Cloud storage has gained a lot of traction as an alternative solution for file storage. Going are the days where you would store all your important files and data onto a memory stick or to a secondary drive. Cloud storage has its advantages such as having the ability to access your files from anywhere at any time, and keeping a backup of your important files away from your computer or phone.
Looking for a great cloud storage provider isn’t easy and the current market provides a lot of options for you to choose from? As such, we will look into the two big contenders on the cloud storage forefront: Google Drive and Dropbox.
Features at a glance
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(accurate as of Aug 2015)
Drive launched 3 years ago in 2012 and since then it has gained a huge user base thanks to its seamless integration into Google Docs and other services. That said, you can easily create and store documents, spreadsheets and presentations, store pictures and videos right into Google Drive.
To access Drive, all you need to do is to sign in with your Google account. Just head over to Google Drive to activate the service if you haven’t already done so. While you can access your files from the Drive website, you can also download the desktop app for PC and Mac (sorry Linux users!) to manage files from your computer. Simply dragging and dropping files into the Drive folder will automatically trigger syncing to the cloud.
Drive is also has apps for Android and iOS so you can easily manage your files from your phone. The phone app also has useful options to automatically backup pictures and videos from your phone to the cloud using Google’s Photo service.
- Easy to set-up (only need your Google account)
- Great integration with other Google’s services such as Docs and Photos
- Save attachments within Gmail directly to Drive without having to download
- 15GB of free storage and affordable paid plans for more storage
- Supports all major platforms for desktops and smartphones
- Heavily reliant on Google services
- 5TB file size restriction (but hey, who has a 5TB file anyway)
- No desktop app for Linux users
- You can only be logged into one Google account at a time
Best for: Google fans, anyone who wants a few Office tools with their cloud storage.
Dropbox was one of the early pioneers in the cloud storage industry released in 2008. It has a solid fan base due to its reliability, ease of use, and accessible features. Much like Google Drive, Dropbox allows you to upload any kind of files via their website or through the desktop app which is available for all major platforms such as PC, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
There’s no file size restriction from using the Dropbox apps on phone or desktop but speed is limited to your internet connection. Much like Drive, you can simply drag and drop files into the desktop app and sync will start automatically.
Dropbox boasts a simple and clean design, which is very basic and for advanced users it might feel a bit limiting. However, where Dropbox excels is team file sharing; members can easily be invited to the shared folder via a link to an email signup.
- Works well with all major platforms, the service is well designed and simple to use
- No file size upload restriction
- Team file sharing is a breeze and members only need to sign up with their preferred email address
- Gain bonus storage from completing tasks or referring friends
- Dropbox’s website might be too simple and controlling the files the way you want might be limiting depending on your needs
- The higher pricing for extra storage space might be off-putting compared to other cloud storage providers
It’s hard to say which cloud storage provider is the best as it really comes down to personal preference and reliance on particular web services.
Taking other cloud storage alternatives into account, it is quickly evident that how you use your devices really determines the services you would use. For example, most Apple device users have iCloud already there and that is another cloud storage option that’s readily available for use.
If you are an Android, Gmail and Docs user or want something fast and simple with everything you need right there, then Drive is a no-brainer for you. Otherwise, if teamwork or multi-device storage options are important to you or you want to keep your personal files separate from all other services, then go for Dropbox.
Choosing the right provider is important and consumers shouldn’t just take the price into account. You need to take into consideration the features and privacies that each service provides and as cloud storage becomes more widely adopted, companies will be providing more tools and services with their storage.
At some point in the near future, it is likely our data will be all stored online in the cloud, and you can see it’s already starting to happen with emails, music and video streaming and photo auto-uploading capabilities.
The Fireworks support team have certified staff and experience in set-up and support for Google Drive and all of the Google Apps for Work programs.
However, if you have a general question about any cloud based storage system our knowledgeable team are happy to help.
Give Fireworks a call today on 1300 660 160.