effective to pay per user. Some businesses have a small number of employees who each use their own devices. It may be more cost-effective to pay per user in that instance.