It’s not an exaggeration to say that cloud storage apps have transformed the way we store and access files. Being able to access files anywhere, on any device, has become the norm at work and in our personal lives.
Virtually anyone can benefit from cloud storage apps, but they are particularly handy for remote workers and businesses that want to offer a BYOD policy, as Mindsight’s Siobhan Climer writes.
Be prepared to pay, however. Free solutions may be suitable if you’re using apps for basic storage, notes tech blogger Paul Mah, but the more advanced capabilities and increased storage required by most businesses are only available with paid solutions.
Want to get started with cloud storage apps but don’t know where to begin? Here’s our rundown of the best options.
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Box is one of the most popular and comprehensive cloud storage apps on the market. It comes with built-in support for the most popular productivity tools, including Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365.
Users get a substantial 10 GB of free storage. The Personal Pro plan is $10 per month. Business plans start at $5 per user, per month, paid annually.
Dropbox is among the most famous cloud storage providers and for good reason. Users get 2 GB of free storage and an app for virtually every device, including all Apple and Android products as well as Windows. Security is high, and your files are protected by AES 256-bit encryption.
If you need more than 2 GB of storage, premium plans start at $10 per month for 2 TB.
Just so you know
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Google Drive comes preinstalled on the vast majority of Android phones and Chromebooks, making it the perfect choice for users who have already integrated part or all of their online lives into the Google ecosystem.
Google Drive doesn’t just sync your Google productivity suite files. It can also store all file formats, including PDFs, Microsoft documents, and photos. Apple users aren’t left out, either, as they can download Google Drive from the App Store.
Users get 15 GB for free. Additional storage is incredibly cheap, starting at just $2 for 100 GB.
iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage platform. It comes preinstalled on all iPhones and is available for download in the Google Play Store. Android users will need to create an Apple ID to use the service if they don’t already have one, however.
Apple offers 5 GB of storage for free. If you want more, 50 GB of storage will set you back $.99 per month, 200 GB of storage costs $2.99 per month, and 20 TB costs $9.99 per month.
MEGA is a comprehensive cloud storage platform that also includes file sharing and chat. The platform places a premium on privacy. Everything from file uploads to chat is covered by end-to-end encryption with keys that you control.
MEGA offers a massive 50 GB of free cloud storage in addition to several premium plans that start at $6.04 per month for 400 GB.
Microsoft OneDrive is the perfect cloud storage app for businesses and individuals who have already integrated their workflows into the Microsoft ecosystem. OneDrive is now part of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system, meaning if you have a Windows 10 device, then OneDrive is already installed.
The platform integrates with the full suite of Microsoft apps so files and data are automatically synced across your devices. Naturally, there are apps for both iOS and Android devices.
OneDrive comes with 5 GB of cloud storage for free. A 100 GB version costs just $1.99 per month.
pCloud offers free and secure multimedia cloud storage. What sets pCloud apart from most other providers is its no-knowledge local encryption service. This encrypts documents on individual devices to such a level that not even pCloud administrators can access them.
pCloud offers 10 GB of storage free. If you need more, the 500 GB Premium plan costs $47.88 per year, while the 2 TB Premium Plus plan costs $95.88 per year. pCloud also offers lifetime subscriptions for both paid plans for a one-time payment of $175 and $350 respectively.
Sync offers comprehensive and private cloud storage. Files are automatically synced across all devices, including iOS and Android, and everything is protected with end-to-end encryption.
Sync lets businesses share files with employees and clients instantly and securely. Access can be password-protected, and there are no limits on file size. You don’t even need to download a document to see a preview of it.
A free version of the app comes with 5 GB of storage. Pro plans start at $8 per month for single users or $5 per user, per month for a team account.
Tresorit offers a more secure alternative to some of the mainstream cloud storage apps on this list. In fact, privacy is the platform’s big selling point. Client-side encryption and secure data transfer mean your files are safe from prying eyes.
There’s a 14-day free trial period, but users will need to pay to continue accessing the product afterward. The Premium package costs $12.50 per month and provides 500 GB of encrypted storage. The Solo package offers 2,500 GB of storage and costs $30 per month. Business plans start at 14.50 per user, per month billed annually with 1 TB of storage.
Remember, not every cloud storage app is equal. It’s important to identify the specific features you need and choose an appropriate app. If you need to access and edit articles on the move, for instance, choose an app that lets you make edits in the cloud, advises Business News Daily Editor. Some services require you to download files to make edits, which can be tricky on a smartphone.