How to Choose the Right Online File Storage Service

The competitive nature of the online file storage industry has led to great innovation and lower prices for consumers, but it can also make it difficult to choose the right online file storage service. With so many choices out there, picking just one can be a challenge. The key to finding the best file storage service is to look at your own needs and compare those to the features offered by each company.

Online File Storage as a Backup Solution

If your primary goal is to back up important files just in case something happens to your hard drive, I have a few recommendations for you. This is actually the easiest goal to meet because several companies have a basic set of features and low costs. For straight up data protection, I recommend the following file storage services:

  • Carbonite
  • Mozy
  • Backblaze

These file storage companies all give you unlimited storage space for a flat fee. These companies also have software that can automatically back up your files on a schedule. Once you have the storage program installed on your computer, you can set your backups and move on with your life. The only time your attention is needed is when you wish to recover lost files.

Online File Storage for Productivity

If you do a lot of work on the computer or you work in a group setting, I have a different set of recommendations for you. The following online file storage services give you features such as file syncing, online collaboration and simple file sharing.

  • Box.com
  • iDrive
  • ADrive

These online file storage companies do not give you unlimited storage space, but they make up for that with additional features. You can link multiple computers into one account to back up files, sync files between different computers and collaborate with other people. For example, Box.com allows you to share files with other people and comment on files uploaded by others.

You can use these services for data backup as well, but you do end up paying a higher per-gigabyte fee. The additional capabilities do not come free. The good news is that you can choose how much space you need and keep costs reasonable. If you ever need more space in the future, upgrading is easy.

Personally, I’m a fan of this second type of file storage service. I use my computer heavily and often switch between my desktop and laptop. Features such as file syncing make my life easier. Additionally, I mostly store text documents online, so I do not need a whole bunch of space. Fifty gigs is plenty for my purposes.

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