Today, students use digital devices to aid the learning process more than ever before, and hence, it only stands to reason that they have a greater need for cloud storage. Which creates a demand for centralized file and data management services, something most schools lack.
But there’s good news, Cloudwards.net is here to solve the problem, by presenting the top five cloud storage services for students. We live in the digital era where students typically have several devices on hand, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
In addition to a smattering of personal devices, students also find themselves diligently working away on school-managed computer systems – particularly at college. A system that presents a lot of challenges to students regarding data management can cause things to get out of hand pretty quickly.
Hence the need for a well organized storage and backup service. Before we take a closer look at the five best cloud storage for students, let’s examine the benefits that cloud storage provides for them. In addition to the obvious benefits of cloud storage, these solutions also provide students with collaborative opportunities.
In higher education, especially at university, group projects are pretty standard. And trying to share various files and documents with team members promptly, can be extremely challenging with traditional storage mediums like external HDDs and flash drives, it is nigh on impossible to ensure that every team member has the most recent version of a file.
Every single time a team member makes an edit to a school project, the updated file must get sent out again. Instead of wasting valuable study time managing the most recent versions of data, students can save time by using cloud storage services that provide collaboration mechanisms.
$ 13.25 per month 1024 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit DropboxDropbox Review|
$ 7.49 per month 100 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit SugarSyncSugarSync Review|
$ 1.99 per month 100 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit Google DriveGoogle Drive Review|
$ 1.99 per month 50 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit OneDriveOneDrive Review|
$ 4.99 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit pCloudpCloud Review|
Why Students Need Cloud Storage Services
Just about every student has, at one time or another, felt the pressure of completing an assignment under a tight deadline. Studying and completing homework assignments takes a lot of hard work, and the future of your education and career are on the line.
The worst thing that can happen is losing coursework, thereby wasting a student’s time and energy. The most unfortunate thing about this scenario is how easy it is to avoid, thanks to the redundant copies of school work provided by cloud storage.
While it may seem like a good idea to create local copies on a flash drive or external hard disk, these aren’t great solutions for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they don’t allow a student to access their content easily on a variety of devices.
Secondly, a student lacks access to data regardless of their physical location. Thirdly, both hardware devices are vulnerable to viruses and failure. Therefore the preferable solution is to use a cloud storage service.
Not only will students access their information anywhere in the world, from any device, but cloud storage also provides reliable sharing and collaboration options.
For students eating Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Dropbox is a great option thanks to its usability and broad appeal. Dropbox offers a free trial that lasts forever and provides up to 2GB of free storage.
A limitation that’s expandable to 16GB, through the referral program but most students will have more than 2GB of study materials and projects they need to store in the cloud. Students will also love the fact that Dropbox maintains redundant copies of user data for up to 30 days, even if your files got deleted.
Which means if a student accidentally wipes out their final project or book report it’ll still be easy to recover.
Other Reasons Why We Like Dropbox
For students who require more storage space, the paid version of the service starts at $9.99 per month for a terabyte. Dropbox is a great option for students due to its broad support for 3rd-party apps.
It’s also used widely on a lot of campuses. So the chances of it being incompatible with any system are slim to none. Plus it’s fast, easy-to-use and looks great to boot.
- Easy to use
- Good device support
- Works on all major operating systems
- Based in the U.S.
- “Hostile to privacy“
SugarSync makes the cut as the second best cloud storage option for students, thanks to the easy-to-use software’s syncing and file sharing capabilities.
However, they do not let users manage encryption keys personally, meaning they aren’t a zero-knowledge provider. But here’s a silver lining, they allow students to sync data with an unlimited number of devices, and their collaboration features will aid in group projects.
If you’re addicted to mobile devices, SugarSync offers incredibly functional software. However, I think the mobile apps could do with a bit of work, to make them more streamlined and attractive.
Other Reasons Why We Like SugarSync
SugarSync provides a great combo of sharing, syncing and collaboration.
The fact that it is usable across multiple devices makes it a godsend for large group projects. SugarSync protects data with encryption, as it’s in-transit to their servers and once the data gets stored.
- Comes with file versioning (5 copies)
- Files secured via TLS & 256-bit AES encryption
- Sends file links via mobile text
- Backups lacks scheduling
- No zero-knowledge security
- Sometimes slows down
If you’re a student on a budget, feel free to take full advantage of the 15GB Google Drive provides at no cost whatsoever. The cloud storage service’s crowning glory is Google Docs, which comes with industry defining collaboration and sharing features.
Google also provides decent security by encrypting stored data, but some people are skeptical since the company was involved in the NSA’s PRISM program. That said, they do have high transfer speeds, and integrate with other Google services quite nicely.
Other Reasons Why We Like Google Drive
Not only is Google Drive arguably one of the best cloud storage service around, but it’s also among the cheapest. 100GB of storage costs $1.99, but I’ve been using the service regularly for the past three years, and still haven’t used up most of my 15GB of free data.
Google Drive is a great fit for students — mainly due to its unrivaled collaboration features and super cheap pricing.
- Great sharing & collaboration features
- Very easy to use service
- Generous 15GB free plan
- Syncing only bare bones
- No selective folder sync
- No local encryption
OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution and a major rival to Google Drive; and it’s available on yet another competitor’s platform — iOS.
iPhone users should be aware that they’ll need a Microsoft account to use OneDrive, a fact that may irritate Apple purists. Fortunately, they’re relatively affordable and offer 5GB of free storage space; that’s expandable with Camera Roll.
Users who need more storage space only need to pay a measly $1.99 for 50GB of storage, or $6.99 for a whole whopping terabyte.
Other Reasons Why We Like OneDrive
Those who have an Office 365 subscription get 1TB of storage. Plus, it comes pre-installed on all Windows 10 machines, so you can get to studying asap.
OneDrive is an obvious choice for students using Windows since it is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution (formerly named SkyDrive). Better yet, OneDrive supports Mac, iOS, Android and of course, Windows Phone as well.
- Free 5GB of storage
- Amazing web app
- Great Windows 10 integration
- Slow upload & download speeds
- 10GB per file limit
- No local encryption
First and foremost, it is easy to use so you don’t have to worry about making a configuration mistake that wipes out an entire school project. Secondly, the service comes with 10GB of free storage, which is ideal for students on a limited budget.
Thirdly, for users who need more than 20GB of storage, a whole whopping terabyte of storage only starts at $3.99.
But that’s not all; pCloud provide syncing and file sharing features too, but they’re rather basic compared to the other providers. Still, students can create download and upload links, to invite other students to view and share school projects.
Other Reasons Why We Like pCloud
pCloud is not only generous with its storage space allocation, but also with its platform support. The service works on Windows, OS X, iOS, Android and even Linux!
The service provides 10GB of storage for free, right off the bat. In short, pCloud is the best option for students who need maximum storage at a minimum price.
- Affordable plans
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Perfect file sync
- Encryption is a paid add-on
- No FTP access
- File versioning isn’t clear
In the modern classroom, students frequently use computers to learn. Which means cloud storage, online collaboration and digital file sharing are about to become big parts of the future of education. Whether a student needs to access study materials from multiple devices, or just backup school projects online to avoid losing all their hard work; cloud storage can provide immense value and protection.
Instead of risking turning in a project late, because your hard drive crashed, it’s better to invest in one of the five best cloud storage services for students. Thanks for sticking around till the end, if you have any suggestions or thoughts to share with us, feel free to use the comments section below.