Nowadays, when someone mentions the cloud there is a 50/50 chance they are talking about the amorphous brumes in the sky. Many times what they refer to is the internet cloud. The concept has taken off exponentially over the past couple years and now is available to everyone. There are dozens of services dedicated to secure cloud-based file sharing and backup. Outlined below are three of the most well-known options currently available their similarities and their differences.
Dropbox is probably the most well-known of the cloud storage sites and is available on almost every platform. Because of this cross-platform reliability, Dropbox is considered one of the easiest options to use on the market. It has won several awards and has been praised for its simplicity. When you sign up for Dropbox you will make a account and choose which option you would like: A user can get 2 GB of online storage space for free, 100 GB for $9.99 per month, and 200 GB for $19.99 per month. You are then taken through a short tutorial. Once you’re finished with that you can then drag and drop whatever files you’d like to share or backup into the Dropbox folder and voila, you’re in business.
Microsoft’s file sharing and backup offering is called SkyDrive. SkyDrive is available for all users with a Hotmail or a Live.com account and offer 7 GB of free storage space. SkyDrive incorporates a collaborative real-time editing suite with full Microsoft Office integration, so that users can edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and OneNote comments. SkyDrive also integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn which enables users to share files with contacts. SkyDrive’s has upgradable storage plans that start at 20 GB for $10 per year, 50 GB for $25 per year, or 100 GB for $50 per year.
Earlier this year Google released Google Drive to compete with Dropbox and other file-sharing sites. Like SkyDrive Google integrates with a user’s Google email client (Gmail) to allow users 5 GB of free space. Google Docs is built into Drive so multiple users can work in real-time on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Incorporating Google’s incredible internet search capability, Drive is able to include a scanning feature using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). When you search your Google Drive account for specific information, Drive is able to recognize the keywords and pull up files that best fit that search. Google Drive is upgradable as well. Users will pay $2.49 per month for an additional 25 GB, $4.99 per month for 100 GB, or $9.99 for 200 GB.
These are only a few of the file storage options available. Other options such as Apple’s iCloud, MediaFire, Box, SugarSync, Cubby, and Egnyte offer users similar services to the offerings listed above.
Of course, if you are so inclined, you can also create your own “cloud.” Using your own hardware, you can utilize a server or network-attached storage (NAS) device to your infrastructure that you can connect to from anywhere to access your files. This gives you full control over policies, security, and capabilities.
For more information about file sharing and data backup options or if you have any other IT-related queries, call TMS at 1 (626) 737-2960. Our professional staff can assist you in finding beneficial IT solutions that will to help take your business to where you want it to go.