Having your data backed up is critical in the digital world. We cannot stress this point enough. We see customers all the time who lose their data due to insufficient backups, and it’s a terrible feeling. Some clients store their information on external drives, but there are risks in doing so. While a rare occurrence, external drives can fail, like magnetic drives installed in computers. These drives also could get lost or stolen. An alternative back up is the cloud.

There are a lot of factors that an individual should consider before jumping into the cloud environment. Are you tied into an ecosystem already (Google, Apple, Microsoft), what features are you looking for, and how much do you want to spend are just a few. Here is a list of some of the best cloud services currently available.

Carbonite

Carbonite is one of the best solutions for unlimited storage space.  This is perfect for anyone who may have an extensive collection of movies, a load of high load resolution pictures, or any other media. Carbonite will automatically upload any file you want that is under 4GB (anything more significant will need to be manually uploaded). The app also allows automatic backups keeping any recent files or photos safe.

Carbonite works with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. They offer multiple storage plans that can accommodate any budget. Carbonites basic storage plan costs about $72 a year and will do a full backup of one computer.

Google Drive

If you have an Android phone or tablet or are currently using the various applications in the Google ecosystem, Google Drive will be perfect for you. It incorporates Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Google gives individuals 15GB of free storage. Paid subscriptions start at $2 per month for 100GB, $10 per month for 1TB and $100 per month for 10TB of storage space. It is also compatible with the Android and iOS operating systems.

Google Drive has very strong sharing capabilities. It makes collaborating projects among multiple users a breeze. Users can edit Docs, Sheets, or Slides by themselves or simultaneously. With integration among other Google apps, files can be shared quickly with no password required.

DropBox

DropBox is a fully featured service that is easy to use. It has a great referral system that can net users up to 16GB of free storage. Subscriptions start at $9.99 per month for 1TB (1,000GB) of space and other features.  They also offer professional plans as well for more money.

The service also has a number of sharing abilities. If you invite someone to share a folder, it will appear on their desktop. You can also create links for easy sharing of pictures or documents.

iCloud

If you are an Apple user, the iCloud is a great option. It comes with 5GB of free storage; but also has upgrade packages. 50GB of storage will run $1.00 per month, 200GB for $3.00 per month, 2TB (2,000GB) for $10.00 per month. Any songs, videos, or movies downloaded from iTunes will not be included in your storage limit. However, it is important to mention that automatic iCloud backups can devour your limits quickly.

iCloud can also be a media sharing center that works closely with iWork, Apple’s productivity collection. It has a word processor as well as other apps that can be shared among other iCloud users.

Microsoft’s OneDrive

OneDrive is Microsoft’s in-house cloud service. It will allow you to share anything where ever you are and will enable you to stop sharing with the ease of clicking your mouse. OneDrive comes with 5GB of free storage. A user can get 50GB for $2.00 per month; $7.00 per month will increase you to 1TB (1,000GB) of storage.  If you have Office365, you automatically receive 1TB of storage as part of your subscription.

OneDrive allows individuals to post pictures straight to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many other social media platforms. It also has a remote feature that allows you to access any computer associated with your account that has the OneDrive client on it, even if the files aren’t already uploaded to the cloud. OneDrive also allows collaboration like Google Drive and maintains the 25 most recent versions of a file, making revisions/reversions easy.

Box

Box is a service that offers an inexpensive alternative to individuals concerned about giving increasing information in the control of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The service offers 10GB of free storage and has plans that start at $5 per month for 100GB of storage. It allows users to send share files and folders with a link.

Computer Warriors

If you are near one of our shops, we also provide a cloud service. It is part of our Platinum and VIP protection plans. These plans include anti-virus, cloud backs us of the entire machine, in-store discounts, free annual tuneup, and other great benefits. These plans start at $29.95 per month. If you have any questions about the services, we offer free to give one of our locations a call!

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