Our lives revolve around computers , whether it’s our workstations, our personal computers, or our smartphones. This makes it much harder to consolidate all our important files and documents. Thankfully, we have an abundance of options when it comes to cloud storage. Let’s take a look at the best three to help you keep your files within easy reach.
Dropbox is a pioneer of cloud storage—one of the first to offer teams a handy tool for easier collaboration. Their 2 GB storage may seem measly at first, but it can be extended by 500 MB for every new user you refer to the service. You can also get more by doing some set tasks, ranging from 125 MB for following Dropbox on social media, to 3 GB for turning on Camera Upload.
Any file can be easily stored in Dropbox. You can do so through an app that creates a shared folder for your devices or by uploading it manually through your browser. It works well across multiple platforms, with a very convenient desktop app that blends with your file system. Some personal cloud storage solutions can also sync with Dropbox. And if you’re accessing it via your browser, you can even edit documents via Microsoft Office Online.
Currently the giant of internet and computing technologies, Google also happens to own the most widely-used cloud storage app. Launched only in April 2012, Google Drive boasts of around 240 million active users after only 2 years. This is no surprise, as just having a Google account automatically registers you with Drive. Since you probably already have a Gmail or Google+ account, all you need to do is go to drive.google.com, and download the desktop app to use Drive.
That said, many have continued to use it because of a generous 15 GB of storage space right off the bat, without any gimmicks. Users can purchase additional storage space, starting at 100 GB for $1.99 a month. In addition, Google Drive benefits from a built-in online office suite—colloquially called Google Docs—which allows for editing documents, spreadsheets, and even presentations.
If you bought a computer with Windows 8 or 10, then OneDrive is already built into the operating system. But that’s not the only reason to use this cloud storage service. OneDrive’s key feature is that it integrates seamlessly with Windows devices, as well as with Microsoft Office—the world’s most popular office suite.
Though it’s a Microsoft property, you’ll be glad to learn that it’s available in multiple platforms. It’s also quite easy to access through your browser, or by downloading the app on your Android or Apple device. However, it only comes with 5 GB of free storage space, with a paid subscription as the only option for further expansion.
For a cost-effective and bare bones approach, Google Drive may be the best option, since it also allows you to use Google’s browser-based office suite. Just make sure to activate the Edit Offline feature for the documents you need to access offline. Otherwise, you would need to stay online to access some documents.
If you use Microsoft Office extensively, then OneDrive is a solid choice. For most other users, Dropbox is a good in-between, handling well across different platforms in spite of its small starting storage space.
These services all have similar ways of doing the same jobs and work equally well when you know what you’re doing. If you don’t mind switching between cloud storage services all the time, you can even use them all at the same time. But aside from the different starting storage space, the difference-maker will lie in what additional features you need to get things done.
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