Online storage has become a service that most people use on a daily basis, perhaps even unknowingly at times. In fact, during 2017, more information was created than the total aggregate of all past data created by humanity — totaling 2.5 exabytes a day. With the amount of data in the world exploding at a truly exponential rate, every individual needs a way to store their files.
By 2020, each person on the planet will generate an average of 1.7MB of data per second, making online storage more crucial than ever While the statistics reflect an average that accounts for data produced by large organizations and doesn’t necessarily reflect individuals, the fact that we are becoming ever increasingly dependent on data and information as a society — cannot be denied.
If you don’t already have a way to manage and store files, you may want to consider using one of the five best online storage services of 2017 that we’ve picked out. These services have proven to be the forerunners of 2017, and we’ve selected a range that caters to the security conscious, developers, people who want a lot of free storage and anyone who needs an online syncing service.
Just about everyone with a computing device should use a good online storage provider because it’s the best way to store, backup and sync data for a minimal cost. The price of online storage has decreased considerably over the past few years, and users don’t need to invest money in devices such as:
In addition to being cheaper and far more reliable than physical storage devices, most online storage services come with a team of information technology engineers who will safeguard your data. Many online storage providers offer some form of encryption to ensure that data isn’t accessible by third-parties.
By encrypting data locally on a user’s computer and storing that data (in an encrypted format) on their storage servers, providers ensure that hackers, employees, and government agencies can’t steal a user’s information.
Today, we all have a variety of computing devices including:
Other digital devices
Online storage will store information in the cloud, to help users access their data from any Internet-connected device, anywhere in the world. It can also help you sync data and keep up with different file versions, by pushing new revisions to other devices. For example, if a user edited a text document on their home computer, syncing would make the revision available on other devices, like the user’s tablet.
Next is the ability to share files with other people. Whether they are friends, family, or colleagues, online storage helps increase collaboration and information sharing.
In the not-so-distant past, before cloud technologies became mainstream, users had to tediously create copies of data on flash drives, CDs, and DVDs, before physically distributing that information to others. With online storage, the process is as simple as downloading a file. And last but not least, the ability to recover data is invaluable.
We’ve all been victims of data loss in the past, simply because we weren’t prudent enough to make a copy. Not only will online storage provide a place to store redundant copies of your files, but service providers almost always have disaster recovery mechanisms in place to ensure that your data won’t disappear if a server crashes.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at our top five picks!
Sync.com is arguably one of the best online storage solutions around, thanks to its fantastic usability, file sharing, syncing, security and speeds. Plus it’s Canadian.
One of the largest concerns with any storage service is security, and Sync.com protects data with end-to-end encryption; using the zero-knowledge protocol.
They even make sure that only users have access to their digital encryption keys, so no one else (including Sync’s employees) can decrypt your data. Also, they have useful automatic sharing and sync features that will ensure files are always safely stored.
Two other notable features of the service, include its easy-to-use interface and quick speeds when uploading or downloading files. However, due to encryption, the previewing of files gets a bit slow.
As you would expect from a leading syncing service, SugarSync’s network has fast speeds that will store and backup data quickly. And their syncing feature is fantastic because it allows users to sync any folder, with an unlimited number of devices, drastically simplifying the synchronization process.
All of which a user can try for 90-days, on a limited free-trial that comes with 5GB of free space. Unfortunately, some of their features are a little confusing, making the learning curve a bit steeper than it needs to be, and they cost more than many other providers.
Livedrive may not be the shiniest, most beautiful online storage service, but it is a viable option for developers or people who need specific features, like FTP/WebDAV access.
When the service was in its infancy, it didn’t get the best reviews. However, their service has improved over the last few years, to accommodate users better. Lastly, they don’t provide local encryption.
However, they do have 256-bit server-side encryption to protect your data once it has reached their network. For better security, we recommend encrypting your data at home before sending it over to them.
Not only does Mega give a whopping 50GB of storage for free, but the service’s paid version starts at $4.99 per month. In short, it’s a great option for users on a budget or anyone who wants to save money.
While they do have a synchronization feature to share updated files among multiple devices, Mega’s backup option lacks robust features.
For example, there is no option for continuous or incremental backups, and there is no scheduler either. In addition to raw storage, they also provide file sharing and folder collaboration to help make data more accessible.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy to use, and reliable service, it’s hard to find one much better than pCloud.
Also, pCloud provides 20GB of storage for free, making it the second most generous provider on our list. And for half a terabyte of storage space, their monthly cost is only $3.99 – making them one of the most affordable providers around.
The company’s file sharing & syncing features are more than adequate. Allowing you to share download and upload links, which works with the ‘invite to folder’ feature, which lets you permit others to access specific files.
All in all, Sync.com is the leading choice when it comes to our five best online storage services because it’s the whole package, plus security. If you’re not already using an online storage service, consider it, because you’re missing out on benefits such as:
We are already very dependent on data and information, and our dependency will only increase as time marches forward.
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Make certain to secure your data with cloud storage before disaster strikes a local device — or your critical data just might disappear in the blink of an eye. Got any thoughts or ideas to share with us? Feel free to express them in the comments section below.