Best Cloud Storage for Business – Top 5 Performers in the Industry
Today entrepreneurs increasingly want access to their data on the go, with no overhead for storage maintenance and no hardware maintenance costs. Cloud storage for business delivers an efficient solution and is rapidly gaining in popularity.
In the United States, 90% of small businesses backing up some portion of their data with a cloud vendor. Unless you’re comfortable with leaving your company exposed to risk and falling behind the times, you have to invest in cloud storage for business.
This article explores the cloud-storage concept and demonstrates some top cloud-hosting vendors for business needs.
What is Cloud Storage?
It’s a cloud computing model that stores data on the Internet via a cloud computing provider who operates and manages data storage as a service. It’s delivered on-demand with just-in-time capacity /costs and eliminates purchasing and managing your data storage infrastructure. It delivers agility, global scale, and durability.
How Does It Work?
Cloud storage for business is purchased from a third-party cloud vendor who owns and manages data storage capacity and delivers it over the web on a pay-as-you-go basis. The cloud storage providers manage capacity, security, and longevity to make data accessible to your apps around the globe.
Apps access cloud storage via traditional storage protocols or directly through an API. Many vendors offer complementary services tailored to help collect, operate, secure, and analyze data on a large scale.
Storing data in the cloud allows IT teams to transform three fields:
- The total cost of ownership – With cloud storage, there is no hardware to buy, storage to provision, and so on. You can remove or add capacity on demand, promptly change performance and retention features, and only pay for storage that you use. Less frequently accessed data can be automatically moved to lower-cost models in line with auditable rules, driving economies scale;
- Time to deployment – When development staff is ready to perform, infrastructure should never slow them down. Cloud storage allows the IT team to quickly deliver the exact amount of storage required, right when it’s needed. It’ll enable you to concentrate on solving complex app issues instead of having to handle storage systems;
- Information management – Centralizing storage in the cloud makes a big advantage point for new use cases. By applying cloud storage lifecycle management policies, you can execute a robust information management tasks like automated tiering of locking down data in support of compliance requirements.
Ensuring your business’s critical data is safe, secure, and available when needed is paramount. There’re several essential requirements when storing data in the cloud.
- Durability – Data need to be redundantly stored, perfectly across facilities, and multiple devices in each facility. Human error, mechanical faults, or natural disasters shouldn’t result in data loss;
- Availability – All data must be available when needed, but there’s a difference between production data and archives. The ideal business cloud storage will deliver the best balance of retrieval time and cost;
- Security – All data is adequately encrypted, both in transit and at rest. Access controls and permissions should work just as they do on-premises storage.
How to Choose Best Cloud Storage for Business?
There are many different cloud services on the market. It may seem challenging choosing which is right for you. When selecting a service, you should consider a couple of things like (as we said) security, ease of use, availability, and cost.
Not all cloud solutions for business are made equal, but a few are typically regarded as the best in the niche. Keep reading for 5 of the best business cloud services.
1. Dropbox Business – Best Cloud Storage for Small Business
Dropbox Business can be installed on most computers or devices and syncs easily between applications. The app can store almost any type of file while never having any problems with compatibility. You can drag/drop files into the desktop application with ease.
Plus, you can share files with other users easily via links. These can be shared with users without a Dropbox account.
Also, IT teams can make use out of Dropbox spaces, which transforms folders into collaborative workspaces. Moreover, with Dropbox Transfer, you can send up to 100 GB of data in a few clicks. It also integrates with apps such as MS Office and Slack.
This cloud storage can be connected to your personal account so you can access all your files in once place.
Its dashboard is simple and easy to use. From the central console, admins can see how many team members they have along with any pending invites. You’ll be able to restrict sharing and allow/block commenting as you see fit.
Dropbox includes a 30-day free trial that asks for your payment details. Your plan will instantly upgrade after the trial, at which point your card is charged.
The Standard plan starts at $12.50 per user/month, starting at 3 users and includes 3TB storage. The Advanced package begins at $20 per user/month with unlimited storage. In order to subscribe to the Enterprise tier, you’ll need to contact Dropbox directly.
- Automatic file backup;
- Unlimited file recovery;
- Advanced software integration;
- Offline working capabilities;
- 256-bit AES and SSL encryption;
- SSO/active directory.
- Lack of professional-grade security;
- Limited search function.
2. Egnyte Business
For businesses looking for a hybrid model, Egnyte delivers enterprise-level storage and data-sharing platform that allows you to store data in the cloud and locally. As a result, Egnyte is one of the best business file sharing solution on the market.
Files stored with this system can include documents, slideshows and videos, email, databases, and software. With the online portal, you can manage shared folders, enable link expiration, and set folder permissions and restrictions. You can keep multiple versions of the documents accessible via file versioning and trash retention policies.
It secures the storage and file transfers using 256-bit AES encryption over SSL. This’s vital for SMBs that have to sync and share proprietary documents. For users accessing files on mobile devices, this solution provides mobile security settings, including native mobile device control, passcode enforcement, remote wipe, and restricted access.
Its Office plan starts at $8 per employee per month. It covers 5-25 employees, 5TB of storage, and 10GB max file size. The Business package begins at $20 per employee/month. It includes 25-100 employees, 10TB online storage, and 10GB max file size.
In order to take advantage of the Enterprise plan, which brings over 100 employees, 25GB max file size and unlimited storage, you’ll need to contact Egnyte directly. Egnyte offers a 15-day free trial for all packages.
- Hybrid file server;
- Cross-site synchronization;
- FTP access;
- Unlimited integrations;
- Custom branding;
- Security backups.
- Loading problems;
- IT expertise is required.
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3. Microsoft OneDrive for Business
One of the greatest strengths of Microsoft OneDrive for Business is its price. For $5 per user per month, you can get 1TB of cloud storage for each user. Through this offer, you can store files up to 15GB in size, and share data from within your organization along with other users.
It’s easy to sync local copies of files or folders for offline using, and you can also edit these documents from a browser.
The only real problem here is that OneDrive offers two-factor authentication. Still, it expects you to use the same password as your regular MS password – something you may not feel entirely comfortable with.
That’s all just available via this price plan. Where things get far better is if you upgrade to Office365 Business Premium. For $12.50 per user/month, you get the same amount of cloud storage. Still, you also have access to major Office apps, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher. There’s also email hosting added with a 50GB mailbox, as well as custom email domain addresses.
Each license includes 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 phones per user. Plus, there’s support for video conferencing meetings for up to 250 users.
- Accesses files from anywhere;
- Collaborative Office document editing;
- UX interface;
- Mobile app;
- Windows and Mac compatibility.
- Limited document size support;
- Lack of third-party app integrations;
- Limited offline access.
Backblaze is an easy-to-use cloud storage platform for use that works on Macs. Even though there are several online backup and cloud storage services for Apple products on the market, we picked Backblaze as the best business cloud storage solution for Mac users, due to its comprehensive, simple-to-use platform and affordable rates.
It includes two main options for small business – Backup plan and the B2 Cloud Storage plan. Depending on your requirements, you choose one or both of these options.
Its backup services easily integrate with the macOS interface and can back up data on PCs and external hard drives.
You can manage backup frequency, control admin preferences, and set versioning retention. The user management functions enable you to set permissions and to add/remove users.
You can use the B2 Cloud Storage solution for storage, file sharing, hosting, or large-scale backup. The platform is optimized for Mac systems and integrates with macOS to let you to seamlessly backup and restore the system in the case of data loss or a complete system loss. You can return your devices to the state they were in 30 days before, which is handy for preventing ransomware or other malware.
Pricing for its backup and B2 Cloud Storage differ slightly. The backup tiers are charged per license. You can use a monthly plan for $6 per license/month, an annual plan for $60 per license, or a biennial plan for $110 per license.
B2 Cloud Storage charges are based on how much data you store and download monthly. You’ll get 10GB of free storage and 1GB of free daily downloads. Additional storage is 0.5 cents by gigabyte per month and 1 cent per gigabyte downloaded by month on a pay-as-you-go model.
B2 Cloud Storage needs a third-party app to act as a backup or storage interface. Also, you can access a Backblaze backup plan with a 15-day free trial.
- Easiest backup experience;
- Unlimited backup;
- Extremely strong security;
- Quick online customer support;
- Mobile file access;
- Bandwidth speed up.
- Subscription is limited to one device per user only;
- Previous versions of your file only last up to 30 days before it’s erased.
SpiderOak is an online backup/file hosting service, and collaboration tool founded in 2007. It enables you to access, synchronize, and share data through a cloud-based server.
The platform offers cloud storage, online backup, and sharing service, which, as the company claims, uses a zero-knowledge privacy environment. It means the client is the only one who can see all stored data.
Its primary focus is on privacy and security. SpiderOak has a very basic design, which makes the admin console and all central device management quite easy to use. It also includes a handy drag and drop feature for managing files.
From the dashboard, you can access settings for all apps, including backup selection and sharing. The panel also lets users organize their accounts, configure group permissions, and gain insight into usage.
Plans start at $7 per month for 30GB of data and go up to 5TB. For advanced business needs such as active directory integration, the company offers Enterprise hosted and Enterprise on Premise plans, with costs starting at $5 per user by month, but require at least 100 and 500 users, respectively. Each tier also charges a one-time setup fee of $299 and $599, separately.
- Great cross-platform compatibility;
- Above the average upload/download speeds;
- Superb OS integration;
- First-grade security;
- One-key backup;
- Unlimited devices.
- Can’t execute backups from the web-based platform;
- The desktop app is bugged.
There’s no easy answer to the question which cloud storage is best for business? Ultimately, your preferred file storage solution will depend on how you prioritize privacy, security, app integration, and speed. None of the above platforms are ideal, but they’ll provide the accessible and extensive storage your company requires.