Data storage is at the core of every business. But it can be costly to store data physically. In the modern era, the advent of cloud storage has revolutionized the storage sector. Big and small businesses can save loads of vital data without requiring any physical space or expensive storage hardware. The perks of using cloud storage extend beyond providing an affordable storage option, but also its accessibility. It is no surprise that the storage is the fastest growing sector of the cloud sector. This year, Gartner has forecasted that the cloud storage market would grow by 21.4 percent to $186.4 billion. This would mark a growth of $33 billion from the previous year.
While the benefits of cloud storage are manifold across the board, it can be argued that small businesses have the most to gain. Today, with a moderate yearly subscription fee, startups can enjoy the same safe and effective storage service as some of the most tech-savvy organizations in the world. With that said, let us look at five of the best cloud storage services for startups in 2018.
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Microsoft OneDrive for Business is one of the premier cloud storage solutions. This platform is unique because it is integrated with other Microsoft services like Office 365 and SharePoint. If you use Microsoft Office tools regularly, this is the best option for your startup. Storing all types of files on OneDrive is possible. And it is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
You get up to 1TB of storage, and you can access files, share, and work on files efficiently with OneDrive. There is an option to increase the allocated storage space to 5TB! The best part is that it is very affordable. This cloud storage service costs as low as $5 per month. Also, OneDrive is highly secure. It uses the latest encryption technology. This is not one of the platforms that have been caught in the wave of the recent hacking incidents.
There are different pricing options for OneDrive. You can choose to pay either $5 or $10 per month per user. Alternatively, you can opt for the Office 365 Business Premium and pay only $12.50 monthly. Like every other cloud storage platform, the more you spend, the more features you get. OneDrive offers everything a startup would want from a cloud storage service.
DropBox is one of the top cloud storage platforms. It is easy to use, and it is compatible with different operating systems. Millions of startups and big businesses across the world use this platform.
Dropbox comes with all the usual features that you will find on cloud storage platforms including synchronization and sharing. Also, it is compatible with Microsoft Office 365 applications. Unlike OneDrive, Dropbox has been a victim of a security breach in recent months. However, the company has been quick to respond to security concerns. If your line of work involves collaborating with others, DropBox is an excellent option because it is used widely.
DropBox’s pricing is very affordable for both individuals and businesses. Individuals can get up to 2GB of free space. DropBox for Business costs $12.50 monthly for 3TB of storage space and $20 monthly for unlimited storage.
The only con with using DropBox is that it does not come with editing tools like you get when using OneDrive on Office 365.
Google Drive was launched a few years ago, but it has quickly caught up with the competition to be one of the leading cloud storage platforms. Google Drive for Work is a premium version of Drive that was created for business users. Apart from the usual features of cloud storage platforms like synchronization, sharing, and more, Drive for Business also gives users access to Google tools like Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, and others. This allows you to create and edit documents easily.
Google Drive is compatible with iOS, Microsoft, and Android. It can be used to store all types of files including pictures and videos. Drive is recognized as one of the best platforms for storing videos.
You can enjoy the features of Google Drive by signing up for the G Suite. There are three packages (Basic, Business, and Enterprise) which cost $5, $10, and $15 respectively. You get 30GB of storage with the Basic plan and unlimited with the Business and Enterprise plan. All three plans entitle you to a suite of Google online productivity and communication tools.
A few months ago, Google announced that Drive is now available as a standalone service. According to Tech Crunch, the company will charge each user $8 monthly and $0.04 per 1GB of data from companies.
MEGA is an alternative cloud storage option for businesses that want high security at a low price. When using MEGA, you can create your encryption key. This key is unique and is only accessible to you. Not many cloud storage platforms offer this security option. Although MEGA sounds like a hi-tech platform, it has a simple interface. There is virtually no learning curve, and it is compatible with both Android, iOS, and Microsoft devices.
Another thing that makes MEGA unique is that it offers a whopping 50GB of free storage space. Also, you can get an additional space by inviting new users and installing the MEGA app.
The only issue with using MEGA is that you have to memorize your encryption key. Also, it does not come intergrated with online productivity and communication tools.
MEGA has different user packages. With Pro Lite, you pay $5.75 for 200GB, Pro I gives you $11.51 for 1TB, Pro II gives you $23.03 for 4TB, and Pro III gives you $34.54 for 8TB.
IDrive is one of the most reliable cloud storage platforms around. It is compatible with different operating systems including iOS, Android, and Microsoft. Also, you can back up different devices on this platform.
Like MEGA, you can choose to create your encryption key when using IDrive. There is also the option of using the default encryption key. IDrive is easy to use. It has the same host of features that you will find on most cloud storage platforms.
You can get 5GB of storage space for free on IDrive. There is an option to increase this space by referring new users to the platform. IDrive has many packages for businesses. For $74.62 to $99.50 yearly, you can get access to up to 250GB of storage space, or you can pay $374.62 annually for 1.25TB.
Many other equally remarkable cloud storage platforms deserve to be on this list including Box, Mozy, JustCloud, OpenDrive, iCloud, and more. However, it is safe to say that the five cloud platforms mentioned above are among the best on the market today in terms of providing multiple features, safety, affordability, and ease of use.
Ultimately, startups have different options to choose from for cloud storage. It is essential to select the platform that will give you the best value for your money.