Often when discussing the benefits of cloud storage the focus is on professional users. It’s great that it’s now easier than ever to take your work home with you, but your free time can also be made more enjoyable thanks to the cloud. You can, for instance, share photos with your spouse easily or share a calendar when planning a family gathering.
At the same time, you’ll also be protecting yourself against data loss. Here at Cloudwards.net we decided to take a look at the top 5 cloud storage providers for home use to make not just work, but also life easier.
The days of CD’s, DVD’s, flash drives, and external hard drives are fast waning. These archaic storage mediums simply can’t keep up with the latest and greatest information needs. For these reasons, a lot of home users have turned to the cloud to better help them manage their data. After all, anyone who’s experienced the loss of irreplaceable data understands how critical it is to make redundant copies of it.
That’s why just about every home needs cloud storage these days. Cloud storage isn’t just there in case of emergency, however: by using any of the five providers below families will be able to share pictures, documents and the like with ease. Some even offer integrated streaming services, making curling up on the couch with your loved ones easier than ever before.
$ 4.08 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit Sync.comSync.com Review|
$ 19.95 per month 600 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit ZoolzZoolz Review|
$ 8.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit LivedriveLivedrive Review|
$ 7.49 per month 100 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit SugarSyncSugarSync Review|
$ 13.25 per month 1024 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit DropboxDropbox Review|
Why Home Users Need Cloud Storage
The typical family household has many gigabytes of family photos, family videos, school documents and other critical data that needs to be protected. Whether your children need to write a school report or you want to safeguard pictures of their last birthday party, it’s a huge mistake to not backup data by making redundant copies.
The average household doesn’t have the means to centrally manage and safeguard their data. Though some families try to secure their data with a NAS device, this isn’t the best option because one device failure could eradicate every record of precious family moments.
Worse off yet are the families that don’t have external storage as their data is often scattered among each separate family member’s devices. To protect your family’s photos, videos, and documents for school, cloud storage is undeniably the best solution.
This great Canadian cloud storage provider, Sync.com, is our top pick for households thanks to its user-friendliness and price. Add to that an easy-to-use interface and it’s the perfect solution for any family. Sync.com frequently outperforms competitors, and that’s one of the reasons we think they are the best for home use.
This Canadian-based service is extremely secure because they provide end-to-end encryption, making it 100% impossible for employees and the NSA to read users’ data once it is on their servers. Also, they have a wonderful automatic backup feature that continuously stores data, removing the burden of manual backups.
Other Reasons Why We Like Sync.com
Sync.com’s wonderful combination of accessibility, ease-of-use and moderate pricing makes it a great fit for any household, big or small. As a bonus, you’re also protecting your data from NSA snooping.
Users will also love their free account that provides 5GB of storage. Last but not least, their file versioning feature will help home users revert changes or deletes of their documents.
- Fast syncing
- Great interface
- Slow file previews in web app
- No 3rd-party tools
- No monthly plans
Zoolz may be a bit pricier than its rivals, but it also guarantees that your files will stay with you forever. It’s also one of the few providers on this list that allows you to link NAS devices. Zoolz is also a great choice for home users, and they even offer lifetime storage for backups. That’s right, they don’t delete files even after a user has.
In addition, they’re great for home users because they provide backup services for NAS devices, which many homes use for central storage. The basic plan is only $14.99 for an entire year, though it is restricted to one user, 100GB and doesn’t allow external drive backups.
The Plus package offers the best value at $49.99, which allows 3 users and 1 external device. It’s an incredibly cost-effective solution that helps users backup data and restore files on NAS devices, external hard drives, computers and even mobile devices.
Other Reasons Why We Like Zoolz
Zoolz is easy to use and gives you great versatility, especially if you upgrade to the Plus plan.
The fact that it never erases information and also adds NAS support means that your files will be safe and sound, forever. Plus it’s an almost natural option for Amazon users.
- Zero-knowledge service
- Backs up multiple mobile devices
- Backs up cloud storage & social media
- Collects file metadata
- Not very intuitive
- Limited backup capabilities
Our third pick, Livedrive offers great streaming functionality and easy syncing as well as the most customization options. The price leaves something to be desired, though. Apart from offering invaluable backup features, they also provide a handy syncing feature to distribute data among all of your devices.
In addition, their software is highly customizable and feature-rich, allowing users to fine-tune just about every aspect of their backups and syncing. One downside to their service, however, is that the software and web interface isn’t as clean as we would like.
They do, admittedly, provide detailed information and status updates regarding backups. Home users will also like their integrated media streamer, which allows users to stream music and video straight from their servers.
Other Reasons Why We Like Livedrive
With some of the best syncing features on the market, Livedrive is a great fit for families with a lot of different devices.
Add to that a live streaming function, and entertainment is never more than a click away. Livedrive is another fantastic choice for home users, as they have drastically improved their service over the years.
- Apps for Android & iOS
- Option for file encryption
- FTP, SFTP & WebDAV access
- No free storage offered
- Demands credit card info upfront
- Relatively expensive
Fourth in the list is SugarSync, which offers a full suite with a great trial, giving you plenty of time to decide if it’s a good fit for your family. It also has great encryption options and plenty of space to play around with.
The syncing process is incredibly easy – all a user needs to do is designate a folder as shared and you can sync data with an unlimited number of devices. In addition, SugarSync secures users’ data in transit and then encrypts it once it reaches the servers.
Another unique feature of their service is the ability to prioritize files during transfer from their storage and syncing features, they also have decent backup tools as well as fast servers since files aren’t encrypted locally.
Other Reasons Why We Like SugarSync
Offering a little bit of everything and a 90-day trial to try it out, SugarSync is great not just for families but for anyone who is starting out with online storage.
Add to that a very user-friendly interface and everyone in your family is bound to be using it with ease. SugarSync is another clear leader in the cloud storage industry, and they are a great fit for home users. If you want to try them out before you make a commitment, they offer a 90-day trial with 5GB of storage space.
- Supports many OSes
- File versioning
- Good security
- No free account
- Bit pricey
- Need CC for tria
Dropbox closes out the list. It’s free up to 2GB, easy to use and one of the widely used, making sharing easy and fun. It’s only real downside is the lack of advanced features and it’s price for paid storage.
Dropbox carries the distinct advantages of being very easy to use as well as having a clean, attractive interface. Most home users likely need to store more than 2GB of data, but to test out their service, home users can take advantage of their basic plan absolutely free.
All users have to do is drop files in the shared folder to sync them to an unlimited number of devices. If a user accidentally deletes one of their files, Dropbox keeps a copy of that data for as long as 30-days, so clicking the wrong button need not be a disaster.
Other Reasons Why We Like Dropbox
Dropbox has been around forever, it seems, and is still free for limited storage. Should a user want more storage space, they can claim an entire terabyte of storage for only $9.99 a month.
Though additional space comes at a premium, we feel confident in recommending it for any family with limited storage needs.
- Easy to use
- Good device support
- Works on all major operating systems
- Paid storage is relatively expensive
- Can’t share files with non-members
- Many consumer complaints
Home users have a greater need for cloud storage today than ever before. We live in the information age and a household’s data is too precious to risk being lost forever.
Though NAS and other external devices provide a way to offload data from our computers and mobile devices, they don’t provide safe backup copies of our data and are also a pain to access from outside of a LAN.
To protect your family’s photos, videos, school projects and other invaluable files, online storage is an absolute must. Thank you for reading and please leave your comments below.