Finding an excellent cloud storage service for Macbooks can be hard, as OS X doesn’t have as many cloud options, compared to Windows, and Linux has even fewer. On the upside, the few storage providers that do cater to the Mac crowd, are among the best in the market, which means you don’t have to wade through a ton of crap to get the good stuff.
Before we get the ball rolling, let’s ask a fundamental question; is there a good reason to store data files in the cloud? Well, we here at Cloudwards.net, believe there are several good reasons to safeguard files and folders using a cloud storage service.
First and foremost, cloud storage is a great way of freeing up a computer’s memory, by moving large files that don’t get used very often, to the cloud.
Cloud storage allows for unparalleled mobility so that you are no longer bound to a computer’s physical location. Since most modern Mac’s only come with about 512GB of flash memory, cloud storage is an excellent idea.
Secondly, by using any of the services listed below, you can access files whenever and wherever you want through an:
Thirdly, cloud storage acts as a recovery system if a Macbook drops or crashes, thanks to the fact that your files exist in the great beyond, from where they can get recalled at the click of a button. And better yet, most of the services we’ve listed below do come with extra features, such as file syncing and sharing, so there are more benefits to cloud storage than initially meets the eye.
$ 4.08 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit Sync.comSync.com Review|
$ 7.49 per month 100 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit SugarSyncSugarSync Review|
$ 4.34 per month 2000 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit IDriveIDrive Review|
$ 13.25 per month 1024 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit DropboxDropbox Review|
$ 9.90 per month 10000 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit JottacloudJottacloud Review|
Why Not Include iCloud?
Before we get the ball rolling, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Why haven’t we included iCloud in this top five list? Well, the answer can be summed up in one word: security. While iCloud itself isn’t a bad service by any measures, it does have some limitations we feel limits its potential to appear as a contender on our list.
Not only does the service lack zero-knowledge encryption, but it’s also NSA-friendly, it’s has had issues in the past, and it lacks the support, features and 3rd-party plugins that Dropbox sports. Of course, if you want to keep it native, check out our iCloud review for a better grasp of the service’s advantages and disadvantages.
Now, let us take a look at the five services we think are the very best for you and your OS X device.
Sync.com is a Dropbox and iCloud competitor, with powerful private encryption features and a fantastic attitude towards privacy and security. Plus it has file sharing onboard as well. One of the new kids on the cloud storage block, this Canadian provider, is building its reputation by offering some of the best security around.
Their storage is ‘zero-knowledge,’ which means that at no time will Sync.com employees ever have knowledge of either the contents of your account nor access to your passwords. On top of that, the site also boasts top-of-the-line encryption, featuring 2048-bit RSA encryption on passkeys and 256-bit AES on the files themselves.
Though, this security comes at a small price: the service’s user-friendliness suffers a bit, and some may find the interface too dull. On a final note, it should be said the download buttons for Sync’s different apps are rather awkwardly placed, all the way at the bottom of their homepage.
Other Reasons Why We Like Sync.com
Sync is portable across systems, making transfers between a Mac, PC and Android (or any other mixture of traditional platforms) easy.
It also integrates well with existing email clients and other apps, so you can easily embed and attach files when sending them to others. As an all-rounder, Sync.com is a great option and the tight security is a serious bonus.
- Strong privacy mechanisms
- Easy-to-use interface
- Anti-NSA service
- No 3rd-party tools
- No monthly plans
- Heavy reliance on web app
SugarSync is a real file syncing service that also comes with backup and decent collaboration features. All of which you can use on your Mac. At $24.99 per month for an individual plan, SugarSync is arguably the most expensive site we will talk about today.
Especially, considering this princely sum only buys 500GB of storage. Then again, no other site gives the kind of ease-of-use which SugarSync offers. SugarSync’s simplicity is a breath of fresh air, though it can turn stale when folders start piling up.
Since there isn’t any cross-referencing of folders or the presence of other handy tools, which the competition hands to consumers. But this shouldn’t be a big problem as long as you avoid cluttering files haphazardly.
Other Reasons Why We Like SugarSync
It copies the file structure of your Mac, making navigating the cloud as simple as rummaging for files and folders in Finder.
All in all, SugarSync is a great site for the right user, you just need to decide if that applies to you before committing to a hefty bill.
- Combines backup & syncing
- Users can sync any folder
- Good collaboration features
- Lacks private encryption
- Lacks a free user plan
- Difficult to cancel accounts
IDrive boasts incredibly fast transfers, local disk backups, and restores. Plus it also provides robust compression and security. IDrive is miles ahead of its competition, in terms of download and upload speeds. The client is very Mac-friendly and installs in just a few minutes while offering great user-friendliness.
However, problems start when you get deeper into the folder structure, as novices will find the interface a little confusing, and the multitude of options offered can make life a lot easier– but come with a slightly steep learning curve.
There is yet another drawback specific to OS X users, the handy drag-and-drop email functionality that most cloud services offer, is only available for Chrome and Mozilla aficionados. So die-hard Safari fans will have to find another way to send large files.
Other Reasons Why We Like IDrive
At the price of $3.72 per month, IDrive falls well into the market’s middle segment and perhaps a little below that, when taking into account that it buys 1TB of storage (with the first 5GB being free).
If a quick, speedy backup service is what you’re looking for, look no further than IDrive, just be prepared to do a tiny bit of homework to figure out exactly how it works.
- Military grade encryption
- Blazing-fast transfer speeds
- Free local backups
- Lacks monthly payment plans
- Mobile access is slow sometimes
- IDrive Express can be expensive
Over the years, Dropbox has proven itself as a reliable cloud storage service provider through continuous improvement of features and functionalities. It’s a perfect substitute to iCloud.
The big daddy of cloud storage providers, Dropbox has managed to stay competitive and relevant despite being one of the oldest services on the market. Of course, there are some downsides to this service, with one of the main gripes being that it’s a little too NSA-friendly.
The contents of folders sometimes get re-arranged the way Dropbox likes, rather than the way you put them there. The main objection against this otherwise excellent service is that it has suffered from some serious security breaches in the past, and is often the target of crackers and other unpleasant characters.
For those less worried about security and only want to focus more on the sharing aspect of cloud computing, Dropbox, and its features are hard to beat.
Other Reasons Why We Like Dropbox
One of Dropbox’s main selling points is the fact that most people know how to use it, which makes sharing files across large groups of co-workers and friends very easy.
It also integrates almost natively across all main operating systems, email providers, and apps. The first 2GB is free to use, with fees coming into effect after that, up to just under $10 for 1TB.
- Free 2GB storage (expandable)
- Good file syncing
- Great 3rd-party integrations
- Paid storage is relatively expensive
- Can’t share files with non-members
- Many consumer complaints
An unlimited cloud storage option, Jottacloud provides decent usability and good speed, which it combines with file syncing and sharing. Jottacloud is one of the very few sites that offer unlimited storage, but before your inner hoarder comes out, note that it costs $9.90 a month (which is by no means expensive, but it could strain some wallets).
On the other hand, the site’s actual encryption is quite basic, and download speeds can sometimes be slower than the company’s American competitors. Jottacloud is perfect for people who cannot bring themselves to throw anything away, or want to make sure their files get protected by European legislation.
Other Reasons Why We Like Dropbox
Unlimited storage isn’t Jotta’s only claim to fame. One look at the interface gives a distinct impression that Jottacloud was set up as a rival to Dropbox, offering the same basic interactivity and clean interface.
Not content with being a mere clone, however, the site’s creator also thought on how to make Dropbox better and succeeded to a degree. Though, the interface’s initial clumsiness does show through in parts.
- Servers in Norway
- Unlimited storage & backup
- Decent speeds
- Lacks local encryption
- Slow uploads on large files
- Crappy customer support
The cloud is one of the most revolutionary inventions in the last few decades, offering users unparalleled portability and convenience. Any of these five sites will make exploring the cloud a real pleasure and provide a place to stash away items in case your Mac is running low on HDD space.
Of course, every service here has either a free plan or a free trial-period, of which you should take advantage, before putting down hard, cold cash. If you have any questions or comments to express, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.