With cloud storage services, businesses no longer have to budget expenses for company laptops or a cumbersome external hard drive that doesn’t fit on a desk. These services are secure, easy to access and readily available for many users all at once. Cloud services are great for collaboration and sharing files as well as keeping files secure. Check out the best cloud storage services for businesses below.
What are cloud storage services?
A cloud storage service is a way for people, including businesses, to maintain and manage their data. Many of these services have a model that is based on the amount of storage that you need. Their plans are usually flexible and scalable. They usually offer pay-as-you-go pricing. Cloud storage services allow you to back up and share files, store data and some provide disaster-recovery services.
Why invest in servers and all that hardware — and the cost of supporting it — when you can rent space in the cloud? You get the convenience of 24/7 anytime, anywhere access to your data so you can focus on your business without having to worry about things that aren’t your business, such as managing technology.
Perhaps the biggest advantage is financial. There’s no upfront cost. You can scale up or down easily as business conditions scale up or down, and you pay a regular fixed fee.
Bottom Line: Instead of saving business files locally on a computer, cloud storage services store and encrypt your data to make sure it’s private but still readily accessible with an internet connection.
10 Cloud Storage Services for Business
While there are many cloud hosting services to consider, there are a few that rise above the rest. Here are 10 cloud storage providers small and medium-sized businesses may want to consider.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a variety of tiers, including a 12-month free usage tier for new users of its Simple Storage Service up to 5GB and Elastic Block Storage up to 30GB. The web service also provides 100GB of free cloud storage per account with an optimized data transfer as well as a 5GB shared file storage service free for 12 months for Amazon EC2 subscribers. The breadth of options is largely why AWS is considered a leading public cloud provider.
Box’s business plan offers $15 a month for a minimum of three users. Box boasts more than 1,500-plus integrations like Slack, Microsoft Suites and Google Workspace to name a few. The Enterprise plan is $35 a month for a minimum of three users with unlimited storage. Enterprise plan owners can also enjoy uploading files up to 50GB, unlimited external collaborators and technical support during local business hours.
Carbonite focuses primarily on backup solutions. It has several plans to choose from, including ones that offer additional antivirus packages and backups of both external hard drives and video automatically. Carbonite’s basic package starts at $83.99 per year. Its Prime package featuring a courier delivery of recovered files.
Dropbox for Business
Dropbox for Business offers plans benefitting all kinds of organizations, from growing teams to independent employees. These plans include file locking, sharing controls and account recovery. The Professional Plan starts at 16.58 per month and most plans include a free trial.
Google Workspace is the perfect suite for integrating other Google tools into your business’s data. All Workspace plans include collaboration tools with Gmail, Calendar, Meet and Chat. The most popular plan is the Business Standard, which starts at $12 per month, per user, including 150 participant video meetings and recordings and 2TB storage per user, although businesses can upgrade plans to improve their storage up to 5TB.
OneDrive, similarly to Google Workspace, has unique integrations with many Microsoft Suite applications. Basic and Standard Microsoft 365 Business plans provide 1TB of storage per user and file sizes up to 100GB.
OpenDrive boasts a multi-OS cloud storage system that can backup and sync files on Linux, Mac or Windows. Plans start at $7 per month with $1 per user for each additional user and include 500GB of online storage and 25GB of bandwidth.
SpiderOak is a unique cloud hosting service that boasts high security and encryption for all of your files. Plans start as low as $6 per month, per user, for 150GB across unlimited devices.
Syncplicity offers unlimited devices and file sizes per user. The paid plans offer SyncDrive, the modern file-sharing replacement. All plans offer a free 30-day trial, and the business plans start at $5 per month, per user.
Zoolz has great cloud backup features and archiving usage within its service that boasts partnerships among many servers and locations. Starting at $15 per month, each user has 100GB of cloud storage.
Security Concerns With Cloud Storage Services
Security is always a concern when it comes to putting confidential and competitive information in the hands of a third party. Data breaches and, worse, outages that result in data loss, are always a risk, no matter whether your data is housed in the cloud or a server next to your office. Arguably, it might be safer in the cloud. The data that gets stored in the cloud gets placed across several locations with strict security protocols to protect your data from cyberattacks.
Unfortunately, there is a small chance of experiencing a malicious program or an outage. Although outages are considered extremely uncommon, there have been times when cloud centers have lost service temporarily. However, most cloud storage providers do have safety systems built in place to prevent loss.
Hackers can also attempt to breach security protocols on cloud storage providers, so look for a cloud storage service that includes strong encryption services with great customer support available to help if problems arise.
Almost all cloud providers offer some free storage, but these are aimed primarily at consumers. Free trials are usually available, however. In addition to basic storage, most cloud storage services include:
- Web-based dashboards to access data files
- Mobile apps
- Data backup and archive
- Usage reports
- Drag-and-drop file transfers
- Email and live support
FYI: Although there have been reports of cyberattacks into cloud-based hosting services, it is extremely rare for data breaches to occur.
What are the benefits of cloud storage?
Cloud storage is readily available and easily accessible — all you need to do is connect to the internet. With cloud storage, you’ll never have to fear losing your work with backup data. Additionally, you can remotely sync, update and share files. Cloud storage keeps remote work simple while keeping your files encrypted.
Cloud services buy a large amount of storage and can offer their customers savings. In addition, using cloud services ends the need for you to purchase hard drives for storage needs. These services also reduce the need for hardware onsite and the management and monitoring of that equipment.
Cloud services can be more affordable because of their tiered pricing structure. You can select the plan that meets your needs based on how fast you store information and how often you back up that information. Services can provide you with storage for short-term and long-term needs. Those needs may determine what type of storage you need. If you determine that your current plan is no longer working, you can move to a different plan easily.