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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.


Pros: "Box has a level of collaboration and enterprise security that is better than the alternatives," says Marin Perez, a writer at Bluenose Analytics, a SaaS startup. "Box's wide-scale availability on all platforms also helps."

Box offers "enterprise grade security and scalability," according to Tim Peters, director of marketing virtual agent firm IntelliResponse. Peters appreciates the functionality of its permission settings, so he "can limit access to certain files while making other files externally available to customers, prospects and partners."

Unlimited storage space, reasonable cost, secure access from any device, lots of plug-ins/partners, and sync capabilities are among Box's most compelling features, according to Jeffrey Frey, an IT director of digital experience at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Cons: Box doesn't offer an easy way to preview files, Peters says. "This makes it difficult to use Box as a repository of marketing materials, such as our image library."

"Under the free plan, files larger than 250MB can't be uploaded," says Joanan Hernandes, founder of mobile platform Mollejuo. "So you have to split the files when you need to upload larger files."

Google Drive

Pros: Google Drive is "cheaper [than competitors] and it's part of the Google Apps suite, which many businesses have already adopted, as well as Google Docs, which means strong document preview capabilities and collaborative editing of spreadsheets, documents, presentations and drawings," says Orun Bhuiyan, marketing technologist, SEOcial. "It also has a great user interface, and it offers the security of all your content running on the Google Front End (GFE) server environment."

"I do a lot of work on my phone and tablet and quickly found that Google Drive, plus the other Google offerings, made for a much better user experience," says Alan Baker, president and chief consultant of technology consultancy Spitfire Innovations. "The Android platform also does a good job of handling legacy files that are in various Microsoft formats."

Cons: "There's no quick indication of sharing and public/private settings of files," says John Turner, CEO of UsersThink. "You need to check each one, and it's easy to forget which settings were for which files." 

Microsoft OneDrive

Pros: "Seamless" saving of files from Microsoft Office "is the feature we use the most," says Max Dufour, partner, Harmeda, a technology and strategy advisory firm. Dufour also appreciates the capabilities to create shared folders for collaboration, save old files and back up data the company doesn't plan on using in the near future. 

Cons: "There are not enough privacy [safeguards]"says Vantage Internet Group's Tavarez "We are concerned about privacy with any cloud service and limit our uploads to nonpersonal or confidential items. 


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