Third-party storage of online data is a thriving business. In this model, all electronic data of a client, be it business user or individual, such as documents, photos, music, and videos can be stored with a third-party service provider and accessed via the Internet.
Cloud storage gives the benefit of 24/7 access from any compatible device with an Internet connection. Cloud storage also makes sharing easy and is the best way to back up digital content. The market is competitive and providers are offering price cushions and extending many value-added services.
In choosing the best cloud-storage service pricing, security, special features, and customer support are the main variables. Here we are taking a glimpse of the top 6 cloud service providers for home customers.
Dropbox is one of the prominent players in the home cloud market. It allows free storage up to 2 GB for any kind of data, such as documents and music files. Users can access files from any device and it works like an external hard drive.
The tariff is $99/year for 100GB storage. It supports most OS and devices such as iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire. Dropbox also allows for collaboration. On the security front, the data storage is done with 256-bit AES encryption and has a double verification system.
Amazon Cloud Drive
In this service, files up to 5GB are free and charges for 20GB will be $10/year; 50GB, $25/year; 100GB, $50/year; 500GB, $250/year. On Music 250,000 imported songs will be charged $25/year.
It supports operating systems (OS) and devices including Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, and Kindle Fire. Amazon Cloud Drive does not permit collaboration.
In terms of security, the data is sent to and from the company’s servers using 28-bit RC4 encryption. The customer support involves 24/7 phone calls support and calls back from a customs officer and live chat.
In pricing up till 5GB it is free but chargeable for more and the rate for 50GB storage is $100/year. It supports all OS and devices such as iOS, OS X, Windows with iCloud Control Panel, Apple TV content in terms of photos, iTunes in the Cloud. No collaboration allowed.
The data is sent and stored securely using a 128-bit AES encryption and secure tokens for authentication. Third parties not allowed encryption keys.
Bitcasa’s pricing involves 20GB, free and infinite, $99/month, or $999/year. Supported OSes and devices include Android, iOS, OS X, Windows. Collaboration is not allowed.
There is enterprise-grade 256-bit encryption when data sent on company servers. Customer support includes help Center, community forums, and Twitter support plus e-mail, and chat will be given to paid clients.
Regarding the pricing it is free up to 15GB and charges are effective at $5/month for 100GB. It supports OS and devices such as Android, iOS, OS X, Windows. Collaboration is allowed.
There is a 2-factor authentication and uses HTTPS and TLS for transmissions to and from the customer’s device. Files can be encrypted before adding them to Google Drive.
Customer support is via phone, e-mail, knowledge base, and community. Special features include tools to create presentations, spreadsheets, drawings, and documents.
It supports most OS and devices such as Android, iOS, OS X, Windows. Collaboration is allowed. On pricing, it is free up to 7GB and tariff packs are available for 20GB, 50GB, and 100GB is charged $50/year. The heightened security comes from password-protected data and SSL-encryption during uploads and downloads.
Customer support is extended via phone during business hours, self-service Web, Facebook, and Twitter. Special features include free browser-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.