Cloud storage is becoming the most useful way to store valuable data and media content, while safeguarding files from hackers, viruses, and the NSA. Also, who wants to wade through the lake of sub-par cloud storage services littering the Internet? That’s why we’ve picked out the five best cloud storage options for PC, to provide an easy way to find the best services, at the most reasonable rates.
A lot of cloud storage providers have plans which can be difficult to cancel, come with hidden fees or renewal plans which can jack up prices after the introductory offer is over. Which is why it’s important to find a cloud service provider that you can trust won’t overcharge you. However, why pick cloud technology, over the tried and tested medium of physical spinning disk storage?
Yes, hard drives are becoming cheaper and bigger, yet they lack the security and reliability provided by cloud storage. First of all, storing information in the cloud provides the security and redundancy of multiple data centers, ensuring that data is always available and close to unhackable as modern technology can make it.
Besides, cloud data is accessible from anywhere and at any time, a feat that physical hard drives could never accomplish, due to the nature of being a physical object. The types of data a person can backup to the cloud come from across the board, including:
- Work projects
- Essential documents
- Accounting data
- Media information
- App settings
Before We Get Started…
Since cloud storage is always online and it has redundant locations all over the planet, storms, natural disasters and other big events can’t actually take your data offline, except in extremely rare cases. Moreover, the cloud provides accessibility alongside military-grade security, without any technical requirements from the user. You don’t need to know how encryption works to actually use it in cloud technology.
But, were not even scratching the surface here, a big advantage cloud tech has over HDDs is the scalability factor. All you need to do is just pay a bit more to gain a ton of extra storage. NAS drives and physical storage devices must be bought every time a user needs more storage space. In short, cloud storage is very flexible in respect to how many GBs you can get.
Let’s take a moment to clarify how exactly this article is setup and its intended purpose. What we’re providing here is a general overview of each of the top five best cloud storage providers for PC, alongside a couple of reasons explaining why we liked them, and a list of pros and cons. However, rest assured we have full in-depth reviews of each service, which you can access by simply clicking the “Read review” button underneath every summary. Of course, we highly recommend you do so, before making any commitments to buy cloud storage from anyone on this list.
Best Cloud Storage for PC 2017
$ 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|
$ 8.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit LivedriveLivedrive Review|
$ 13.25 per month 1024 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit DropboxDropbox Review|
Sync.com is a great option due to its excellent array of features, large storage capacity, good pricing, and iron-clad security. For $49 a year, you get 500GB of space, and for $98 a year, you get 2TB of space.
Other than the fact that Sync.com gives users a free 5GB account to test it out with, there are plenty of other features that set this cloud storage provider apart from the herd. First of all, it has apps for the iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows and Mac. Which are complimented by a fully fledged and very easy-to-use web app, that does sort of makeup for the lack of Linux support.
Also, you can share files with other people and use file versioning; five versions of each file are kept, which is useful for making changes and keeping track of edits. Sync.com will also synchronize with locally stored files, and those changes will be reflected in the web app. The service comes with a great selection of features, at an excellent price point, and a lot of room for expansion.
Why We Like Sync.com:
In one word; air-tight security. Sync.com provides an incredibly strong encryption suite by default. Then it adds the zero-knowledge security protocol to further bolster it, and also provides two-factor authentication. Then of course, being Canadian, Sync.com isn’t subject to the U.S. Patriot Act.
- Unlimited file types
- Web app file sharing
- Easy-to-use interface
- Great privacy features
- Mobile client lacks file sharing
- No document editing
- Lacks photo gallery & media player
- Syncing limited to 5MB/s
SugarSync is an option that’s designed almost entirely around multi-device syncing. It has a wide array of features and most notably, comes with a package for businesses with admin tools. It’s important to note that SugarSync has five plans in total, including the business option.
SugarSync is probably best for business users; it’s syncing services and tool set are best taken advantage of using the 1TB Business plan. It gives up to three users access to shared data, comes with live phone support, admin controls, and grants the user the power to wipe computers remotely. SugarSync is still an excellent option for regular consumers who have a lot of smart devices and multiple PCs that need to be synced together.
Why We Like SugarSync:
SugarSync’s selling points come in the form of great usability, fantastic smartphone and desktop apps. Just like Sync.com, file versioning is onboard, with five copies of each file saved. And it’s a good option for a bit of light collaboration over the cloud.
- Combines backup & sync
- Good collaboration features
- Any folder syncing
- Great mobile & PC apps
- Slow online backup
- Lacks private encryption keys
- Difficult to cancel accounts
- Can be expensive
For $45 a year (which comes down to less than four dollars a month), IDrive provides 1TB of space, which can sync across multiple devices. It’s also got an excellent Express service, plus it has continuous backup as well. IDrive provides an enormous amount of storage at an incredibly low cost. A selling point which alone makes IDrive worth considering, if you need plenty of storage space on a budget.
If your businesses or group don’t need high-level admin tools, IDrive is also a decent option for mid sized companies or 2-3 man startups. And when it comes to cool extra features, the service is no slouch. IDrive has:
- File Explorer integration
- Unlimited devices backup
- Disk image
- File archiving
Actually, IDrive is a very decent alternative to our No.1 pick, Sync.com. But doesn’t come with the same solid security features. However, it is pretty comparable in most other respects.
Why We Like IDrive:
IDrive is on our list today because there are no limitations on file size or type, a great boon for those who like to take a lot of photos. As long as the size of a file does not exceed the allotted storage space, it can be saved. File storage spaces (for a paid subscription) start at 1TB. Users can also share files with others, a unique ability among online backup services.
- Unlimited file types/sizes
- Great file-sharing
- User set encryption key
- Military-grade encryption
- Cannot share files if encrypted
- File saving is temperamental
- No unlimited storage options
- No monthly payment plans
At $16 a month for the base plan, Livedrive is considered fairly expensive. Plus the interface and company website are confusing to use, however, it does come with a lot of extra and unique features. So, let’s clear the air out, why is Livedrive on this list? It isn’t the cheapest, it has a confusing interface and the website itself looks terrible.
The answer is that Livedrive comes loaded with a ton of features, which are hard to find within a single service. If you’re looking to stream music and videos directly via the cloud, encrypt real time file backups, edit photos with an inbuilt editor and sync a NAS device — Livedrive has it all. Due to the lack of easy usage and outdated interface elements. However, the software is definitely improving, and has been getting better year after year; but it should definitely get a massive overhaul or reboot.
Why We Like Livedrive:
Well, despite it’s confusing, clunky and outdated interface; Livedrive does indeed offer unlimited storage, great desktop integration and a lot of unique features. It’s the kind of service that will appeal to those who care about functionality enough to ignore form. But it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.
- Unlimited storage
- Good desktop integration
- File encryption
- Real-time backups
- Can be slow
- Dated mobile apps
- Comparatively expensive
- Generally bad interface
Everyone knows and loves Dropbox the free version starts out with just 2GB of storage space, that can be bumped up to 16GB (via referrals). However, Dropbox has some serious shortcomings in terms of privacy and security. Dropbox bakes easy access and simplicity into its file and folder sharing capabilities, making it a very good collaboration tool.
You can put passwords on sensitive folders to keep them safe, but this is kinda as far as security goes on the service. While Dropbox does have top-notch security to prevent hackers and other undesirables from poaching a user’s data, the actual company itself can easily access that very same data, and will happily share it with the NSA. In short, Dropbox is hostile to privacy.
The main draw of Dropbox is that it’s really easy to use and works anywhere and with almost everyone, including via mobile devices or tablets. There’s a big contingent of people who simply don’t care that much about privacy, and are looking for a service that just works and works perfectly.
Why We Like Dropbox:
Dropbox’s paid plan costs $10 a month, which provides a terabyte of storage. That’s plenty of space for most people, although it is a little pricey, compared to the competition. You also get 30 days of file versioning, which is pretty good, and excellent collaboration features.
- Great syncing features
- Fast speeds
- Good desktop/mobile integration
- Can be expensive
- Hostile to privacy
- Lackluster backup features
- NSA friendly
Finding the best cloud storage for PC can be a difficult task, hopefully, we’ve made it less so with our list. Nonetheless, before buying into any of the above mentioned services, don’t forget to first test out the free plans or free trial periods. Sync.com comes with the full package, while the differences between SugarSync and IDrive, can be split betwixt pricing and feature preferences.
LiveDrive is a difficult sell, yet its rich feature set may offset that somewhat. And finally we have Dropbox, which is almost perfect, minus its costs and absolute disdain for user privacy in general. Don’t forget to let us know which one piqued your fancy, in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!