Best cloud storage service today
Do you want to replace your outdated storage system? Then, cloud storage is the best alternative storage worth the investment in 2021. This technology is more robust, scalable, and cheaper than the traditional HDD (hard drive). The service accommodates both home and business use with the option to expand as data grow. So, are you ready to save money on those expensive drives?
Last updated: 6th October 2021
List of best cloud storage services to consider
- pCloud – Best Lifetime Cloud Storage for business & personal (€175)
- IDrive Cloud – Large Cloud Storage best for backup (5TB – $52.12 /yr)
- Business by BigMIND – Highly scalable Cloud Storage for Business (€20 /mo)
- Zoolz cloud storage – Best large storage for any size business (€14.99 /mo)
Cloud storage is a computing model of data storage in which data stores on remote servers accessed from the internet. It is on a highly virtualized infrastructure managed by a cloud storage service provider.
Those service providers are responsible for keeping the data available and accessible. They are also making sure that the physical environment is protected and always running. Individuals or companies usually lease storage capacity from the service providers to store files or application data.
The majority of companies and individuals are using cloud storage as a backup to facilitate data recovery off-site. This storage computing model has grown increasingly popular.
Cloud storage is increasing in popularity. Because of its scalability, security and cost-effectiveness compared to those physical drives. A cloud solution is far much reliable than those expensive drives that fail unexpectedly. It requires minimal to almost zero maintenance, easy to expand over time to store more data. That is why cloud storage is now your best alternative to a hard disk drive (HDD) and solid-state drive (SSD).
Below is a list of different cloud storage services best for both personal and business.
pCloud is in Switzerland, providing a highly secure lifetime Cloud Storage access.
pCloud storage is one of the best cloud storage offering lifetime access storage under one-time payment. Ideal for those who want to avoid yearly recurring fees. Besides, you only pay as you grow.
All of its services come with the AES 256-bit encryption to encrypt files during and after transfer to the cloud. Along with this encryption method, it also has TLS/SSL channel protection upon any transfer.
On top of its military-grade encryption, pCloud offers Crypto encryption. This feature is an additional data encryption used before any transfer. However, Crypto is optional that comes at an extra affordable cost.
Switzerland is well-known for its strongest security policy laws which also include privacy. Thus, pCloud must ensure top-notch security for its customers. As a best practice, pCloud stores files and data in highly secure data centers located in three different places. This way, if one copy gets compromised, customers can still recover data from another good copy located in other servers.
pCloud has a very easy-to-use dashboard that even a 10-year-old can back up school projects. Users can manage everything in one console. Furthermore, users can upload any file, regardless of its format and size.
Files can be uploaded directly to your account with no upload and download limitations. Bandwidth and speed depend on your Internet Service Provider.
Here’s a quick list of features that comes along:
- File Management
- Unlimited File Size, download, and upload
- File Sharing
- File Archiving
- Automatic file Backup
- Top-notch Security
- Remote Access
- File Versioning
- Integrations with Facebook & Instagram
- Automatic Syncing
Lifetime Cloud storage plans:
- Premium Plan – 500GB Lifetime for
€480(Save up to 65% for a limited time – at only €175)
- Premium Plus – 2TB Lifetime for
€980(Save up to 65% for a limited time – at only €350)
In case you are looking for something smaller like individual plans, it comes at €47.88 per year with 500GB storage.
10GB completely free when signing up today
IDrive is best for all types of backups, whether for businesses requiring a mission-critical backup solution or personal needs with larger storage space to store more files, photos, and videos.
IDrive Backtrack feature is one of the reasons I like IDrive. The backtrack feature creates multiple versions of each backed-up file at no extra cost. If the files get infected by malware or corrupted, users can restore the most recent version of their file in a minute. Thus, when it comes to viruses, malware, or Cryptolocker infections, your files are in good hands.
Along with the Backtrack feature that keeps your data available, IDrive offers the Open File Backup solution. Open File Backup is responsible for backing up any open documents like Outlook and Quickbooks. This feature is handy in case of an unexpected power outage or hard drive failure to keep files safe. It supports all major platforms and operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
The only drawback with the Open File backup feature is that it does not support backup of open files in the mapped/network drives. However, users can set up the daily backup of external hard drives and NAS devices. External backup can be set up easily from its user-friendly control panel and schedule at a specific time.
Storage space and network bandwidth have always been a concern for most cloud storage solutions. But IDrive incremental backup and compression easily bypass this hiccup. Incremental backup captures only modified data and compresses them to ease the network during transfer and save more of your precious storage space.
IDrive quick list of features:
- Security & Privacy – AES 256-bit Encryption
- Unlimited users, computers, servers, SQL, and NAS devices
- Online File Sync
- IDrive Express
- Snapshots and Versioning
- File Sharing
- Incremental & Compressed Backup
- Clone Backup
- Data Retrieval
- File Archiving
- 24/7 Priority Support
- Business Data Compliance
Three package plans to choose from:
- IDrive Personal – 5TB
$69.50per year (Limited Time deal – for only $52.12)
- Team IDrive– 5TB
$99.50per year (Now only for $74.62)
- IDrive Business – 500GB
$199.50per year (Save up to 50% – only $149.62)
Overall, IDrive is the best backup solution for your files, photos, music, web contents, and videos.
Free 5GB storage today and upgrade when you run out of space.
Zoolz BigMIND Business is undoubtedly one of the most flexible cloud storage solutions for most organizations. Its standard package includes 250GB up to 100 users for only €20 /month, where its Premium package offers 250GB with up to 500 users for only €37.50 /mo. All price plans except the starter pack offer the flexibility to upgrade as you grow. The price is as low as €15 per extra 100GB.
BigMIND Business stands out from its competitors with its Tribrid backup solution. This technology allows you to store backed-up data in three ways; Local storage, Instant storage, and Cold storage. Each of these storage solutions has its purpose as not all data are the same. This way, customers have the option of having their data available locally at their fingertips or use cloud storage for archiving purposes.
Let’s quickly review what each storage intends to do. Local storage stores a copy of the backed-up file locally at the customer site. Customers can recover their files and data quickly in the event of any disaster. Next in line is the Instant Storage solution. Instant storage is cloud-based storage for mission-critical data that require fast access on demand. Last but not least is the most cost-effective solution, Cold storage. Cold Storage is best for large backups or archives that do not require constant access.
BigMIND Business offers four ways to enhance your backup performance. Deduplication is one of them that eliminates all duplicated data. Then, compression compresses those deduped files. Furthermore, for larger files, it uses Block level or Group Upload for smaller files into one backup. This best practice eases your bandwidth consumption to provide a fast transfer.
Quick overview of BigMIND Business features:
- AES 256-Bit Encryption
- 99.9999% availability
- Tribrid Backup
- Remote Restore
- AI Photo Detection & Facial recognition
- Complete Audit
- SaaS File Discovery
- File Sharing + Unified intelligent cloud
- Unlimited Network & External Drives
- Data compliance & User/Policy Management
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Overall, BigMIND Business is for any enterprise looking for affordable highly scalable cloud storage.
AWS (Amazon Web Service) is the world leader in cloud computing technology provides a high-class cloud solution from backup storage to SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and CaaS infrastructure. However, Zoolz is the cheapest version of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud storage. Zoolz servers reside on AWS infrastructure for high-end security while providing a robust cloud storage service.
On-site physical storage is generally expensive as it requires a full-time administrator to maintain, requires regular disk replacement when hard drives failed or are filled. Traditional storage is not that cheap to keep and not as scalable as cloud storage. With a Cloud Storage solution, you cut down these extra costs on a long-term basis with its flexibility and scalability.
Zoolz Cloud backup provides a flexible storage solution with more storage capacity with a set of features at an affordable price compared with its competitor. Its 100TB cloud backup for 5 years costs $30,000, half the price at Google Cloud for $60,000.
The 5 years plan includes unlimited users & servers, unlimited external & network drives, no restore cost, no hidden fees, and no support fee with Policy management. Whereas the price of Google Cloud only provides a base on Google nearline storage for double the price.
Quick overview of Zoolz 100TB features:
- 99.9999999% data availability
- Military-grade AES 256-bit Encryption during and after transfer
- Data Compliance: GDPR and HIPAA
- All-in-one easy to use User Management platform
- Detail and graphical Reporting System
- Support Deduplication and compression to save data storage capacity
- Shipping Data to bypass internet bandwidth
With hundreds of cloud services offering high-standard services at an affordable price, it is normal to feel a bit unsure. But, it’s not just about who has the best services at low cost only. It’s about which service fits your requirement in the long run.
Cloud storage comes in different shapes and sizes. For example, a public cloud offers object storage which is best for personal needs. It’s massively scalable storage to store documents, videos, music, photos, or social media content. But this object storage solution is not designed to handle mission-critical business applications.
Object storage handles data as objects, unlike file storage that manages data in a hierarchical structure. On the other hand, block storage controls data as blocks in sectors and tracks. Are you looking for a solution for your mission-critical application? Then block storage is what you need. It delivers low latency, has greater flexibility, and provides the best performance.
However, each of these storage solutions has its set of price tags. Thus, businesses mix these storage solutions to optimize costs, performance, reliability, and security.
1) Automatic Backup
Automatic Backup feature automates the backup process without human intervention. Offering customers the convenience of configuring the backup jobs to run based on a pre-set time and date. Once the automatic backup is configured, it can be forgotten.
In the event of a power outage or shut down the computer in the middle of the backup job, it will automatically resume once the computer is powered back on. This leaves no room for human error.
2) Flexible Storage Capacity
Backing up files can consume a large space on the server because of the amount of data they contain. Customers need to make sure that the cloud storage solution is scalable to easily adapt to future growth.
Most cloud storage services offer Flexible Storage Capacity. It’s important for customers to choose the capacity plan that fits best. Of course with the ability to upgrade as data grows.
Ideally, it’s best to know how much space the backup files will take in advance. So to plan the right capacity needed the first time.
3) File Archiving
File Archiving is another important feature to archive older files or backups. This feature prevents data or files to be automatically deleted or overwritten by new versions. The best solution to preserve older versions of your files. In case you need them in the future, you can find them from the archive folder.
It doesn’t matter how many previous versions there are, file archiving will keep a copy of each.
4) File Security
File Security is a must-have feature. Most service providers offer secure online backups that encrypt files during transfer and storage. It prevents data to be intercepted and read by malicious parties.
The best service provider uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and the AES 256-bit encryption feature to keep customer’s data & files safe.
5) File Sharing
File Sharing feature comes in handy for sharing files stored on the account to a specific group of users from wherever they may be. Such features can also restrict access down to a specific file. Users can share links to family, friends, or co-workers. They can then download or view the files even if they don’t have an account.
Along with sharing capability, users can also receive files from anyone directly to their account using a link. The sender can use the link to upload files without having access to the receiver’s account.
6) File Versioning
Don’t mix up this feature with File Archiving. File snapshots and versioning provide a historical view of data for point-in-time recovery. At the same time, it protects against ransomware by restoring the last backup.
Versioning enables multiple file versions to exist in the system at the same time. Allowing users to revert to a previous good state backup in case of corruption or deletion.
It’s also an easy way to compare file versions to one another, making it useful if the user needs to retrieve the latest backup.
7) Incremental Backup
Incremental Backup is another important feature to look for in a Cloud Storage solution. Only files that were modified, or newly created since the last backup will make it to the cloud storage. It helps to optimize bandwidth usage and ensures fast data transfer.
The Incremental Backup makes cloud storage more efficient to use, fast and saves precious space from getting filled by duplicated files.
8) Quality Customer Support
Customer support is basic for any good service provider. If the provider doesn’t offer any form of support, find another one that does. Dealing with backup is critical for anyone. In case anything goes awry, you want to prevent the problem from worsening by getting support from their expert.
9) Remote Access
During the covid-19 pandemic, there are more employees working remotely. Remote Access gives users the ability to access files safely from anywhere around the world. All you need are the login details for your cloud storage account.
Cyberattack is a growing concern for everyone today. Thankfully, there are best practices to protect your device from those attacks.
Ransomware is one of the main topics around. It has been the biggest issue for any organization today. That’s because there’s no immunity against these infectious attacks. This malicious software encrypts anything that resides on your device, and there’s no way out of it. You may end up paying a large sum to get your device decrypted. But, unfortunately, it’s not always the case where everyone gets their files back after paying those ridiculous sums of money.
Don’t let it be you! It’s still time to safeguard all your data by following those five simple best practices below.
1. Strong Passwords
Strong Passwords should be your basic standard policy. If not yet, it’s now time to get your IT team to enforce strong passwords. Passwords should contain at least 16 characters in length. Along with password enforcement, keep your systems are up-to-date, run a regular scan to detect security vulnerabilities.
2. Regular Backup
Backup data is your top priority of all. It’s the most crucial requirement for anyone or businesses. A well-prepared organization usually keeps three copies of its data. Two on-site copies on 2 different devices. The on-site copies should be your first option for fast recovery.
Then a third copy of your data off-site. Ideally on a cloud storage system that is far away from your devices in case of an infected network. This way, you can restore data from an off-site copy to avoid paying for ransom.
3. Protect against Malware
One of the best practices to protect against malware is to restrict employees from having an administrator account on their work computer.
Furthermore, review the way you or staff are sharing files. IT administrators should encourage the use of secure FTP or VPN access.
Computers should be equipped with an active antivirus that scans your network and devices regularly. I highly recommend Kaspersky, McAfee, or Bitdefender Antivirus. These antiviruses are considered the best worldwide.
Teach employees not to fall for phishing emails. It cost nothing but 20 minutes recap every month to address any possible threats that could put your business at risk.
During your recap session, encourage employees to set up two-factor authentication. This authentication method must be your first line of defense.
5. Email security
Most ransomware infections spread through email attachments. There’s no harm to send reminders to your team or at least include this awareness in your regular team meetings.
The malicious download is another common way for infection. With these firewall technologies available nowadays, IT administrators can block websites that are not work-related, emails, and attachments.
Overall, it costs nothing to encourage people to follow these five basic best practices to keep data safe.
- Personal 100GB + 1 User & 3 Computers – €99 /mo
- Family 500GB + 3 Users & 9 Computers – €6.99 /mo
- Family Plus 1TB + 5 Users & 15 Computers – €12.99 /mo
- Premium 500GB + Lifetime access – €175 one-time payment
- Plus Premium 2TB + Lifetime access – €350 one-time payment
- Annually Premium plan 500GB – €47.88 yearly payment
- Personal IDrive 5TB + Unlimited Computers – $52.12 first year
- IDrive Team 5TB + 5 Computers & 5 Users – $74.62 first year
- Business IDrive 250GB + Unlimited access – $74.62 first year
BigMIND Home is an excellent Cloud Storage for any personal needs powered by Artificial Intelligence.
pCloud is a Highly Secure Swiss Cloud Storage with Lifetime Access at an affordable price.
IDrive is the best cloud storage for any type of backup to keep files and data available.
Zoolz is best for businesses needing large cloud storage capacity at an affordable price compared to Dell EMC, Google Cloud, and Cloudian.
BigMIND Business is great for small business that needs a robust off-site Cloud Storage solution.
Overall, all Cloud Storage in this list is best for most users and organizations with specific needs. Each service offers an affordable price plan.
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