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Cloud storage users share pros and cons of leading services

James A. Martin | Sept. 23, 2014
Today's cloud storage/file-sync space is constantly evolving.

Today's cloud storage/file-sync space is constantly evolving. 

The recent market gyrations may have you wondering if you should switch to another provider. With that in mind, we conducted an informal poll and asked cloud storage users for their opinions on the benefits and drawbacks of their services of choice.

The majority of respondents told us about their likes and dislikes of Dropbox (which earned six favorable mentions); Box (the favorite of five respondents); Google Drive (favored by four); and OneDrive (the recipient of four votes). Some participants use more than one service. A few other respondents chose lesser-known services, which you can read about in the "Cloud Storage Alternatives" section of this story.

We also put together an at-a-glance chart (below) that provides a quick comparison of the major cloud service providers.  

Pros and Cons of Popular Cloud Services 


Pros: "We went with Dropbox because of its ease of signing up," says Jerry Lee, founder of StoryLeather. "Plus, a lot of the freelance contractors we work with are already using Dropbox, so this created less friction to share files with them. More importantly, Dropbox was more vendor-neutral,' whereas in order to use Google Drive you have to have Gmail." Lee says OneDrive similarly requires a Microsoft account.

"Dropbox was a first-mover, and that's what drew us to them initially," says Ryan Matzner, director of app design and development firm Fueled. "What's kept us with them is how simple, hassle-free and easy-to-use the software is. Many members of our team are extremely tech-savvy, but a number aren't. And it's great that both kinds of users have little to no issues using Dropbox's website, desktop app and mobile apps."

So many people have Dropbox, and that makes sharing with them easy, according to Raymond Selzer, co-founder and director of development of website design firm Interslice Designs. "For those without Dropbox, sharing is still very simple."

Cons: "Dropbox charges for what OneDrive doesn't," says Jonathan Tavarez, founder of Vantage Internet Group, referring to the fact that Dropbox initially offers only 2GB of free storage, compared to OneDrive, which offers 15GB of free storage. "We see no benefit in using Dropbox."

The desktop client also "occasionally doesn't sync properly," according to StoryLeather's Lee.

"The main issue with Dropbox is that it deletes files on its own," says Sarah Weinberger, founder and CEO of Butterflyvista. "I have seen that time and time again. I am not sure why, but files disappear. I have to create a backup to my online backup to restore those files."

"In many ways, Dropbox is too easy," says Fueled's Matzner. "It's too easy for an untrained member of the team to accidentally mass-delete thousands of files. Fortunately, Dropbox has provided tools to help undo these mistakes. But the tools aren't always enough, and we've had a number of scenarios where we had to call Dropbox tech support and have them manually roll back mistakes."


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