Top 5 clouds for small businesses

You may have doubts about moving your business processes to the cloud, but who doesn’t like free cloud storage? No one that I know of!

So which simple Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud storage programs are best for your business or department?

It’s not simply a matter of who gives you the most storage for free. The real question is “which one best fits your business’s existing IT infrastructure?”

OneDrive

For starters, if you’re using Windows, Microsoft OneDrive is what you’re going to want. After all, you get it for free with any modern version of Windows. And, if you’re an Office 365 subscriber, you get “unlimited” OneDrive storage as part of the package.

What’s not to love?

iCloud

You’d think Apple users should go straight to iCloud. It’s not that simple. iCloud really only works well with Mac OS X Yosemite or iOS 8 or above. I’m sorry to say, in my experience, it doesn’t work that well with those either.

iCloud starts with 5GBs of free storage. If you want more, there are three different plans. These are 50GB, 99 cents a month; 200GB, $2.99 a month; and 1 TB, $9.99 a month.

Now, if only iCloud worked better!

Google Drive

If your business lives and dies by Google Apps, Google Drive is what you want.

Of course, Google Drive isn’t storage. It’s now part and parcel of Google’s online office suite, Google Docs. If you have a Google Account, say a Gmail account, you already have 15GBs of storage. For $2 a month you can get 100GBs, and for $10 per month you can get 1TB.

It may be cheaper still just to buy a Chromebook. With any Chromebook, you’ll now get 100GBs of free storage for two years. If you buy a high-end Chromebook Pixel, you get a TB of free storage for three years.

Dropbox

Say you want storage you can use on pretty much any device at any time. For you, Dropbox is your cloud service of choice. It only comes with 2GBs of free storage, but it’s easy enough to push Dropbox storage up to 16GB and not spend one red cent.

There’s also Dropbox Pro. This service gives you a TB of storage for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. Dropbox for Business starts you with 5TBs of storage to be shared as you please between five users. Pricing starts at $75 a month or $750 per year.

ownCloud

Let’s say you don’t really trust any public cloud provider with your data. In that case, the program you want is ownCloud. This do-it-yourself IaaS cloud needs some Linux expertise to set up. Once in place, though, you can use it from Android, IOS, Mac OS X, Windows and, of course, Linux.

ownCloud comes in both a free and in a business version. The only real difference between them is that Enterprise Edition has support and more integration with other cloud services. For example, with ownCloud Enterprise Edition, you can use Amazon S3 and OneDrive storage as well as local or hosted drives.

So to sum up:

Windows user: OneDrive

Apple user: iCloud

Google user: Google Drive

Anyone: Dropbox

Privacy concerns: ownCloud

 

CHECK OUT THESE RELATED LINKS:

CSC’s most-read blog posts of 2015

LibreOffice finally making it to the cloud

Could protecting your data be a good reason to move to the cloud?

Comments

  1. Just a correction…OneDrive does not offer unlimited OneDrive storage to Office subscribers. Well, actually they do *offer* unlimited, they just don’t actually give it to you. I payed up for an Office subscription because I read the same thing you did. But after a couple months I hit 1tb and was cut off.

    You might want to make a correction so other’s don’t have to go through what I have.

    Like

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