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Best Cloud Storage Apps

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Best cloud storage apps

If you don't know your Dropbox from your Google Drive, read on.

Cloud storage has fast become an essential commodity, especially with many devices not offering an expandable storage option, and now more and more cloud storage providers are cropping up. But which one do you choose, who offers the most bytes for the buck, which provider has the best app, and which ones provide the best overall user experience?

We've plucked the best cloud storage apps from the bunch to take a look at what each of them has to offer.

If you want to read more about a specific service or the end result, use the quick jump links below:

See also: Google Drive vs iCloud Drive vs Dropbox vs OneDrive

Jedibeeftrix

November 29, 2014, 11:04 am

owncloud

Paul Brasington

November 29, 2014, 12:06 pm

For me the primary value of a cloud service is in the way it lets you work across different devices without having to worry about moving files. This is far more important than backup, which mostly I manage locally. In that light you fail to mention what's become a critical factor, which is offline access. It wasn't an issue on the desktop, but it's certainly an issue on mobile devices, where the default is to leave things on the cloud server rather than mirroring the local machine. That makes sense given the limited storage of those devices, but the reality is that unless you're in the rare position of a having a 4G connection on your tablet sooner or later you'll find yourself sitting on a train or even a cafe/bar without an internet connection. Services like Dropbox do offer the ability to download specific files marked as favourites, but in my experience the only reliable way to work in these circumstances is to set up a local file and copy things around when you're back on line. That's not very satisfactory, and it would have been great to have had a bit more insight into this issue in your review. They all work very differently and some don't bother at all (last time I looked Google Drive on Android didn't work at all offline, making it one of the worst options here).

Matthew Bunton

November 29, 2014, 3:01 pm

Well said Paul compatability and ease of use are far more important than backup storage.

iworm

November 29, 2014, 7:49 pm

"...which makes using the service on multiple operating systems a piece of cake."

Google Drive is totally unsupported on Linux (except through a web-browser)

Disclaimer1: I like Google a lot, and use many of their services. But their Drive is in no way multi-platform when compared with other offerings.

And in this post-Snowden era, no mentions of security and/or privacy? Why no mention of SpiderOak?

Disclaimer2: I am a (personal) customer of SpiderOak.

SpiderOak (a) does privacy properly (actually referred to by aforementioned Mr Snowden specifically as his choice!) and (b) really IS multi O/S friendly. Linux, Windows, Android, etc. etc. etc.

Their omission from your article is..... surprising. Why?

Keith

December 2, 2014, 10:19 am

>> Only $10 per month more for each additional 100 GB

Am I reading this correctly?.. Wouldn't that make 1TB $90 per month.

iworm

December 2, 2014, 10:29 am

Huh? If I remember correctly the first 2GB are entirely free. But if you pay for more (as I do) then by the figures you just mentioned that would be 1GB=90 cents per month.

Which when I last looks makes it neither the cheapest nor dearest out there. Personally I like it for true multi-platform and the zero-knowledge encryption.

Need a couple of GB free, Windows-only kind of thing? Dropbox ain't bad. Need more and/or features, then SpiderOak worth a look (along with others!)

PS Anecdotal story: paid for DropBox Pro at work to distribute some files to a couple of hundred people. Failed totally when DropBox blocked access for exceeding some *unpublished* daily download limit... Was not impressed. But I still use DropBox's freebie 2GB service.

Keith

December 2, 2014, 10:36 am

I think you were writing this reply while I corrected my 1GB to 1TB.. :),, And the pricing was copy pasted from there website. I thought it was actually 10GB free but just checked again and like you say it's 2GB free, so for 1TB it's actually more $100 per month. Compared to OneDrive 1TB option of $6.99 that's a big difference. Of course not many would require 1TB of storage, but for those who do require a lot of storage SpiderOak doesn't appear to be a good option.

iworm

December 2, 2014, 10:43 am

Ah, right. Yes indeed. All depends on features required I guess. As I say, DropBox's offer of 1TB for $100 sounds amazing - but turned out (for us anyway) to be utterly unusable.

FWIW, SpiderOak often do "Special Offers" (like everyone else!) and very often offer 50% off. In fact, about 18 months ago I snapped up a special offer (which I've not yet seen repeated alas!) of unlimited storage (I've only managed to get up to about 170GB so far!) for $125 per year. Which was pretty neat.

But overall I agree with your point that they are not the cheapest. However for some they may be the best. And for others not. :-)

Keith

December 2, 2014, 10:52 am

Indeed, for documents & stuff like that even the free version of SpiderOak it would take a lot to fill the space up. And like you say it depends on what you use the data for. I've grown up with computers and I think it's amazing sometimes when were even talking about 1TB, that's why it's so easy for me to mistakenly type 1GB when I meant 1TB :), I remember things were in K's, and Meg's, and Then Gigs, and now Terabyte's. I remember my first Hard Drive (nearly taking up the whole desk) a massive 10 Megabytes, wow I thought I'd never fill it up. :) Now I have a 128GB usb pen in my wallet nearly half full..

Keith

December 2, 2014, 10:55 am

I've been using dedicated servers for a long time now, I remember installing owncloud a couple of year ago, at the time it seemed very unreliable / complex to set up etc. I assume things have moved on now, I'll have to give it another go.

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