There’s no shortage of good options for storing data in the cloud.
Here is a list of the six best-known inexpensive services that consumers and small businesses can use with little specialist expertise. I’ve tried all of them myself and regularly use four of the services listed. All of them are free or inexpensive and reliable.
I’ve almost never had a problem saving or retrieving data. On the whole files, even large files, tend to move quickly to and from these services. At least most of the time. The only exception to this is Mega, which is slower than every other service.
Most cloud storage services either come with apps or use a web-app to move files between your devices and the cloud. Often folders show up on your hard drive that are, in effect, mirrored on a remote cloud server.
Are they all easy-to-use? That depends on what you mean. Moving files between folders isn’t difficult. But there are often direct cloud links from applications like Microsoft Office or Apple’s iWorks. It isn’t always clear when a document is stored locally or in the cloud.
Personal cloud storage recommendations
What do I recommend? If Apple, Microsoft or Google are where you spend most of your life, then the associated cloud should be your first choice. After that, pick Dropbox.
Dropbox isn’t the cheapest option, nor does it offer as many features as some other services. However, it works with almost everything, is simple to use and isn’t likely to disappear overnight. It’s also the best, read easiest, option if you share files with someone else.
If you’re looking for something closer to home, New Zealand-based Filecloud offers a small business cloud service with prices starting at NZ$15 a month (NZ$180 a year) for 250GB storage.
|Personal cloud storage services compared|
|Service||What you get for free||Price|
|1TB Plan includes Office 365||200GB||$48|
|Storage shared across Drive,||1TB||$120|
|Gmail, Google+ and photos||10TB||$1200|
|All prices in US dollars, annualised and .99 prices rounded up|