Last summer information technology research firm Gartner issued a warning to business owners: embrace cloud computing or be left behind. Spending on infrastructure and cloud computing services will reach $174.2 billion in 2014, up from $78 billion in 2011, according to IHS Technology.
Business owners have quickly learned the advantages offered by cloud computing including cost savings, off-site maintenance and layers of protection from total data loss. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) allows businesses to outsource all IT operations, and make major adjustments on the fly without significant interruptions in operations. But a survey by IBM found that cloud storage would be the application entrepreneurs use the cloud for if they could only choose one.
There are plenty of options to choose from, and it can be difficult to know what is best. Top 10 Cloud Storage is one resource to help compare and contrast different services and see reviews and comments. But, to help get you started, here are three popular options:
Dropbox remains one of the most popular choices for cloud storage. A free account provides 2 GB of storage space, which is accessible from any device to anyone with the password. Users can earn more free space up to 16 GB by referring friends to the service. You can also pay for more space when needed.
There is also Dropbox for Business, which costs $15 per month per user. Try a free trial so you can test all of its features.
Mega Cloud Storage
Kim Dotcom, the former managing director of Mega, declared his New Zealand-based file hosting and cloud storage service is “the fastest growing startup in Internet history” after signing up 100,000 users in the first hour during its January 2013 launch. Today, the company has more than 7 million users and stores over 15 petabytes (1,000,000 gigabytes) of data.
Mega is best known for its end-to-end encryption of all data stored on its servers. The encryption keys are unknown to Mega, thus the company has no way of decrypting and accessing user data. A free account provides a generous 50 GB of storage, accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Furthermore, the company’s iPhone app was updated this past February to include PhotoSync, which instantly backs up every picture or video taken from your phone onto your Mega account.
The Heartbleed security bug infected 17 percent of all secured web servers in the world this past April, making it one of the worst security breaches in Internet history. But business owners who trusted Apple’s iCloud with their data were 100 percent safe—iOS and OS X cannot run the software associated with Heartbleed, so none of the company’s cloud-based services were affected, according to a statement released by Apple in April.
iCloud offers 5 GB of free storage and enables you to sync calendars and contacts across several Apple devices. One unique feature of iCloud is that it gives you an @icloud.com email address when you sign up.
However, the one caveat about smooth document syncing is that everything must be created with an Apple iWorks app.