The people you work with could be beside you or on another continent. Regardless, software can bolster your team effort by providing a better way to share files and improve your workflow. While using Egnyte Connect is a good way to do that, there are plenty of good options for the best cloud storage for teams.
Uploading files into the cloud will not only free space on your hard drive but also make it easier to collaborate with your team. Plus, in the event that your hard drive malfunctions or gets stolen, your files will still be in the cloud. Documents, designs, reports or even bigger files, such as 3D models and movies, are all good candidates for a trip to the cloud.
Before we start our list, including our winner Egynte Connect, let’s define our criteria for choosing the best cloud storage for teams.
Best Cloud Storage for Teams 2018
What Makes Cloud Storage the Best for Teams
Teams are expensive, but using a cloud storage service to complement them doesn’t have to be. We are going to make sure you get the best value for the money, which should translate to more storage and team features for cheap. It’s great if the service offers a free plan or a trial, as well.
Transferring your files to and from the cloud is paramount for teams, especially distributed ones. How fast you can do so will depend on the service, how close you are to a server and your internet service provider. It’s a great help if it uses a block-level transfer algorithm, too, since that speeds up transfers after the files have been uploaded.
Sharing capabilities also play a major role as you’ll, presumably, be doing a lot of it. How easy it is to share and how much control you have while doing it differs from service to service. Content control features allow you to restrict unauthorized file access by setting expiry dates for shared links, permissions and password protection.
Strong security will help ease your worries about malicious individuals who want to steal your files. The strength of a service’s security is most evident in what kind of encryption algorithms they use at rest and during transfer and whether it offers private encryption, meaning only you can read your files. Two-factor authentication should be available, as well.
Best Cloud Storage for Teams: Egnyte Connect
Egnyte Connect is our top pick for teams, in addition to being one of the best enterprise file synchronization and sharing providers.
The service has three business plans: Office, Business and Enterprise. All three feature integrations with Microsoft Office, G-Suite and DocuSign. Administrative controls include user and group management, API access, version history, custom branding, custom mail servers and more. The list of features is extensive and we advise you to read it.
Office is the cheapest plan. It requires a minimum of five employees and gives you 5TB of storage for $8 per user per month. The plan caps file sizes at 10GB and number of users at 25.
If you need more users, you have to subscribe to the Business plan, which provides 10TB of online storage. It also gives you advanced security features including password rotation, account lockout and others. All that will cost you $15 per user per month.
If you have over 100 employees, you need the Enterprise plan, which doesn’t place a cap on users or storage. It comes with premium support and an administration package, as well, but you have to call Egnyte to get a price estimate at this level.
Initial transfers of your files could be faster — a 250MB folder took twice as much time as other services to upload — but Egnyte is excellent when uploading existing files thanks to its block-level copying.
You can share your folders by using the “share” button associated with them. From there, you can invite individuals or groups and give them one of several permissions. You can generate links for folders and files, too, which others can use to download and view. That link can be copied and pasted to social media or you can email it.
When generating a link you can password protect it, set an expiry date, restrict downloads and get a notification when it’s used. There’s a report to audit links, which helps you keep track of those you’ve shared. It’s a convenient feature, though many services overlook it.
Other Reasons We Like Egnyte Connect
AES 256-bit encrypts your data before upload, but the service isn’t zero-knowledge because it decrypts your files to read metadata then encrypts them again. You can get around that by using Boxcryptor for private encryption, but that will prevent block-level sync from working.
To further enhance your security, you can use two-factor authentication and set minimum password requirements to make sure your passwords aren’t weak.
Egnyte has business plans that are a good value for teams, offers a wealth of features, has fast block-level sync and strong security. If you want to learn more about it, read our Egnyte Connect review.
- Fast block-level sync
- Affordable pricing
- Many features & integrations
- No Linux support
- Slower on initial uploads
OneDrive for Business is Microsoft’s entry into the cloud storage business market. There’s also a version for personal users, which you can read about in our OneDrive review.
OneDrive for Business has a lot of flexibility, but you have to subscribe and pay for at least one year in advance for all users. Its plans are cheaper than the competition’s, though, and don’t require users to share space. That’s a huge plus for the service.
OneDrive for Business 1 costs $60 per user per year and provides each user with 1TB of data. OneDrive for Business 2 offers unlimited storage, but costs twice as much. You start with 1TB and have to request more if you need it. Office 365 Business Premium costs $150 per year and gives 1TB of space to each user, as well as the Office 365 suite and other apps.
All plans include Office Online, Microsoft Workflow and access to apps that integrate with OneDrive. Plus, Microsoft’s phone and email support is available to help if you encounter a problem. Look here for the complete list of features.
OneDrive is so fast, it almost hits the theoretical best time for transferring a gigabyte of data, but it doesn’t use block-level sync for all files, only Office file types. There’s an option to block sync certain types of files. Note that some, mostly older, comments in our review talk about failures to upload or sync errors occurring.
You can share content by generating links to folders or files. There are options to restrict access to specific individuals, set expiry dates and restrict external sharing. You can’t password protect links, though. A sharing column will let you see what you’ve shared, but it’s inconvenient if there are a lot of entries.
Other Reasons We Like OneDrive for Business
Microsoft encrypts your data at rest using AES 256-bit encryption and the TLS protocol protects it during transfer. The RSA 2048-bit algorithm protects your encryption key. It’s not all roses, though, as you can’t set your password requirements and the service defaults to eight characters long. Fortunately, you can request two-factor authentication if you’re the admin.
OneDrive is a great choice, but it has weaker security than Egnyte Connect and doesn’t have block-level sync for all file types. Still, there are enough upsides to land it second on the list. For more information, read our OneDrive for Business review.
- Office Online
- No true block-level sync
- Limited support
Box is another of the best EFSS platforms and counts many businesses, big and small, as clients. All of its business plans require a minimum of three users, though.
Its cheapest plan, Starter, costs $5 per user per month. It limits file uploads to 2GB and only offers 100GB of storage space, which won’t be enough for larger teams. You get standard business support, user management and 25,000 API calls per month.
The Business plan gives you unlimited storage for $15 per user per month and raises the file upload limit to 5GB. Besides the Starter features, it raises API calls to 50,000 per month, adds SSO integration, advanced user and security reporting, custom branding and more.
Business Plus costs $25 per user per month and doesn’t raise storage or file upload limits, but it tops Business by giving you the ability to work with unlimited external collaborators, user activity tracking and more.
You have to contact Box to get a price estimate for the Enterprise plan, which improves on the Business Plus plan with features such as workflow automation, password policy enforcement, unlimited integrations, 100,000 API calls per month and more.
Box is comparable to other services on initial uploads, but not on subsequent ones as it doesn’t use a block-level sync algorithm.
To share with users outside your organization, you need to have permission. Otherwise, you can share with licensed users without restriction. You can send an invite via email or generate a link to copy and paste it. Box has good content control options, including expiry dates and password protected links.
Other Reasons We Like Box
Box uses the TLS protocol to secure your data during transfer and AES 256-bit encryption to protect it on the server and wrap your key. There’s no private encryption, but you can use Boxcryptor to set it up. It has two-factor authentication to help protect your password, as well, along with custom password requirements.
A couple of interesting features are device pinning, which lets you limit how many devices each employee can sync, and an option to check how many devices can access your cloud storage. You can unpin a device to cut its access, but you can’t delete the content already on it. If you want to know the details about Box’s features, read our Box review.
- Strong security
- Unlimited storage plan
- No block-level sync
- 5GB max for file uploads
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services and it invented the common sync model and block-level sync technologies. Like Box, its subscription plans require a minimum of three users and it charges for each one. You pay monthly, but you can get a discount by paying for the year in advance.
The Standard plan costs $15 per month, or the equivalent to $12.50 per month with the discount, and provides 3TB of shared space, live chat support and 25,000 API calls per month. Plus, you get Office 365 integration, Smart Sync, an admin console, user- and company-managed groups and more.
For $20 per user per month, you can get unlimited storage space and features including advanced admin and user controls, SSO integration and phone support.
If you need more, you can contact Dropbox to get an estimate on its Enterprise plan. It provides 24/7 phone support, advanced training for end users and admins and account capture among other things.
Like other EFSS solutions, Dropbox is slow on initial uploads. Subsequent file changes and uploads are much faster, though, thanks to its excellent block-level sync.
When you start to use Dropbox Business, you get a central team folder that your employees can access. You can create subfolders in it and limit access to them to individuals or groups. Users can share content by generating links, which they can protect with passwords, set expiry dates for or restrict to certain team members.
Other Reasons We Like Dropbox Business
Dropbox Business uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your files on its servers, but it doesn’t encrypt your metadata. That’s normal for EFSS solutions, though, because they use metadata for indexing and enriching the user experience. If you want to make sure nobody can read your data, read our 99 tools to help protect your privacy article and our privacy guide.
During transfers, the TLS protocol, secured with AES 128-bit encryption, protects your data against man-in-the-middle attacks. Two-factor authentication is available to protect your credentials as well. Software security won’t help if someone steals your device, but it enables you to delete data on it remotely. Learn more in our Dropbox Business review.
- Fast block-level sync
- Strong security
- Good file-sharing features
- Limited to 1TB
- Not zero-knowledge
Simple and easy to use, Google Drive is the most popular cloud storage service with 800 million users. It’s not just for home users, though. Thanks to its third-party integrations and native productivity suite, Google Docs, teams can benefit from using it, too.
Google has many plans to choose from — one free and six paid. The free plan provides you with 15GB of storage and helps to put Google Drive on our best free cloud storage list.
The paid plans range from 100GB and end at 30TB. Most are not good value, but the 2TB for $9.99 a month plan is. If you pay for the whole year you get a discount. That said, a big downside to all the plans is that you can only share them with up to five more users.
Google Drive is fast enough to get things done, but it lacks block-level copying, which makes collaboration less efficient.
Sharing using Google Drive is easy, but it could be better with the addition of content control features such as expiry dates and password protection. It also lacks a page that gives you an overview of what you’ve shared and with whom. You can share by sending links through email or by setting up an access link.
Other Reasons We Like Google Drive
Privacy has been an issue for Google since it was connected with the PRISM project and the National Security Agency. Plus, the service scans your emails to help its predictive algorithms serve personalized ads, enhance search results and more. It’s no surprise that private encryption is not available, but Boxcryptor can help with that.
Google Drive encrypts your data at-rest using AES 128-bit encryption and two-factor authentication is available to protect your password. Read more about Google Drive’s security and privacy in our Google Drive review.
- Google Docs & its many third-party integrations
- Strong customer support
- Cost flexibility
- Could be cheaper
- Weak security
- No private encryption option
Your team will be more productive with the right service as it will ease collaboration and enhance productivity while keeping costs to a minimum. Egnyte Connect is our top pick because its plans are priced competitively and come with many features, fast syncing and strong security.
Other services on our list might be a better solution for your needs. OneDrive for Business, for example, is an interesting choice since its users don’t share storage space.
Which service does your team use? Did we include it on our list? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.