It is quite clear that people and companies will continue the trend to reduce their need for expensive hardware and infrastructure by placing files and applications in the cloud.
Given the multitude of cloud storage providers out there, you need to be careful when choosing a provider that offers the maximum amount of low-cost storage and bandwidth, while your data is still safe.
This list represents our top 10 choices for cloud storage. They all offer a free layer, so you can see if they are suitable for you handing over hard-earned cash.
Veteran cloud storage provider
Business functions including cooperation
Referrals will give you extra storage space
But you only start with 2 GB of free storage
The grandfather of cloud storage, Dropbox offers a rather measly 2GB of free storage space, but this can be increased up to 16 GB for free by linking your Dropbox to social media and by referring friends to participate in the service.
With Dropbox Business subscriptions, users can collaborate at work and give each person unlimited space in a personal Dropbox account. There are also improved file recovery and version control features and an add-on for Gmail. Business prices start from about $ 12.50 per user per month (£ 10, about AU $ 16.50), or you can try it for free with a trial version of 30 days.
Price: 2 GB free. 1 TB for $ 10 per month (£ 6.58, about AU $ 11) with Dropbox Plus or 2TB for $ 19.99 per month (£ 15, about AU $ 27) with Dropbox Professional, with a few extras .
2. Google Drive
A smart option for Google fans and G Suite users
Generous amount of free storage space
Integrated with Android devices
Web interface is not the best
Google Drive is a logical choice for Android device owners because it is already integrated, but users of other platforms can also appreciate the generous free storage. You can also save HD photos on your mobile phone with the associated Google Photos & # 39; s app and use Google's own office suite (now known as G Suite). Upgrading to paid Google Drive subscriptions is now called Google One (although it may not be available yet, depending on the region).
Disadvantages include the fact that the web interface is not very easy to use, although Windows and Mac users can download a desktop app to easily drag and drop files.
Price: 15 GB free. 100 GB for $ 1.99 per month (£ 1.59, about AU $ 2.50). 200 GB for $ 2.99 per month (£ 2.35, about AU $ 4.10). 2 TB for $ 9.99 per month (£ 8, about AU $ 13). 10 TB for $ 99.99 per month (£ 74, about AU $ 130).
Brings a premium to safety
User-friendly user interface
Very generous free offer
Sync client is open source
With an amazingly generous free layer and a simple drag-and-drop interface, New Zealand-based Mega is one of the heavyweights in the cloud storage. There is a handy mobile app that allows you to upload files and photos and synchronize clients with desktop computers.
Mega claims that all data stored in the cloud is encrypted on your device before it reaches the company's servers. Because the company has released the source code to the synchronization client, experts can verify that there are no vulnerabilities.
Price: 50 GB free. 200 GB for $ 6 per month (£ 4.50, € 4.99, about AU $ 7.50). 1 TB for $ 12 per month (£ 9, € 9.99, about AU $ 16). 4 TB for $ 23 per month (£ 17, € 19.99, about AU $ 30). 8 TB for $ 35 per month (£ 26, £ 29.99, about AU $ 46).
Supported by Microsoft and ideal for Windows users
Directly integrated into Windows
File recovery features
Free storage is only 5 GB
OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) is integrated in the file browser of Windows 10. You do not need to download an extra app – it is ready to use immediately, which is of course very useful for those who have made the leap to the latest operating system from Microsoft.
The Microsoft Photos app can also use OneDrive to sync photos on all of your devices. There is an app for Android and iOS devices and there is even an app in the App Store for Mac users (although mixed reviews have been received).
Price: 5 GB free. 50 GB for $ 3 per month (£ 1.99, about AU $ 4). 1 TB for $ 8 per month (£ 5.99, about AU $ 11). 5TB for $ 11 per month (£ 7.99, about AU $ 14)
Sharply priced cloud storage cabinet from Apple
Tight integration with Apple platforms
Only 5 GB of storage space for free
If you want to back up your iPhone to iCloud, you need more than the free 5 GB Apple gives you, but iCloud pricing is very reasonable compared to rivals.
The Mac Finder app integrates iCloud Drive, where you can store all desired files. Documents created in the iWork office suite are also stored in iCloud and can be synchronized on your devices. Windows users can also synchronize their files with iCloud Drive via the official client and access the iWork apps on the iCloud website.
Price: 5 GB free. 50 GB for $ 0.99 per month (£ 0.79, AU $ 1.49). 200 GB for $ 2.99 (£ 2.24, AU $ 4). 2TB for $ 9.99 (£ 8, AU $ 13)
Well-known service with a few powerful business options
Supported by many apps
Business plans with advanced security
Free upload limit for 250 MB account files
The Box website now seems to be pushing its business plans. By signing in & # 39; & # 39; click, go to the price page where you can benefit from advanced collaboration options and unlimited storage for $ 15 per user (£ 11, about AU $ 19). But there is also a free option of 10 GB.
Like Box has been around for a while, it is supported by a number of regular apps like Google Docs and Office 365. The Box Sync client is available on the Downloads page for Mac and Windows, plus there is also an official Android client.
Price: 10 GB free. 100 GB for about $ 10 a month (£ 7.50, about AU $ 13)
DIY solution for cloud storage
Innovative self-hosting solution
Adjust your cloud cabinet to your needs
Pre-configured setups available
NextCloud itself is not an online cloud storage provider, but offers free software to download and install a cloud storage service on your own server. Using a server in your home network for cloud storage is much faster. You can also enable encryption and ensure that the information never leaves your home network, which is much safer.
If you do not have a server or IT experience, you can even purchase a preconfigured NextCloud Box from the website that comes with a 1TB hard disk and use a low-cost Raspberry Pi card to synchronize your data.
Price: Free to install and use. Self-hosting so storage costs vary. NextCloud Box is $ 79.99 (around £ 60, about AU $ 100), although it is sold out in most locations, but you may find it on their site.
A cloud service provider with & # 39; zero knowledge & # 39;
Numerous native clients
Limited free offer
SpiderOak is part of a new trend of zero knowledge cloud storage providers. The website claims that after installing the client your data is encrypted before they are synchronized. Unfortunately, because SpiderOak has not disclosed the source code of the client, there is no way to confirm this.
The SpiderOakOne client is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as for Android and iOS (although Android and iOS are read-only apps, meaning you can only view files and not upload or sync anything). You can also log in via the web interface, but privacy enthusiasts may prefer not to show your password to SpiderOak employees.
Price: Free trial period of 21 days. 150 GB for $ 5 per month (about £ 3.75, AU $ 7). 400 GB for $ 9 a month (around £ 7, AU $ 11.50). 2 TB for $ 12 per month (around £ 9, AU $ 15). 5TB for $ 25 per month (around £ 19, AU $ 33)
Storage solution that extends to network drives
Wide range of options for file sharing
IDrive Express service is useful when fate strikes
Free offer gives you only 5 GB
IDrive provides continuous synchronization of your files, even those on network drives. The web interface supports the sharing of files via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. Cautious or click-happy users will be happy to hear that files deleted from your computer are not automatically removed from the server, so there is less danger of accidentally removing something important.
IDrive also offers IDrive Express – a service where, if you lose all your data, a physical hard drive is sent to you so that all your backup files can be quickly recovered.
Price: 5 GB free. Personal: 2 TB for $ 52 per year (around £ 40, AU $ 66). Business: 250 GB for $ 74.62 per year (about £ 56, AU $ 98)
Ideal for people who store large media files
Up to 20 GB of free storage space
Neat privacy and security functions
Some bandwidth limits apply
Although some bandwidth limits apply, there seems to be no limit on the size of files you can upload, so you can synchronize large media files with pCloud.
The service is available for all desktops and mobile platforms – users can also log in via the website. The company itself is registered in Switzerland with strict privacy laws and you can also pay a premium of $ 4.99 per month (around £ 3.75, AU $ 7) for pCloud Crypto to lock (and unlock) individual files with passwords.
Price: Up to 20 GB free (you start with 10 GB and can increase this by referring people). 500 GB for $ 3.99 per month (around £ 3, AU $ 5). 2 TB for $ 7.99 per month (around £ 6, AU $ 10). Lifetime plans are also available: 500 GB for 175 $ (about £ 131, AU $ 230). 2TB for 350 $ (about £ 262, AU $ 460).