Australians have been steadily increasing their use of cloud storage and it’s no wonder. Cloud storage allows you to clear room on your hard drive, collaborate more easily, share your photos and more. The downside is its distance from the rest of the world since closer servers are better, so we’ve found the best cloud storage for Australia for you, starting with Egnyte Connect.
How close you are to the provider’s servers has a huge impact on the quality of your cloud storage experience. Your data transfer will be faster and should have fewer interruptions, which is, of course, preferable to a connection that can hang and break.
One major concern, however, is that the Australian government doesn’t shy away from snooping, even if it is just metadata. A future agreement might even allow them to take a warrant for accessing data directly to U.S. cloud providers (which is why we recommend you use one of our best VPN for Australia picks). That said, good security can help you prevent anyone from looking at your data.
Before we start with our picks, let’s define the rest of our criteria for choosing the best cloud storage for Australia from our best online data storage list. If you’re looking for backup — there’s a difference — consult our best online backup for Australia.
Best Cloud Storage for Australia 2020
- Dropbox Business
- Shared Folders
- Google Docs Integration
- Visit Dropbox BusinessDropbox Business Review
- OneDrive for Business
- Shared Folders
- Google Docs Integration
- Visit OneDrive for BusinessOneDrive for Business Review
What Makes the Best Cloud Storage for Australia
Server location is most important. The closer you are to cloud storage servers the better. Some services allow you to improve your connection by tweaking transfer settings and most employ a block-level transfer algorithm. Your connection speed and stability will depend on your internet service provider, as well.
A good connection is well and fine, but it’ll never be fast enough to elude malicious individuals or governments. That’s where security comes in. We’ll look at what kind of encryption secures your data in transit and at rest. Private encryption is ideal as it prevents anyone from reading your data. The service should also have two-factor authentication to protect your password.
Nobody wants to pay an arm and a leg for security and speed. Services differ on the amount of space and plans they offer for the money, so the more plans they have, the better your chances are of finding the right one. Having a free plan or a trial is a plus, too, since using one lets you test the service before subscribing.
You don’t need to be an IT genius, or shouldn’t need to be, to use cloud storage. A straightforward and enjoyable experience will help. The interfaces — web, desktop and mobile — should be attractive, as well. We’ll also note which operating systems the services work on.
Now that we’re done laying out our criteria, we’ll start with our top pick.
1. Best Cloud Storage for Australia: Egnyte Connect
In addition to being our top pick for Australia, Egnyte Connect is one of the best enterprise file synchronization and sharing providers. The service uses a feature it calls “global network acceleration” which lets customers use the latest network technologies when accessing data centers. One data center is in the Asia-Pacific region, which is perfect for Australia.
That said, Egnyte could be faster on initial uploads. The results of our tests were slower than we expected. It was much quicker when uploading existing files, though, due to its block-level sync algorithm.
AES 256-bit encryption will scramble your data before it’s uploaded or synced, but the service doesn’t qualify as zero-knowledge because it needs to decrypt your files to read metadata.
Fortunately, Egnyte integrates with Boxcryptor (read our Boxcryptor review), which provides private encryption. Block-level sync will not work if you use it, though. You can enable two-factor authentication to prevent intrusion if someone steals your password and, to further protect your credentials, you can turn on minimum password requirements.
Other Reasons We Like Egnyte Connect
Egnyte has three business plans: Office, Business and Enterprise. Office requires a minimum of five employees and will give you 5TB of online storage for $8 per employee per month, which is great value. For more than 25 employees, the Business plan provides 10TB of online storage and advanced security.
If you have over 100 employees, Egnyte requires you to subscribe to the Enterprise plan, which doesn’t have a cap on employees or storage. In addition, you’ll get the premium support and administration package. The Team plan is suitable for one to three users. It costs $10 per user per month for 1TB of storage space and lots of features.
You won’t have issues with the web client as its interface is easy to use, has many features and is enjoyable. The same goes for the mobile app, which allows you to open and edit content from the cloud, including Office — no need for Office 365 — and Adobe .pdf documents. The mobile app can upload your phone content directly to the cloud, too, which is handy.
The desktop client is straightforward because it uses the common sync model — a sync folder on your hard drive and system tray icon. It also has a feature called Egnyte Drive, which enables you to access your cloud data from your file system without taking space on your hard drive. The client is available for Windows or macOS.
Egnyte provides good security, fast block-level sync to aid in collaboration, a host of features and good value. If you’re interested in learning more about the service, read our Egnyte Connect review.
- Fast block-level sync
- Affordable pricing
- No Linux support
Box is also one of the best EFSS platforms. It focuses on businesses and counts many of them, from small ones to the Fortune 500, as clients.
Box uses a technology called “Box zones” that allows you to choose the storage region you want to use if you’re on a Business or Enterprise plan. One of those is in Asia and is a decent fit for users in Australia. Initial uploads compare well to other cloud storage services, but subsequent uploads are slower because Box doesn’t have block-level sync.
You’ll be protected against man-in-the-middle attacks by in-transit encryption, while AES-256 bit encryption will guard your data at rest. Box uses that same level of encryption to secure your key. It isn’t private, but Boxcryptor integration allows you to set that up. Two-factor authentication is available, too.
There’s single-sign-on integration, as well, which allows your employees to log in to multiple business apps with the same credentials.
You can limit how many devices each user can sync with device pinning and there’s an option to check how many devices have access to your cloud storage. Regrettably, when you unpin a device, it only cuts the access to your cloud storage and leaves the already-synced content from the device intact.
Other Reasons We Like Box
The cheapest plan, called Starter, costs $5 per user per month — all plans use the same pricing scheme. It offers 100GB, which won’t be enough for most businesses. The Business plan, which is also the one that lets you pick a server close to Australia, is the most popular and gives you unlimited storage for $15.
Business Plus costs $25 and provides you with SSO integration, unlimited external collaborators and access to Box Key Safe. You’ll need to contact Box representatives for the Enterprise plan pricing. If you subscribe to it, you’ll get access to user groups, workflow automation and other features.
The web interface is straightforward. Its layout won’t leave you scratching your head and the design is attractive. You can customize the URL for your workspace and even add your own logo.
There’s a desktop client, too, if that suits you more. Once the installation is complete, you’ll see the sync folder on your hard drive. It’s available for Windows or macOS and, if you need to access your files while you’re away from your computer, you can use the mobile app, which is available for Android or iOS.
Box has decent prices, tough security and good ease of use, but it’s not as affordable or fast as Egnyte, so we placed it second on our list. For more details about the service read our Box review.
- Strong security
- Unlimited storage plan
- No block-level sync
- 5GB max for file uploads
Dropbox is one of the oldest and most popular services. In 2017, Dropbox opened a proxy server, in a data center in Sydney which improved download and upload speeds for Dropbox customers in the ANZ region. Note that this server is available only for business clients, the free plan doesn’t cover it.
It uses AES 256-bit to safeguard your files in transit and at rest, but it’s not zero-knowledge because Dropbox decrypts your files to access their metadata for indexing. It re-encrypts the files, but the metadata remains in plain text on a separate server.
If you’re worried about your privacy and want to make sure nobody can read your data, refer to our 99 tools to help protect your privacy article and our privacy guide for help. To secure your login information, you can use two-factor authentication.
Other Reasons We Like Dropbox for Business
Dropbox offers one of the best user experiences. The desktop client is easy to use and follows the common sync model, which Dropbox developed, but we prefer the web client. It’s striking and displays all the necessary information without clutter.
The mobile app is available for Android and iOS and performs in a similar manner. It allows you to upload photos and videos automatically from your phone. To see images of the interface and learn more about the service, go to our Dropbox Business review.
- Good integrations
- Limited to 1TB
- Not zero-knowledge
OneDrive for Business is a Microsoft product and comes built in with Windows 8.1 and 10. There are two servers in Australia — one in New South Wales and one in Victoria — and accessing them is preferable to, say, servers in the U.S.
Our tests showed that OneDrive’s speeds are fast. The time it took to transfer a gigabyte of data was close to the best theoretical time possible. The service uses block-level sync, so you can expect good results when uploading existing files, as well. Be aware, though, that some, mostly old, comments on our review talk about failures to upload or sync errors.
Unlike most services, OneDrive doesn’t encrypt your files at rest on its servers. It doesn’t get worse than that for security because it means a rogue employee could easily read your data. We can’t recommend Boxcryptor enough in this case.
The situation is better when transferring your files because AES 256-bit encryption secures them, but only business customers benefit from that encryption at rest as well. At least it has two-factor authentication.
Other Reasons We Like OneDrive for Business
The OneDrive desktop application works on Windows, Mac, and even Xbox, but it requires your file system to be Microsoft’s new technology file system. The app works in the standard way — a sync folder and a system tray icon. There’s also a mobile app, which you can use on Android or iOS.
The web client follows all the newest design trends. It’s flat, which makes it look simpler and easier to navigate, and the color scheme helps you focus on what you need to find. If you want more details, read our OneDrive for Business review.
- Fast sync
- Live chat support
- No server-side encryption
- No Linux client
- 10GB file size limit
5. Google Drive
Google Drive is popular with home users and has a global network of data centers. One of them is in Singapore, which is relatively close to Australia.
It is fast enough to get things done and doesn’t lag behind other services. It could improve, though, with the addition of block-level sync. Since it works best as a collaboration platform, not having it is a serious oversight.
Google has privacy issues, including being connected to the PRISM project and giving data access to the National Security Agency. It also scans your emails to help its predictive algorithms serve personalized ads, custom search, etc. Private encryption would help block those invasions of privacy, but it’s not available. Boxcryptor can help with that.
Google Drive encrypts your files at rest using AES 128-bit encryption, which isn’t AES 256-bit, but it does the job. Two-factor authentication is available to help protect you.
There’s no shortage of subscription plans with Google Drive. There are six paid plans and a free one. The plans start at 100GB and end at 30TB. Most are not good value, but the 100GB plan costs $2 per month, which is an okay deal. The 1TB plan costs $9.99 a month, but it’s nowhere near pCloud which gives you double the space for the same price.
The free plan evens the odds, though, because it provides a generous 15GB of storage space, which you can use to see if Google Drive works for you.
Other Reasons We Like Google Drive
The web interface is pleasant and similar to other Google apps. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for, the design is attractive and it doesn’t overwhelm you with features. Considering all that, you’ll probably use it more than the desktop client.
Unsurprisingly, the desktop client follows the sync model. The mobile app comes installed on Android and helps you get your files on the move. It allows you to edit them, as well, without needing to download them first like you have to do with other cloud storage apps. Check out our Google Drive review to learn more about the user experience and other features.
- 15GB free storage
- Cost flexibility
- Strong customer support
- Could be cheaper
- Weak security
- No private encryption option
Finding the right service that has servers in your region will be the difference between an enjoyable workflow and a distasteful one. The five services we’ve picked provide regional access, as well as good storage capabilities.
We’ve put the emphasis on server location and security. Egnyte Connect is our top choice, but others are viable, as well. Do you think another service fits better on this list? What do you think of our choices? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.