Cloud-based storage and sharing systems like Google Drive have helped to make doing business much easier for many companies, especially smaller startups who don’t have the resources to invest in fancier, more advanced cloud computing systems.
But is Google Drive really the only option if you’re looking for such assistance? Are there no alternatives to Google Drive? In fact, there are other options you can turn to either for free or without breaking the bank.
- Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive actually works in a very similar way to Google Drive, only its main files are Word, Excel and Powerpoint as opposed to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Besides that, the remaining features regarding cloud storage and sharing across different users is virtually the same. Microsoft OneDrive can be very useful in offices where all the computers are making use of Windows software and everyone is more familiar with that than Google.
It’s also a good alternative in some countries and regions where access to Google might be restricted for political reasons. Microsoft systems are typically not barred to the same degree that Googles have been in some places around the world such as China. OneDrive offers up to 5GB for free, with business plans of 1TB or more starting at US$5 per month per user.
Another well-known storage and sharing solution is Dropbox. While it’s not as popular as Google Drive, it does offer stronger encryption, which is very valuable if you have heightened concerns about cybersecurity. Other security features include passwords on individual files, as well as the ability to wipe devices remotely, and to set-up two-factor authentication.
The system only offers up to 2GB of free storage, but you can get 3TB from US$16.58 a month when looking at business packages from them.
Another good choice for the security conscious is Sync, which not only makes use of end-to-end encryption, but generates encryption keys locally. By not creating these keys on its own servers, even Sync doesn’t have access to any of your files. The main downside to Sync is that it doesn’t feature the same integrated applications that you find in Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.). However, it does work very well as a secure cloud storage system. Pricing for business starts at US$5 per user per month for 1TB.
This is another cloud-based file sharing service that allows you to flexibly give permission for others to see files that you’re sharing. You can open up folders to other users and then issue them with either upload or download links. The former allows them to add files to the folder, but you need the latter if you want to view or download files from the system. This innovative layer of security comes in handy for businesses who have multiple people contributing files to a shared folder, but don’t want those users looking at other files in that same folder.
pCloud also offers an interesting value point for individual users, giving 10GB for free, a 1TB limit for $49.99, or for a $175 lifetime fee. Business rates start at 1TB at US$7.99 per user per month.
We’ve had Google’s version, Microsoft’s version, so now it’s surely Apple’s turn. iCloud works in a similar way to Google Drive but is obviously very handy for those businesses in which the preferred hardware/software provider is Apple. If everyone’s working in Mac/iOS systems, then iCloud is a nice way to keep things consistent. You get 5GB free and 50GB from just US$0.99 per month.