With so many of us working from home, having reliable cloud storage is more important than ever. You want your office work stored safely away from home, where your data is always one dropped cup of coffee away from disaster.
Personal cloud storage got started in 2007, when Drew Houston, Dropbox’s CEO, got sick and tired of losing his USB drive. So, he created the first individual, small business cloud storage service. It was a radical idea in its time, and everyone loved it. Today, there are dozens of cheap or free cloud storage services. But — beyond giving you storage — they’re very different.
How do you choose which one is right for you? You could just pick by how much free storage space you get. That’s simple, but. A cloud storage service’s real value comes from how well it works for you or your business. As you’ll see, some work much better with some operating systems and business plans than others.
Let’s get to it.
Best for most people: Top-notch cloud storage service
Free storage: iDrive starts its offers with 5GB for free
iDrive is for everyone who wants a cloud backup and cloud storage in an all-in-one. Its main job is for backing up personal and small businesses, but it also works well for personal cloud storage.
Unlike many other cloud backup services, iDrive doesn’t lock you down to a single computer. You can use one account to backup your Windows and macOS desktops, your Android smartphone and iPhones and tablets, and your network drives. There’s also a Linux backup option, but it’s meant for Linux servers. There is no desktop Linux storage client. Darn it! You can, however, use its web interface for manually uploading files.
For now, iDrive has a killer deal. It’s the most storage for the least amount of money you’ll find today. They’re offering 10 Terabytes (TB) — no, that’s not a typo, terabytes — for $3.98 a year. Even its usual price, $74.62 for 10TB for the first year, is pretty darn good. I use it to back up my massive media library of 1930s and 40s movies.
Normally iDrive starts its offers with 5GB for free. That’s OK, but if you want to make the most of it for backup, the real deal is in its Personal iDrive offerings. These start at $59.62 for 5TB for a year or an even better deal of $74.62 for 10TB annually per user. There are also business packages with unlimited users, but the price goes up for less storage. For example, the company will charge you $74.62 for 5TB of storage that you can share between 5 users.
If you’re looking for a personal or small business backup, iDrive is really good. It’s both easy to use and inexpensive. It’s also good for cloud storage. I’m very happy with it.
- Great price
- Works well for backups and storage
- Excellent pairing of storage and office services
- No native Linux support
- No two-factor authentication
- Relatively slow download speeds
Amazon Cloud Drive
Best for Amazon users: Available for personal use and SMBs
Free storage: Prime members get 5GB of storage for “free” with Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon S3 from Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an object storage service, and it’s a great service. But, that’s not what individuals use. They use Amazon Cloud Drive for personal and small business uses. And, it’s not a first-rate storage service.
Mind you, Amazon Cloud Drive is better than it used to be. Amazon Cloud Drive now has sync services for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Alas, it still doesn’t have…