Enterprises in the UK have different data needs compared to the average home user. As such, the majority of typical cloud storage providers can’t hope to offer adequate levels of service. So we’ve gathered the top five that do, and set them head-to-head in the top five best online enterprise storage services for the UK.
Even though most cloud storage services includes security by means of AES-256/TLS encryption, enterprises have greater security requirements. For instance, enterprises need auditing protocols, secure integration with corporate data systems, and ways to control access to users and groups.
Unfortunately, the average cloud storage service doesn’t include these features, since they were designed with single users or families in mind. And honestly, a lot of services aimed at consumers lack the advanced security features detrimental to a big business.
Best Online Enterprise Storage Services for the UK 2018
Why Some Online Storage Services Aren’t Good for The UK
For instance, some services like Dropbox and Google Drive have notoriously weak security, and are therefore not necessarily compliant with European privacy laws. To help make sure your business finds the right cloud storage provider, I’ve compiled a list of the best five online storage services for enterprises in the UK.
Please note, however, that not all of these providers are based there. Some services, such as Citrix, are outside of the United Kingdom. That said, Citrix interfaces with a variety of European hosting providers, which makes the service incredibly flexible.
LivedriveLivedrive is a great solution for enterprises in the UK, thanks to being a business-class solution and sporting strong security mechanisms. I think Livedrive is one of the best solutions for UK-based enterprises, for several reasons.
First of all, the pricing is pretty inexpensive, especially when considering this is an unlimited corporate-grade cloud solution. Livedrive costs as little as $8 per user, per month, which is very affordable. But here’s an extra option that impressed me: Livedrive provides NAS backup alongside cloud storage services.
If a business wants to deploy FTP, WebDAV and RAID from a privately owned data center, Livedrive is the solution for you. I think this is one of the service’s greatest strengths, though the price tag is a little hefty; it’s relatively rare to see cloud storage providers offering to more than the bare minimum.
I was impressed with the granularity of access permissions, the ability to separate storage spaces, and the auditing system. A corporation can designate users as administrators, to help manage data access, privilege levels and security.
Security is always important, and it’s one of the largest differentiators between consumer-grade and enterprise-grade services.
Other Reasons Why We Like Livedrive
Livedrive is a great solution for businesses in the UK. Other competitors offer personal plans first, then try to accommodate enterprise users later, by developing a half-assed business-class version of their service.
However, Livedrive was designed to be an enterprise-grade solution from the ground up. And believe it or not, the service is based in the United Kingdom, so local enterprises won’t have to worry about being spied upon by foreign entities, like the NSA.
If you want to test things out, I’d recommend taking advantage of the generous 14-day free trial period. The pricing plans provide large discounts, based on how many years a user a signs up for.
- Servers based in the UK
- Uses at-rest encryption
- Detailed auditing system
- Outdated web/desktop app
- Free trial requires credit card
- User Interface needs extra polish
pCloudpCloud is a service that’s loaded with features. And it offers a decent amount of free storage space up front (10GB to 20GB), plus functions as a great alternative to Dropbox. pCloud is cheaper than Livedrive, and comes with a boat load of rich cloud features, which makes the slight price reduction even more tantalizing.
pCloud gives administrators the ability to create different teams, each with unique levels of access, just like most other enterprise cloud storage services do. Also, it has workflow tools that allow real-time collaboration via shared folders and shared data access.
The permissions system also makes it possible to share data securely, with partners and entities external to your enterprise. Meanwhile, the file and folder commenting system align with a user’s access permissions, eliminating the need for less secure communication mediums, like unencrypted chat or direct messages.
Naturally, pCloud sports an activity log and auditing system, so managers and administrators can verify access permissions are not getting violated.
Other Reasons Why We Like pCloud
One of the biggest reasons I love pCloud is because of how well rounded the service is. Though it does have adequate security, I think the service’s most major advantages revolve around file sharing and syncing.
pCloud’s collaboration features are also rich, and users can access their files on any smart device, from anywhere Also, pCloud Business users get Crypto for free, which is a local file encryption tool. Last, but not least, the service is a zero-knowledge provider for business users.
- Send files using secure links
- Up to 80Mb per second upload
- Zero-knowledge provider
- Wish it was a little cheaper
- Local encryption costs extra
- Unclear file versioning
In addition to great collaboration tools, Autotask Workplace also sports many powerful business integration tools. Which it compliments with a solid security package. Autotask Workplace is our third pick because it has so many great business integration tools, and they all work smoothly.
Here are just a few of the systems that Autotask integrates with Active Directory & SSO, Salesforce, SAML 2.0, MS Outlook, Office 365 and Google Docs. In addition to tool integrations, Autotask Workplace is also HIPAA compliant.
But that’s not all folks, it also uses incredibly strong encryption standards, via AES-256-bit encryption while files are in-transit and storage; unfortunately, it doesn’t offer zero-knowledge encryption. Naturally, Autotask Workplace comes with a user-access security system, which can help the I.T. department track which users have accessed certain files, and adjust permissions accordingly.
Other Reasons Why We Like Autotask Workplace
The integration tools alone make Autotask Workplace a top choice for UK-based businesses. The service has real-time collaboration and comes with a smattering of tools, including notes and annotations, an integrated file editor, and a document viewer.
But I also liked this service’s continuous backups, which help ensure users don’t accidentally lose their data. And the mobile apps also help people get data securely on-the-go, though it is possible to access your files from any device, via the web portal.
- Integrates with corporate protocols
- Great collaboration tools
- Transport & storage encryption
- Backup counts towards quota
- Not a zero-knowledge provider
- No API for folder management
IDriveIDrive offers a great business service and affordable pricing plans. Plus, the service is very fast and efficient, and works out as a bargain, because it charges based on storage volume, rather than the number of users.
I’ve included IDrive, which is a cloud backup solution, rather than a cloud storage service, just because it’s that darn good. The service is relatively cheap, especially since it uses a pricing model based on storage volume.
These plans support an unlimited number of users, though storage space is a big constraint, since IDrive sports a 10TB limit on personal plans. However, the business version is allowed to virtually divide (or partition) storage space, into different sub-accounts for easier data management.
Furthermore, it includes a wealth of backup options such as image backups, bare-metal recovery and a private cloud option.
Other Reasons Why We Like IDrive
I love IDrive because it can backup systems most other online backup services can’t. IDrive Enterprise will backup servers running on Windows, Linux, SQL, Exchange, SharePoint, Vmware, Hyper-V, and Oracle.
Which should cover the majority of enterprise server platforms out there, and data is secured with a local private key, using AES-256-bit encryption. Better yet, IDrive will even ship a 3TB HDD of data to your house (per week), to help cut down on time-consuming data backups that limit bandwidth usage.
- IDrive Express shipping service
- Usable on unlimited devices
- Offers local encryption option
- No monthly payment plans
- Not an online syncing service
- Data volume constraints
Citrix ShareFileCitrix ShareFile has long been a provider and developer of enterprise software solutions, and is well-known for creating top-quality collaboration software for enterprises. Citrix has long been a provider and developer of enterprise software solutions, and it only makes sense that it should offer quality cloud services for that demographic, as a result.
So, Sharefile is our last pick out of the five best online storage services for the UK. Citrix is based in the U.S., but it offers a lot of storage and hosting options, that affect where data gets physically hosted. For example, Citrix ShareFile supports Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Red Hat Storage, Slack, HP Autonomy, iManage WorkSite and GlobiFlow.
Though a fair few competitors also offer private server implementation, it isn’t as common to see a cloud provider offer this many hosting options. If you want to try it out, ShareFile comes with a 30-day free trial, like most other providers.
Other Reasons Why We Like Citrix ShareFile
There are two main reasons why I like Citrix ShareFile more than its competitors. First of all, Citrix isn’t a new upstart. It’s been around in the industry for years and at the forefront of innovation in the latest enterprise software solutions.
Secondly, Citrix is one of the most flexible storage services available. They focus on gaps in the industry and solving user problems, as opposed to simply creating yet another typical file synchronization and sharing service.
To help address the needs of enterprises, Citrix ShareFile integrates well with a myriad of external solutions
- Very flexible hybrid cloud
- Enterprise-grade security
- 30-day free trial period
- No block-level sync
- Slow ticket responses
- Can’t password-protect links
Livedrive is my favorite enterprise storage service for UK businesses out of all the providers mentioned above. Because it’s UK-based, you don’t have to worry about data crossing geographic boundaries. Plus, Livedrive has plans to accommodate small, medium and large-sized organizations.
However, given the nature of enterprise services and hosting platforms, it may not always be feasible (or even possible) to store data on servers in the United Kingdom, depending on which systems your enterprise uses.
For that reason, I had to include Citrix, which integrates with numerous other hosting platforms. On a final note, I’d like to bring your attention to encryption. Depending on the industry your enterprise operates in, it may be necessary to encrypt files before sending them off to a storage service.
Not all of these providers are zero-knowledge, and only encrypt data during transport and storage. I highly recommend sticking with a service that provides local encryption options, before picking one that doesn’t. If your current service doesn’t have local encryption tools, it’s possible to use a third-party application, but in all reality, it’s much more feasible just to switch providers.
What are your thoughts on my picks for the best online enterprise storage services for the UK? Share them in the comments section below.