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.
$ 4.08 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit Sync.comSync.com Review|
$ 7.49 per month 100 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit SugarSyncSugarSync Review|
$ 8.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit LivedriveLivedrive Review|
$ 5.94 per month 200 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit MEGAMEGA Review|
$ 4.99 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit pCloudpCloud Review|
The Necessity of Online Storage
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.
Other Reasons Why We Like Sync.com
If you’re looking for an alternative to Dropbox with a fantastic attitude towards privacy and security, Sync.com is a perfect choice.
Apart from the security and speeds, the fact the Sync is a Canadian service greatly contributes to its ability to keep user data away from the NSA and its cohorts.
- 5GB of free storage
- A zero-knowledge provider
- Good syncing speeds
- Lacks a Linux app
- Mobile apps can’t share files
- Expensive 5TB plan
SugarSync is a great file syncing service with decent backup features. It also does have a collaboration option under its belt, but in a limited capacity. 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.
Other Reasons Why We Like SugarSync
As an added perk, they offer 5GB of free storage space and support all the major platforms – including mobile devices.
- Syncs with unlimited devices
- Comes with backup features
- Supports major operating systems
- Some features are confusing
- Moderately expensive
- Lacks a Linux app
Alongside cloud storage, backup and syncing. 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.
Other Reasons Why We Like Livedrive
Interestingly enough, Livedrive can edit images online via its web app, and Livedrive even has a live streaming feature for stored content.
Despite the terrible user experience, Livedrive comes with advanced features like NAS backup and FTP/WebDAV access. The Briefcase and Pro Suite plans allow users to sync and share files across multiple devices.
- Decent file sharing features
- FTP/WebDAV access
- Server-side encryption
- No local encryption
- Moderately expensive
- Poor user interface
MEGA has a huge ace up its sleeve, namely the fact that it offers 50GB of free storage. However, it is only available on the Windows, iPhone, and Mac platforms. 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.
Other Reasons Why We Like MEGA
Mega is the best solution for free storage if that’s all you want. But that’s not all; the online storage service also sports great security features.
In addition to raw storage, they also provide file sharing and folder collaboration to help make data more accessible.Plus it has good usability and speed, and tends to provide innovative products.
- High encryption standards
- Strictly web-based
- 50GB free storage
- Restricted file sharing
- Collaboration is flaky
- Lacks a syncing client
pCloud is yet another great alternative to Dropbox, especially for those looking to free up hard drive space and want additional security. 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.
Other Reasons Why We Like pCloud
pCloud is faster than Dropbox and with Crypto also more secure because of private encryption. pCloud has apps for Windows, OSX, iOS, Android and yes, even Linux!
But there’s more, pCloud sports built-in audio and video players so you can stream music or a video.
- 20GB free storage
- No file size limit
- Standard plan lacks encryption
- Crypto costs extra
- Barebones customer support
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 security, backups, disaster recovery, accessibility and collaboration.
We are already very dependent on data and information, and our dependency will only increase as time marches forward.
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.