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As working in the cloud becomes increasingly popular and necessary, business owners are realizing online storage services are a luxury they can't live without. Online storage services give business owners peace of mind in knowing their most critical files are saved elsewhere and can easily be accessed should their computer go on the fritz.
It's not just file protection that online storage services offer. They also give businesses the freedom to access and edit important data from any location, including via smartphones. Among the features business owners should be looking for from an online storage service include the amount of storage space offered, the ease of uploading files and data, and whether they provide folder-sharing, offline syncing and file versioning in case the most recent version of a stored file is lost.
Online storage services should allow businesses to store any digital file, regardless of type, while also providing widespread accessibility to those files.
However, as the cloud continues to evolve, the industry is becoming saturated with competitors, making it tough to determine which option is best. Our sister site, TopTenREVIEWS, does extensive in-depth reviews of online storage services. Here are the top 3 recommendations for online storage services.
JustCloud earned this year's TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award for offering unlimited storage capabilities, widespread accessibility and no annual contracts. The service is easy to use in that it seamlessly integrates traditional online backup with cloud storage. Business owners can back up files using its desktop client and access them through a Web account from any Internet-connected device.
While many online storage services cap the amount of storage space, JustCloud has no limits on how much data a business can store. Users can store as many photos, videos and text documents as they like, without ever having to upgrade to a more expensive plan. The service is also recognized for its flexible payment plans, giving users the option to pay month-to-month. There are also discounted rates available for six-month, one-year and two-year contracts. Business owners should note, however, that payment for the length of service they choose is required up front.
If business owners run into trouble while using the service, technical support representatives are available by email, with billing and sales representatives available via the telephone. In addition, JustCloud's website provides a very extensive and detailed FAQs section that covers many aspects of the service.
Features: The best features JustCloud offers are its backup options, which users can set to occur on a specific schedule, such as daily, weekly or monthly. Business owners can also initiate automatic backups, which automatically save any changes to backed-up files and new files added to any folder that is already being backed up. There are a number of file-sharing options for users, making it easy to share files by email and social media, as well as custom private links for specific files to send to recipients. Another top feature is file versioning, which allows users to restore previous versions of their files should they accidentally delete the latest version. JustCloud also doesn’t limit the size of files that can upload, and it has a convenient file preview so business owners can see exactly what a file is before downloading it.
File Access and Support: JustCloud lets users store virtually any type of digital file and access them in numerous ways. With this online storage service, business owners can sync files between an unlimited number of computers. JustCloud also has a desktop app for the primary computer so business owners can easily drag-and-drop files or folders into the app so they are automatically backed up to their account.
Security: All data transfers are encrypted using SSL encryption, and logging into your account requires a valid username and password. File-sharing security measures allow users to determine what recipients can do with the files they share, such as simply view them or have the ability to edit documents. Users can also set expiration dates on any custom links they create.
Costs: To compare costs, visit TopTenREVIEWS' best online data storage services.
SugarSync earned its high marks for offering robust file synchronization in tandem with comprehensive file support that allows business owners to securely access their data on a wide range of devices. The service provides several storage plans, ranging from 30GB — enough space to hold 3,000 documents, 6,000 photos and 6,000 songs — to 250GB. In addition, SugarSync's business plans, which are designed for multiuser accounts, are scalable, giving users the ability to easily add more storage as their business grows.
SugarSync offers a variety of customer service options. The software itself has embedded help resources, including an informative getting started guide and setup, while the service's website includes user forums, video tutorials and a searchable knowledgebase. For those who need additional help, SugarSync representatives can be contacted directly with an email or through their live chat support system. SugarSync does charge an additional monthly fee for unlimited telephone support.
Features: SugarSync lets users specify which existing desktop folders they want synced across their various computers and devices, a feature many other services don't provide. For those who prefer to have a single folder that automatically syncs to all their devices, the service sets up what it calls the Magic Briefcase, which syncs any files in it to the user's account. For file-sharing, business owners can create public links to share via social media, blogs and emails and they have the option of creating shared folders, which many small business owners view as a valuable collaboration tool. SugarSync also provides a gallery section specifically for storing and sharing photos. Other features offered include file versioning, unlimited file size upload and automatic backup to ensure your synced files are always up-to-date.
File Access and Support: SugarSync has comprehensive file support, ranging from music and videos to PDFs and slideshow presentations. For those who regularly use multiple computers, the online storage service also lets users store executable files. In addition to a local desktop app, SugarSync allows you to access, view and edit your stored files from any computer or mobile device. The service has apps for all major mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones.
Security: All files are encrypted when they are transferred to and from SugarSync's servers using Transport Layer Security, which supersedes the industry standard SSL. The files are then stored in encrypted format using 128-bit AES, the same level of encryption employed by government and financial institutions. The service also allows users to set folder permissions that dictate what recipients can do with files that are shared with them.
Costs: To compare costs, visit TopTenREVIEWS' best online data storage services.
#3 Egnyte HybridCloud
Egnyte HybridCloud earned this year's TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award for being extremely scalable for growing businesses, as well asits flexible and robust sharing tools, which are built for collaboration. The service integrates its file server with a business's existing network-attached storage (NAS) device to provide both cloud and local storage.Egnyte offers a base plan that provides 1TB of total online storage with multiple user licenses. Larger companies with greater storage needs have the option of signing up for a 2 and 3TB plans.
Egynte offers numerous support options that are easily accessible, both through the service's interface and on the Egnyte website. Clicking the helpdesk link in the interface takes business owners directly to a support page that is filled with FAQs, community forums, incident reports, a knowledge base and step-by-step training videos. Direct technical support is available via the telephone during normal business hours, or by email 24/7.
Features:Versatile backup options allow users to continuously back up and sync files on multiple computers within a network. This ensures crucial file redundancy in case of disaster and provides business owners with uninterrupted access to their files no matter where they are. Egnyte also provides file-sharing for collaboration purposes, allowing users to create both public and restricted private folders with permissions set for specific users. The service seamlessly integrates with other widely used cloud-based business applications, including Google Docsand Salesforce. The online storage service provides a private-label branding feature that allows users to customize the interface and access URL.
File Access and Support:Egnyte provides remote access to each account from any computer or mobile Web browser. The company offers apps for most common mobile devices, including the iPhone, the iPad and Android devices. However, there is not an app for BlackBerry devices.
Security: The serviceuses a best-in-class firewall and 256-bit AES encryption over a secure socket layer during data transmission. Account administrators can create password protections, implement user identity authentications and set user access permissions. Business owners can also segregate company data as needed to retain confidentiality and separation between departments.Egnyte's servers are run on redundant grids and backup generators in a facility that is manned by security around the clock. They also employ remote monitoring and co-location facility monitoring to oversee its facilities.
Costs:To compare costs, visit TopTenREVIEWS' best online data storage services.