The Top 10 Personal Cloud-Storage Services
The Top 10 Personal Cloud-Storage Services
Dropbox is certainly one of the more popular public cloud storage services available. Being one of the earlier providers, Dropbox benefits from name recognition, a large user base and a simple and efficient user interface. Offering both free and paid services with a variety of plans, Dropbox has a large and loyal following, which in turn allows their marketshare to grow.
Dropbox utilises a client-server based model, with code written in Python and supports change only updates.
Amazon Cloud Drive offers much of the functionality of Dropbox, including clients for iOS, Android and Windows. As with Dropbox, the client allows changed files to be synchronised to a centralised server and offers up to 5GB for free. Unlike Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive is integrated with other Amazon products, such as Amazon Cloud Player, allowing users to store their Amazon purchased music in their drive.
Apple iCloud is Apple’s answer to the very tightly integrated cloud services Google has offered Android users, for some time. iCloud attempts to native or near-natively offer users a method of synchronising all their device data with a cloud based server, including contacts, calendars, emails, photos and documents. iCloud has, however, been plagued with technical outages, failed synchronisations and many usage bugs in its relatively short life span and has struggled to be taken seriously. None the less, the integration with recent iOS and OSX operating systems has improved and the product is making headway.
Box focuses primarily on sharing large files or groups of files between two people and as such, has become popular with businesses and other organisations who regularly need to share documents too large for email, easily. Box offers good version control of documents but has also aggressively marketed itself to 3rd party apps, such as SugarCRM, gaining integration with other applications and platforms.
MediaFire attracts the users with their 50GB of free storage that you get, which is more than most. MediaFire is ad supported, although users can remove ads for a small fee.
Google Drive, on Google based devices such as Android or Chromebook, is probably the tightest integrated service of them all. Many Android users are pleasantly surprised to find that when they upgrade to a new phone or device, all their documents, contacts, settings, applications and even wifi passwords (among, many other things) automatically transfer to their new device – and this is in large part due to the very strong cloud services Google offers.
Google Drive (or GDrive) also allows users to edit documents of varying types, natively, within the web interface and allows sharing with non GDrive users.
Mega was born out of Kim Dot Com’s MegaUpload service, which grew to immense popularity a few years back, as it allowed users to share any kinds of files and was promptly turned into a haven for piracy. After being shut down by American authorities, with a warranty issued for Kim Dot Com’s arrest, Mega eventually managed to find a home in New Zealand.
Unlike virtually all other services on this page, Mega is effectively just a web based file sharing and storing site and is very limited in functionality. It remains popular, however, as all files are encrypted in non-reversible encryption to which Mega does not maintain the keys, meaning users’ data remains (relatively) secure.
Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) comes with up to 15GB of free storage, if you meet certain conditions, although most people get 7GB. OneDrive is completely integrated with Windows 8 devices, offering Google like device content sharing – right down to wifi passwords and even user desktop backgrounds. As SkyDrive began its life as a Dropbox/GDrive alternative, it initially failed to gain traction, however its integration with Windows 8, Office 2013 and Office 365 has allowed OneDrive to become a major player in the public cloud storage market.
Ubuntu One, despite its name is available to users of other operating systems other than Linux and it offers 5GB of free space. It also includes a music streaming service which is very useful.
ownCloud stands out from the other offerings on this page in that, as the name implies, you host both the client and the server yourself. This individuals or organisations users to effectively offer as much capacity as they can afford to, on their own infrastructure. Administrators can control user access controls and quotas via a web interface and it scales very efficiently.
ownCloud offers many of the features of Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud or OneDrive, including clients for Android, Mac, Linux, Windows and iOS. Configuration is incredible easy and will run on shared hosting environments, making it very simple to set up. ownCloud also supports backup of music and pictures, from mobile devices, natively.
After snagging almost 5 million in funding, last month, ownCloud is gaining popularity rapidly.
Author’s bio: Dan Radak is passionate lover of cloud technologies and everything related to them, he’s also a web writer and co-author on several technology websites, like Australian web hosting blog by Crucial. In his free time he’s digging through web in search for a perfect fishing gear.