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Cloud Storage Solutions

So many options are available for Cloud storage options. How do you choose which one to use? Here are some of the most popular options and their pros and cons.

  • Google Drive: 
    • Size availability: 15GB free with a free Gmail account but paid accounts give greater amounts of space
      • Space is determined by where the document is housed and not by what has been shared with you
      • 15GB free is shared among Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos
    • Resources needed: The Google Drive was traditionally based on the Internet. Now mobile apps exist to access Google Drive. Backup and Sync from Google app allows you to access and use the Google Drive as if it were a drive on your computer and keep your files up to date.
  • Microsoft OneDrive: 
    • Size availability: 5GB free, but paid accounts give greater space, and you can buy more.
    • Resources needed: Windows 10 computers come preloaded with Microsoft OneDrive that you can access as if it were a drive on your computer. Each Microsoft account has its own access to OneDrive. OneDrive is also the default location for any files saved in Microsoft Office. Mobile apps also exist to access OneDrive on other devices.
  • Apple iCloud: 
    • Size availability: 5GB free but can pay for more & plans can be shared with family
    • Resources needed: iPhones and iPads automatically back up to the iCloud through the Apple ID that you used to access them. You can access the iCloud by going to the Settings and then Manage Storage or iCloud Storage directly on your iPhone or iPad. If you access the iCloud through this drive, it acts much like a typical drive on a computer.
  • Dropbox: 
    • Size availability: 2GB free but can pay for or otherwise get access to more when you initially sign up
    • Resources needed: There is a Dropbox app available for mobile devices and for computers. This program acts more like a folder than a drive. You will need a Dropbox account to use it.
  • Amazon Drive: 
    • Size availability: free photo storage for Prime Members, plus 5GB, but you can pay for more space
    • Resources needed: There is an Amazon Photos app and an Amazon Drive app available for mobile devices and for computers. The Amazon Drive app acts much like a folder. The Photos app is more customized for photos.

Before choosing any of these solutions, we highly recommend reading the license agreement.  Dropbox owns anything that is put onto it.  This may make it not the best place to store confidential documents.  

Note on sharing files: When you share a file with someone else, generally this does not count against their space. Users have the ability to download a copy of files or to save a copy to their own account, in which case it would count against their computer’s space. File sharing is a great way to keep access to something you fear you might lose. However, when you save a copy locally the changes are no longer synced in the document.

Internet required 

Because these are Cloud solutions, these generally require the Internet to work properly. It is possible to make the programs available for use offline, but when you make changes offline, these changes will not be reflected in the files online until the device where you have made the changes goes back online.

It is also possible to download the documents from the Cloud as files to your computer. However, if you do this, changes will no longer be synced with the Cloud. You will need to resync them to have your changes saved with others.

If you have questions about which service is best for you and your company call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682 or fill our our contact form and we can work with you to pick the best solution for you.

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