With dozens of cloud services available now, finding the best fit for you can be quite a challenge. You may wonder which one has the best features, most storage options, most free space and best price.
You may be unsure about how a Cloud service could help you. Or you may be thinking of starting to use a Cloud service but aren’t sure where to begin.
Trying every Cloud service could be time-consuming and complicated, but Reviews.com just released their survey of 46 different cloud services to find the best of the bunch. They narrowed the wide field down to four that met all of their criteria. Choosing which of the four works best for you will depend on your personal situation.
Why Use a Cloud Service
If you haven’t start using a Cloud service yet, you probably will at some point. If you already use one, you probably wonder how you existed before you used one. They’re that handy.
If you aren’t a fan of Cloud services, well then maybe you’re not yet using the one that’s a good fit for you.
Cloud services can serve as a backup for your important digital files, such as photos, videos, documents, music and more. Instead of manually backing up your computer (do you really remember to do that regularly?), you can save files to your Cloud service to back them up.
If the worst happens and your computer crashes, or gets lost or damaged, your files will be safe and undisturbed in the Cloud.
By using a Cloud service you can access your files from nearly anywhere. If you have an Internet connection, you can open your files from any computer, or from a phone or tablet.
No need to worry about a file stored on your computer when you’re away from your desk. You have instant access to all of your files stored in a Cloud service.
Using a Cloud service makes file sharing and collaboration easy. No need to worry about emailing documents to a group, then wondering which version everyone is working with. Everyone will be seeing the same document with the most updated version.
Using a Cloud service also means you don’t have to worry about catching that typo right after you sent it as an attachment to an email. With a shared folder in a Cloud service, you can update files any time.
When you switch computers, you will be able to transfer all of your files easily if they are saved to a Cloud service.
Considerations for Choosing a Cloud Service
Which features should you consider when choosing a Cloud service? Some features may be important to you, while others won’t matter as much.
Consider how much storage space you need in the Cloud. Storing files such as photos, videos and music will take up more space than documents.
See how much space you’re using on your computer and mobile devices. If your computer or phone is filled with photos and you’re struggling for space, you may want to move your photos to the Cloud.
If you need a lot of space, you will probably need a paid Cloud service account.
Even if everyone you’ve ever met is a Windows user, you still want to use a Cloud service that is compatible across multiple platforms. No one knows what the future holds so using a Cloud service that can be used on Windows, Mac, Android and iPhone is important.
Cloud and Local Storage
Some Cloud services back up your files to the Cloud and to your computer. Others only back up to the Cloud.
Having a Cloud service that backs up both to the Cloud and your computer is important. Files will be stored both in the Cloud and on your computer so you can have access to your files when you’re away from the Internet and when you’re away from your computer.
What Others Are Using
If your employer, spouse or other important entity in your life is using a particular Cloud service, you may want to use that one.
Having More than One Cloud Service
Consider carefully before signing up for more than one Cloud service. Having multiple Cloud services is possible but can get confusing. Will you really remember where you stored which files? Backing up files to multiple Cloud services also could be time-consuming.
You may, however, want to use a different Cloud service for work and for personal use to keep files completely separate.
After a lengthy investigation, involving testing 46 different Cloud services, Reviews.com narrowed the choices down to four:
- Google Drive
Each of these services met the criteria set forth by Reviews.com:
- Has received high scores on app reviews
- Works on Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android
- Focuses on personal, not business use
- Offers a free option
- Is easy to use
All of the four finalists met these criteria, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. You can choose which fits your needs best.
- Easy to use
- Works well on all platforms
- Free plan includes a version history
- Uploaded files are encrypted
- Works well with other apps
- Free version starts with only 2 GB of space, though you can earn more by inviting new users and other methods. See, 8 Easy Ways to Get Free Dropbox Space
- Only one paid option
- Very popular service. 74% of those surveyed by Reviews.com use Google Drive
- Includes office suite software
- Excellent at file sharing and syncing documents for collaboration
- Can search photos
- Can earn storage by reviewing restaurants. See, Engadget, Google rewards restaurant reviewers with 1TB storage
- Photos stored in Google Photos stored at “high quality” resolution don’t count against your storage space. See, Google Photos — Make the Most of Your Memories Easily! for more about Google Photos
- Must have a Google account
- Items in your Gmail account count against your Google Drive space
OneDrive (formerly Sky Drive) by Microsoft
- Comes installed in Windows 10
- Includes basic version of Microsoft Office
- Fastest file upload times
- Can search photos
- Must have a Microsoft account
- More complex to use
- Many features for business use
- Works well with other apps
- Paid version is most expensive of the four
- Automatic photo uploading not included with free account
Be sure to read more about the complete Cloud service review at Reviews.com: The Best Cloud Storage.
Do you use a Cloud storage service? If so, which one do you use? Which features are most important to you?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
If you don’t yet use a Cloud storage service, get started by using an invitation link from an existing user so you and they can get extra space.
* Reviews.com Comparison Chart used with permission
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