Businesses live in the cloud. It doesn’t matter if you’re collaborating on a document or sharing a report, most businesses have a need to share files and folders with other workers and sync files across devices. Finding a suitable storage solution is tricky, though, so we decided to round up the five best services that offer cloud storage for business.
If you want a quick answer, Sync.com for Teams is our number-one pick, but the other four business cloud storage solutions are also solid choices. In addition to listing our five top picks, we will also share some information in this article about what you should look for in a storage provider, no matter if it’s small business cloud storage or a solution targeted toward enterprise applications.
The best cloud storage solution for your business depends on your company’s needs. We’d recommend Sync.com for Teams, Egnyte Connect and Box Business as the strongest options.
Cloud storage can provide some security benefits over local storage, including version control, which allows you to revert to a previous version of a file. This is helpful in the event of a cybercrime or ransomware attack. However, employees and data centers are often weak links in a company’s online data security.
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The 5 Best Cloud Storage for Business Options
We pulled a few providers from our best cloud storage guide, but unfortunately you can’t just take a good personal cloud storage service and expect it to hold up in a business setting. Although the fundamentals are the same between the two, business cloud storage usually comes with an expanded feature set, including user management and third-party app integrations.
- Sync.com for Teams — Versioning features, secure and cheap
- Egnyte Connect — Many Integrations, good pricing and private key-management
- Box Business — Unlimited storage, lots of integrations and easy to use
- Dropbox for Business — Sync and sharing features, many integrations and scalable storage
- MEGA — Inexpensive, unlimited storage with encrypted messaging app
For most users, Sync.com for Teams would be the best option, offering a secure and affordable option with great versioning features.
The Best Cloud Storage for Business
We will provide more information later in the article about how we picked these cloud storage providers, but for now let’s start by counting down the five best cloud storage options for businesses.
1. Sync.com for Teams
More details about Sync.com for Teams
- Storage Pricing: $5 per user, per month
- Provider Website: www.sync.com
- Server Locations: Canada
- Excellent versioning features
- Very inexpensive
- Lots of storage space
- Highly secure
- A little slow
- Not many integrations
Sync.com for Teams offers a little bit of everything, and that’s why we love it. Ranking at the top of our best zero-knowledge cloud storage guide, Sync.com is one of the safest cloud storage providers on the market, utilizing client-side encryption and maintaining a strict stance on user privacy.
Sync.com is cheap and it offers a lot of storage space. Each user can get 1TB of space for only $5 each per month. If that’s not enough, the top-tier Advanced plan comes with a massive 10TB of storage per user, and it’s only $15 per month.
Additionally, Sync.com comes with excellent versioning features, which earned it the first-place spot in our best cloud storage for versioning guide. Businesses can restore file versions dating back a year. If you want to restore your full account from, say, a ransomware attack, you can do so by using the account rewind feature (both pCloud and Sync.com also have that).
Sync.com’s personal service is a favorite here at Cloudwards.net, and the business version is no different. It’s not the fastest service, and there are a few minor usability flaws, but that’s all easy to overlook considering the value and security that Sync.com offers. You can learn more in our Sync.com for Teams review or sign up for an account with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2. Egnyte Connect
More details about Egnyte Connect
- Storage Pricing: $10 per user, per month
- Provider Website: www.egnyte.com
- Server Locations: Unknown
- Lots of integrations
- Private key-management option
- Decent pricing
- Limited storage space
Egnyte is a cloud storage service built for productivity, and its range of integrations showcase that. It even has a built-in task management feature, and although it’s not as useful as Monday.com or Asana, it’s still usable for basic task management — it’s also our top pick for the best cloud storage for teams.
Task management is a nice feature to have around, but Egnyte’s other integrations are where the service shines. They come in two categories. There are add-ons, which allow you to access other third-party services in the Egnyte web client, as well as external integrations, which sync outside of the application.
For add-ons, Egnyte has a little bit of everything, including support for Slack, G Suite and Office 365. The external integrations are equally as impressive, including AWS SSO, Gmail, Salesforce and SAP.
When it comes to security, Egnyte has a few unique options. Your files are encrypted server-side, with a SSL/TLS layer protecting them in transit. Client-side encryption is usually a better option, and thankfully Egnyte offers an option for that. Enterprise subscribers can enable Egnyte “key management” and manage their own encryption keys.
The easier solution, though, is to just use Boxcryptor, which is also an Egnyte integration. With this setup, Egnyte allows users to gain the benefits of less secure services, such as a long list of integrations, with an option to encrypt sensitive data, if necessary.
Furthermore, Egnyte does all this at a reasonable price, though we wish the service offered more storage space. You can learn more about pricing and more in our Egnyte review.
3. Box Business
More details about Box Business
- Storage Pricing: $5 per user, per month
- Provider Website: www.box.com
- Server Locations: Canada, Ireland, Germany, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia
- Extensive integration list
- Easy to use
- Option to manage your own encryption key
- Unlimited storage
- A little expensive
- Server-side encryption
When it comes to raw functionality, it’s tough to beat Box. Although lacking in native productivity tools like OneDrive for Business offers, Box comes with a long list of third-party integrations. That includes Office 365, mirroring the tools offered with OneDrive, as well as Google Docs. Furthermore, you can create and edit documents with these tools directly in the Box interface.
Docs and Microsoft Office are the two big integrations, but Box has a lot more, and it’s constantly adding to its list. Box offers support for apps like Salesforce, Microsoft Teams and Trello, too. In short, if there’s a platform that your business is currently using, there’s a good chance Box has an integration for it (you can find the full list here).
Compared to Egnyte, Box stands out with unlimited storage (read our Egnyte vs Box comparison). However, the price is on the high end of things, but that’s balanced out by how much space Box offers.
The standard Business plan, for example, runs $15 per user per month when billed annually, and it comes with unlimited storage, data loss protection and even custom branding.
However, when it comes to security, there are better options, though Box is still decent. It uses top-notch AES-256 encryption for your data, but encryption happens server-side, and Box manages your encryption key by default. Thankfully, you can choose to manage your own encryption key if you subscribe to the Business or Enterprise plan.
Box is a dense service, which is all the more impressive considering how easy it is to use. You can read our hands-on thoughts in our Box review or sign up for a free 14-day trial.
4. Dropbox Business
More details about Dropbox Business
- Storage Pricing: $15 per user, per month
- Provider Website: www.dropbox.com
- Server Locations: United States, Germany, Australia, Japan
- Excellent sync & sharing features
- A lot of integrations
- Scalable storage platform
- Limited user management options
Dropbox Business is expensive, but its price tag is justified. Unlike most competing services, it has a single-user business subscription available, offering 3TB of storage and Dropbox’s powerful business features — such as remote account wipe — for around $20 per month.
The other plans, Standard and Advanced, start at a minimum of three users. Standard is expensive at $15 per user per month, and it only comes with a shared 5TB of storage. The Advanced plan is much more impressive. It’s $25 per user per month, but it comes with a scalable platform offering unlimited storage for your business.
Outside of its scalable platform, Dropbox stands out in usability and features. Simply put, Dropbox is a usability benchmark for other cloud storage services. The web interface is clean but surprisingly rife with options, making things like sharing or passing documents through Slack simple (Dropbox even earned a spot in our best cloud storage for Slack guide).
As far as integrations go, Dropbox has just about everything, including Asana, Salesforce and Zoom. It comes with some productivity apps of its own, too, including Dropbox Paper. Paper is nice to have — just see our Dropbox Paper review — but it’s no match for Google Docs (read our comparison of the two for more).
Overall, Dropbox Business serves as a more costly alternative to Egnyte and Box, fit with a long list of integrations. However, it stands out with world-class UI design and sharing features, making up for its high cost. You can learn more in our Dropbox Business review or sign up now for a free 30-day trial.
More details about MEGA
- Storage Pricing: $11.66 per user, per month
- Provider Website: www.mega.io
- Server Locations: Unknown
- Unlimited storage
- Built-in encrypted messaging application
- Few integrations
- A little tough to use
MEGA is best known for its very generous 20GB free plan, but it’s only for personal use. However, it does offer a single business subscription, and for the price, it’s tough to beat.
MEGA offers a scalable platform with unlimited storage and transfer for around $12 per user per month (the price is in euros, so the cost is based on the conversion rate at the time of writing.
Cheap storage isn’t all that sets MEGA apart, though. It uses a zero-knowledge security model, dealing exclusively with client-side encryption. That encryption makes MEGA slow, as is the case with all end-to-end encrypted cloud storage services. Still, if security is what you’re after, MEGA provides.
What it doesn’t provide is third-party integrations, which isn’t possible due to the security model. Thankfully, MEGA has a few productivity tools built right into the app. There’s a chat app on board, which uses the same high security standards as your storage, as well as encrypted video and voice calls.
MEGA earns the last spot in this guide on the back of its security and pricing. It’s not as well-rounded as a service like Box, but if you don’t need many integrations, MEGA is a great option. You can learn more about the service overall in our MEGA review or sign up for a business account to give it a shot yourself.
Free Cloud Storage for Small Businesses
As long as your business is relatively small and doesn’t need a lot of storage space, you can get by with free cloud storage. The big three — those being OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive — work well for this purpose. You probably already have an account, and it’s easy to teach your employees the ropes (assuming they don’t know them already).
That isn’t to say that those services offer the best free cloud storage for small businesses. Our number-three service in this guide, Box, offers a free plan for personal use, as does Sync.com and Dropbox. These plans are for personal use, though. That means no user management, no access logs and no third-party integrations.
In fact, there isn’t a service we’re aware of that offers free storage specifically for businesses. In most cases, you can use any free personal service to easily share files and keep important documents in the cloud. Anything beyond that is in the realm of proper business cloud storage, which will cost you money.
If all you need is sharing capabilities and limited syncing — so long as you can deal with some strict storage limits — you can find a service provider in our best free online storage guide.
How to Pick the Best Cloud Storage for Small Business
Now that we’ve discussed our five picks for the best business cloud storage, we wanted to give you a peek behind the curtain as to how we made our decisions. Additionally, if one of the five storage solutions doesn’t work for you, you’ll know what to look for with other services.
This is the main feature that sets business cloud storage apart from personal storage. For user management, it’s all about options. The more control administrators have over what users can access, the better. Going hand-in-hand with that, activity logs and remote access to revoke functionality are also important.
It depends on how sensitive your business’ information is, of course, but security is usually of the utmost importance, no matter if you operate a small business or a massive enterprise. For security, this comes down to encryption (read our description of encryption). The “how” of encryption is important, but also the “when.”
There’s at-rest encryption, which happens either client-side or server-side. Client-side is preferred, meaning that your data is encrypted before ever leaving your computer (server-side happens once your data has been transferred to the cloud storage service). Additionally, there’s in-transit encryption, which adds another layer of protection to your data as it’s traveling across the internet.
Security also bleeds into privacy. Some amount of data collection is necessary — such as the email addresses of your users — but there’s a limit. Basically, we checked to ensure that a service provider isn’t looking through the content of your account (such is the case for JustCloud).
Price is a major factor when choosing a cloud storage for your business. That’s because pricing, in nearly all cases, scales with the size of your business. Per-user per-month pricing is the name of the game, so the more users you have, the higher your total bill.
To make matters worse, some services offer multiple tiers at different pricing, with different amounts of storage space depending on how much you pay.
That makes services like Dropbox Business, MEGA.nz and G Suite incredibly attractive with their scalable storage models. When evaluating pricing, we’re taking everything into account, including storage space. Sometimes that means a more expensive service is a better option.
It should go without saying, but speed is important when choosing a cloud storage service. For businesses, the reason why is simple: faster uploads and faster downloads means your employees have access to the files they need, well, faster. We test the speed of every service we review, noting upload and download times.
Upload times are more important, though. Unless you exclusively handle your storage through a web application, you’ll usually have access to what you need directly on desktop. That puts the focus on uploading and syncing files more so than downloading them.
We also have a cloud storage CPU comparison that shows which services use the most computer resources.
Server locations work into speed. The closer the data center, the faster you’ll be able to upload your files. However, server locations are important beyond speed, too. Data residency is a factor you should consider if you’re dealing with any sensitive information. Similarly, countries have different laws when it comes to data privacy, which may be important to your business.
Integrations and APIs
Finally, integrations and APIs make the difference when it comes to the day-to-day operations of the cloud storage service you choose. A service like Sync.com is undoubtedly more secure than, say, G Suite. However, Sync.com has few integrations, while G Suite offers a long list of productivity tools out of the box.
On top of integrations, features like SSO are important, too. Services like OneLogin offer SSO and multi-factor authentication for businesses, allowing your employees to immediately log in to Box Business, Gmail or just about any other application. When making our picks, we factored this functionality in with other integrations.
Business Cloud Storage vs Cloud Backup
Cloud storage and online backup (or cloud backup, if that’s the term you prefer) are often confused. Both use the cloud for storage, but they serve different purposes. Cloud storage refers to applications that allow you to store and sync files across your devices. The purpose is to have your files anywhere you want, no matter what device you’re on.
For businesses, cloud storage is sometimes referred to as enterprise file sync and share (EFSS). That name certainly says more about what cloud storage does for businesses. Simply put, a cloud storage provider allows you to easily sync your files across devices and share them with other workers.
Online backup, on the other hand, refers to long-term storage, where you might offload business data to the cloud that you don’t need to access regularly. Services like Backblaze often compress this data, storing it as an unreadable file until you need it. A good backup solution is part of the 3-2-1 rule, serving as another point of backup in addition to local backup.
The Benefits of Cloud Storage for Small Business
The purpose of storage in the cloud is to sync and share files, but business cloud storage providers usually go beyond that. Some, including Egnyte and Box, include integrations with third-party services like Slack and Trello, making them much more than simply a storage solution. The right cloud storage provider can serve as a hub for all of your business operations.
Moreover, cloud storage can provide some security benefits over local storage (it has some downsides in security, too, which we’ll get to next). All of these five services offer some form of version control, where you can easily revert to a previous version of a file if you need to. This is great for a rogue update, of course, but also for any data you might lose to a cybercrime-related incident.
As most business owners know, though, employees are often the largest security threat. With fine-tuned permissions and access logs, you can usually track down a problem with a cloud storage solution (at least, you can with our above picks). Most services offer some form of remote user control, too, allowing you to quickly revoke access or change permissions.
The Risks of Cloud Storage for Businesses
Cloud storage solutions aren’t some form of divine blessing, though. There are downsides, particularly when it comes to security. Data centers are often more attractive targets for breaches than small businesses, so you could be exposing yourself to more risk by simply using cloud services.
That isn’t to say that cloud storage solutions are inherently insecure, just that choosing a secure one is a little more involved.
As the Dropbox data breach showed, even the largest companies aren’t above an attack. Unfortunately, you usually have to do the dirty work of looking into security, rather than rely on brand recognition alone. If you want to see how Dropbox compares to a more secure service, check out our Dropbox vs Sync.com comparison.
That’s not to say that Dropbox is inherently insecure, just that it sacrifices some security for convenience. That isn’t a problem, so long as your business is using two-factor authentication and you monitor your team activity — and Dropbox Business supports both.
Employees are, unfortunately, often a great risk to businesses, too, and cloud sharing and syncing can sometimes further that risk. Simply put, more access to company data means higher risk, no matter how many safeguards are in place. Thankfully, most of our picks have features to combat employee risk.
Sync.com, for example, includes a remote wipe feature, allowing administrators to remotely delete data off of a user’s device. This is a great feature to have around for ex-employees, but also great for removing any files you may have shared with the wrong person.
There are a lot of options when choosing a cloud storage company for your business, and as long as you stick with our five recommendations above, you’ll be using the best of the best.
Overall, Sync.com is an attractive, secure business option, and it isn’t very expensive. However, we also like Egnyte and Box simply based on their functionality.
If you’re interested in a dedicated server instead, then check out our guide to the best small business server options.
What service are you going with, though? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.