July 29, 2017
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Storage Options in The Cloud

Over the last five years, cloud storage has evolved from a clumsy file sharing system into one of the web's dominant industries. With online leaders such as Microsoft and Google now offering their own cloud storage services, the web-based storage world has never been more exciting, or more affordable for its many potential users.

There are numerous benefits to cloud storage. Offering redundancy and reliability that goes far beyond that offered by typical local hard-drive storage, cloud storage keeps your files safe, secure, and easily accessible. It also offers you access to your files from anywhere without forcing you to carry around a hard drive or USB stick.

Thanks to the huge value offered by cloud storage and the massive scalability that cloud-based storage offers for businesses, there are plenty of choices for where to store your files. From mainstream offerings from Google and Microsoft to smaller services run by independent businesses, we've reviewed the top storage options.

Microsoft SkyDrive is a new cloud storage network built on Microsoft's Live online platform. Designed for users with Live accounts, the storage network allows users to keep their essential files in an online account. Thanks to the reliability of Microsoft and the free storage options, SkyDrive is a great choice for Hotmail and Live users.

Google's Drive service is very similar - an online hard drive with a variety of web-based and application-based interfaces. Upload files to the service from your PC or import attachments from your Gmail account. Thanks to its integration with Gmail, Drive is likely to grow into one of the dominant cloud storage services.

Beyond the cloud storage options offered by Microsoft and Google, there is a wide variety of other free and paid cloud storage options out there. One of the most well-known cloud storage services is DropBox - a free or paid storage service that, in a lot of ways, kick-started the industry by offering PC-based storage applications.

Apple's cloud storage offering - iCloud - is also a good choice. Designed for Mac and iOS users, the storage network is nonetheless fully compatible with all PC operating systems. Apply charges $100 a year for 50GB of storage space, which also makes it the most expensive option out of the entire lineup.

Finally, a new service from the makers of the controversial MegaUpload website - this time, known as Mega - is disrupting the cloud storage scene. Boasting a huge 50GB of free storage and client-based file encryption, Mega is one of the only cloud services on the market to fully encrypt files before upload for maximum security.

All cloud storage services have their advantages - Drive and SkyDrive offer reliable storage from the industry's biggest names. Likewise, Apple's iCloud storage offers a reliable storage network that's built for Mac and iOS users. Dropbox and Mega boast excellent business credentials as well as fantastic local apps and secure encryption.

At the end of the day, the choice between cloud storage providers is down to unique personal taste and requirements as much as it is the merits of each service. From the security of Mega to the convenience of Dropbox, today's top cloud storage providers all offer great value and fantastic service to their users.