If you have limited physical space on your hard drive or want to keep your files elsewhere for security reasons, cloud storage is a great help. When it comes to small businesses, this data and files are more valuable. We have verified the main storage services and we tell you what is the best option in the cloud that you can get.
While it is bad if you lose photos or personal information, losing vital business data could cost you a lot of time and money, as well as damaging your reputation. Analyzing what is best according to the size of your company, as well as any additional requirements to access your data, such as end-to-end encryption or two-factor authentication.
We review some cloud services that offer free storage for a limited time or up to a certain amount of space. Products like Apple's iCloud service, OneDrive and Google Drive often provide some free cloud storage so you can get started.
We compile a list of the best cloud storage services that are not specific to small businesses, but you will notice that there are many similarities, as companies often offer alternatives for everyone.
Why should you use cloud storage in addition to the physical?
The keyword is redundancy. In an ideal world, we recommend multiple backups for your critical files. Physical hard drives (such as a NAS drive) are useful, but storage away from your physical facilities in dedicated data centers is also crucial. Surely you wonder, what is its usefulness. Imagine that in your facilities there is a robbery, fire, flood or other accident and you lose data. It is vital to have backup copies in a different physical location.
Cloud storage offers:
- An easy-to-use backup source that may take a few seconds to configure, as opposed to configuring additional physical units.
- Access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any device, so you can easily verify your work files through mobile applications and devices, as well as through a computer or Mac.
- Group access, so you don't need to send individual files to your colleagues. You can simply configure everyone with separate accounts and work collaboratively with minimal effort through file sharing.
Here we review some of the best cloud-based storage solutions.
Dropbox, one of the oldest cloud storage services, is a popular service for millions of users and for good reason. Its commercial side is as competent as it is easy to use. DropBox Business Share with a free 30-day trial before increasing to $ 15 per month per user. For the price, deliver 5TB of encrypted storage space in the cloud. Enterprise storage options are also available if you contact Dropbox for more details on a customizable solution. In all cases, Dropbox Business uses 256-bit AES and SSL / TLS encryption, so your data is stored securely, away from prying eyes.
It does not offer online editing tools, but you can easily use it to synchronize files between users, with the option to recover previous versions when necessary. DropBox offers up to 120 days of file recovery, in case you accidentally delete a document. It offers an easy-to-use interface that users will find familiar, which can save you some technical support.
Other features include the integration of Office 365, an administration console with an audit trail, in addition to the remote device removal functionality in case of loss or theft of a device. Two-factor authentication is also an option if you need additional security.
DropBox Business is an extensive and versatile service. It is not the cheapest option that exists, but it does everything you might need. That many of your employees have probably used it before, makes it easier.
You and your employees are likely to use Google services extensively, through GSuite-based email addresses or even through Adsense accounts. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to also use Google Cloud for Work / Business. It works as easy as Google Drive for personal accounts, so your employees will know what to do.
For $ 12 per month per user, you can subscribe to the Business package that offers an enhanced office suite with unlimited storage and archiving functionality. If you need less than five users, each user gets 1 TB of storage, but for small / large companies it is unlimited. If your needs are lower, the package of $ 6 per month per user gives you 30 GB of and the same features.
It is possible to edit files online or offline. The broad support of smart phone applications makes it easier to do on the move. Collaboration is almost effortless with extensive features within the Google Office suite of tools, including documents, spreadsheets and Google presentations, which saves you money, since you can use them instead of dedicated Office packages.
In addition, you can configure your company's email through Gmail, use its video and voice conferencing tools, as well as share calendars and messaging services on your computer.
For business-level customers, $ 25 per month per user offers the same features, including unlimited storage, in addition to an enterprise-level access control with application of security keys and methods of preventing data loss.
One of the greatest strengths of Microsoft OneDrive for Business is its price. For only $ 5 per month per user you can have 1 TB of cloud storage for each user. You can store files up to 15 GB in size and easily share files from your organization and with other users. It is quite easy to synchronize local copies of files or folders to view them offline, and you can also edit these documents from a browser if you wish.
The only problem here is that while Microsoft OneDrive offers two-factor authentication, you must use the same password that you use in Microsoft services, something that may be uncomfortable, but that is a problem that Google already has.
All this is available through the low price plan offered by Microsoft. Where things get even better is if you upgrade to Office365 Business Premium. For $ 12.50 per month per user you get the same amount of cloud storage, but access to the main Office applications, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher. It also offers email hosting included with a 50 GB mailbox, along with custom domain addresses, if you need them.
Each license covers five computers or Mac, five phones and five tablets per user. There is also support for videoconference meetings for up to 250 people.
As for cloud storage, the package may not be the largest that exists, but the richness of other features make it a compelling all-in-one agreement that should adapt to the vast majority of users. If unlimited cloud storage is vital, you can always switch to a plan that costs $ 10 per month per user for unlimited storage, but if you choose the alternative of $ 5 per month, you don't have access to Office applications.
An important name in the world of cloud storage, Box for Business, is as good for small businesses as for personal use.
If your equipment is particularly small, then the Starter package at $ 5 per month per user is ideal. It offers 100 GB of storage with a 2 GB file upload limit. You must register a minimum of three users, with a maximum of 10 possible, before having to upgrade to another plan. For the price, you get mobile access, as well as details about the version history, two-factor authentication and the ability to access files from your desktop.
The business plan of $ 15 per month per user improves the features. It offers unlimited storage and number of users, with a file upload limit of 5 GB. There are also advanced user and security reports, data loss prevention, in addition to Active Directory and single sign-on integration. The custom brand is also an option here if you want to use your company logo whenever possible.
In both cases, there is the option to integrate Office 365, but like Dropbox, there is no direct online edition available, and its load limit is not as high as that of Microsoft OneDrive for Business. Still, Box for Business is an advanced package for small businesses that offers many functions and, at the same time, is simple enough for most users to adapt in a short time.
A new competitor to the throne of cloud storage services is Tresorit. The service is willing to compete directly with Dropbox, being much safer. It allows you to share large individual files with password protected links, as well as all the standard functions of synchronization and file sharing that you would expect from a cloud service.
Based in Switzerland, Tresorit offers end-to-end encryption that should satisfy even the most privacy-conscious user. It also complies with all key regulations, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Ransomware protection is integrated into its interface, and can easily control user and device permissions centrally at all times.
It is easy to access your files from any device, there is offline access to edit files when it is convenient for you. You can even add marks to the Tresorit interface if you wish.
The Small Business package includes a free 14-day trial, then increases to $ 20 per month per user for up to nine people, with 10 or more working at $ 12 per month per user. It is more expensive than many competitors, but for an extra secure service, it is worth the price.
For your other business needs, including the best small business routers and the best free antivirus, we have you covered.