With the evolution of technology, the most people are drifting toward a wireless concept, and computing devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones are their new tech friends that fulfill their needs anytime and anywhere in the world. This constant upgrading of technology has affected various cloud storage services as well. The bewildering array of free services in cloud storage allows users to upload smartphone photos to the cloud automatically, sync documents across multiple devices, and enable work collaboratively on the web. The large number of these services put all of us in a fix as to which one to depend on.
Let us look into the features of the popular Dropbox, One Drive, and SpiderOak for a better understanding of cloud storage services.
Dropbox: Sets a Benchmark for Cloud Storage Services
Along with the usual Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS standards, Dropbox also offers online storage solutions for Linux and Blackberry. This ensures that data and documents remain with users, irrespective of the technology involved.
In comparison to rival services, the basic, free account of Dropbox comes with a rather small 2GB of storage, which is enough for documents. However, for any kind of media files—photos, music, or video—userscan upgrade to the 1TB plan for around $9.99per month. Other ways to create space and fortify anaccount include linking it to Facebook orTwitter,which adds 125MB extra, or setting up a Mailbox account, which offers a 1GB increase currently.
Functions of Dropbox include the creation of a local folder on adevice or PC that syncs with an online version, so all your data is available on or offline. Once users place files in the Dropbox folder on a PC, they appear quickly online, and users also have the option of accessing selected files offline on a PC, tablet, or smartphone with the offline editing functionality. Users can also share folders and files with others either by sending them links if they are non-Dropbox users or by sending collaboration invites for the file. An important point to note about this function is that users can’t set permissions with the free basic Dropbox account, so files can be edited and even deleted by other users. To set viewer permissions and passwords, customers need to upgrade to Dropbox Pro.
There is a two-step authentication process in Dropbox that is worth turning on. All files on the Dropbox servers are encrypted by AES 256-bit encryption with SSL for the data being uploaded and downloaded.
All in all, Dropbox may lack a few of the deluxe features of its competitors, but it is robust and compatible with many applications.
Microsoft OneDrive: Refreshing Change Among Cloud Storage Services
The functions of OneDrive are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and of course Windows phone users;thus, it’s quite similar to Dropbox. OneDrive differs from the Dropbox model in the way that it offers 15 GB like Google Drive, although the referral system is limited to 5GB. Microsoft offers 500MB of storage as a referral incentive for the users whose friends open accounts through them. An additional 3GB is offered if you link OneDrive to your phone’s camera,which automatically backs up your photos online.So OneDrive gets a point as it provides 20GB of space as opposed to the 18GB on Dropbox. Recently, Microsoft has offered unlimited OneDrive storage space for Office 365 subscribers. This unlimited storage option has involved other cloud storage services like Dropbox and SpiderOak in a price war and puts even more pressure on them.
OneDrive’s interface is compatible with Windows 8’s Modern UI design. You can select between the different styles of display. Due to tight Office online integration, folders and files can be created on the web, including Office and OneNote formats. You can also link your OneDrive account to various social media platforms. This will make file sharing with colleagues easy. You can set permissions for each user, ranging from read-only to complete editing ability, even if you’re not using the paid version unlike Dropbox. OneDrive feature also allows you to access files remotely on another PC via the OneDrive website. The target machine should have Fetch Files feature enabled and the PC must run an earlier version of Windows, not Windows 8.1.
Microsoft’s One Drive scans your files looking for objectionable content. This could be things of an explicit nature or copyrighted material. When it comes to privacy, OneDrive enables you to share your files with the ones you want to. Additionally, it gives you the ability to allow others to make amdnements to your files.
SpiderOak: Provides Stolid Security and Privacy
SpiderOak has an entirely different approach when it comes to privacy and security. Dropbox and OneDrive encrypt user’sdata on their servers, but SpiderOak follows what is known as “zero-knowledge privacy.”
Once files and documents are transferred to local folders after setting up your account and downloading the desktop client—from Windows, Mac, or Linux—SpiderOak will encrypt them before syncing. This is different from the other clients in the way that your data is readable only by you, as the key is local to your machine.
This “zero-knowledge privacy” feature of SpiderOak means that employees at the company can’t access users’ data, and any interested government parties would also have great difficulties doing so. Hence this would make accessing and sharing files from numerous machines more problematic. SpiderOak Hive forms the control center of a user’s storage.
A basic free account of SpiderOak comes with 2GB of storage, which can be quickly increased by a referral incentive that gains the customer and a friend 1GB when they sign up to service including up to a maximum of 10GB. Hence SpiderOak provides the smallest storage space among the three.
SpiderOak is simply there to provide secure storage for files where rivals such as Dropbox and OneDrive are tightly integrated into wider productivity. SpiderOak provides no Office-style apps or collaboration with colleagues online. Users need to set up a Share ID to share items and send secure links to files from the SpiderOak Hive.
SpiderOak has an obsession with security that runs throughout the system, displaying warning messages if users decide to stay logged into the app all the time.
Thus, picking up the right service to satisfy your requirements depends on several factors: preferred OS, space requirements, and the security levels of your data. The following three factors can help you to choose the best one for your purpose:
When you compare costs, you also need to consider the storage space that is provided for it. Dropbox and SpiderOak might provide 2GB as a start for free; however, OneDrive tops the others here as it provides 15GB for free.
Though Dropbox has a generous system providing space with social and mailbox account linking, upgrading is expensive. While OneDrive’s business plan comes at a price of $5 per month, Dropbox’s business version comes for $15 per month, and SpiderOak’s is priced at $8.33 per user per month.
Ecosystem is also an important factor that speaks about the compatibility of the app with the iOS. Dropbox has the best integration by far with cloud-related services and is a proven cross-platform, whereas OneDrive lags behind when it comes to integration with different apps, and SpiderOak isn’t compatible with many.
If security and privacy is your chief concern, then SpiderOak is the right one for you. Its “zero-knowledge privacy” establishes strong security foryour files.
Which one is your favorite? Are there any points you would like add? Please feel free to comment and thanks for reading!
Author Bio: Mauricio Prinzlau works for Cloudwards.net the authority on cloud service reviews and applications for your personal and business life.