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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.

OneDrive also isn't "as advanced as other storage platforms, which are stronger on the collaboration front and offer more features," according to Dufour.

OneDrive for Business lacks support for the Mac and Linux platforms, according to Jarrod Helzer, president of IT management and consulting firm ITtude. "I also think the file sharing, both with other OneDrive for Business users and anyone without a Microsoft account, is cumbersome at best. This likely has to do with it being implemented on SharePoint, unlike OneDrive for home users or Outlook.com users."

"I choose Dropbox over OneDrive due to upload/download speeds," says Mark B. Brown, company director of editing and recording equipment vendor EditorsKeys.

"OneDrive seems to take forever to upload content, which is a deal breaker. When you have over 257GB of files to upload, it seems like it would take three years to do it on OneDrive."

Cloud Storage Alternatives

Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are just four of many cloud services available today. Here are a few others to consider.

ownCloud

OwnCloud is a free, open source cloud storage option that is installed on a private server, with no limits on storage space beyond your server's hard drive capacity. "It runs under our control, not someone else's," says Rajesh Goel, CTO at Brainlink International, Inc. "It works across multiple platforms, it's extremely easy to backup and restore, and it syncs seamlessly."

SpiderOak

SpiderOak is a good alternative "for the simple reason that everything is stored encrypted," says Thomas Quinlan, senior sales engineer of business assurance technology firm Blue Coat. "No one can see the contents of the files except me. It has all the features that everyone expects from a cloud storage service provider but also provides privacy."

Quinlan says SpiderOak is "slightly less user-friendly than Dropbox" but is still relatively simple to use. The free plan offers 2GB of storage; business plans cost $60 per user, per year and provide unlimited storage.

AeroFS

AeroFS is a file-sync and share service that enables organizations to decide where their data resides and how it should be secured. The personal hybrid cloud plan offers unlimited storage for free for as many as three users. The enterprise plan uses a private cloud and gives an unlimited number of users unlimited storage capabilities for $180 per user, per year. 

Transporter

Transporter is a storage device/service that creates a private cloud with a starting price of $99 and no monthly fees. California attorney John Conway says he uses Transporter because it's simple and offers "total data privacy with cloud convenience." He says that public cloud storage services can't guarantee the confidentiality of files, which is why he uses Transporter's private cloud.

 

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