Cloud storage got its start with Dropbox back in 2007, but today we see a great deal of competition in the online storage industry. It seems every major player in the online world, including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, have their own service, both free and pay. How can you know which one will meet the needs of your organization?

Cloud Storage: Price Versus Function

While many simply select the cloud storage service that provides them with the amount of free storage they are looking for, it’s better to consider the function of each service to determine which one will meet your requirements the best.

Here is a quick rundown of five popular online storage services.

  1. Cloud Drive (Amazon) – More downtime than competitors, and no way to sync files, make this cloud storage service a definite “no” for most small business owners. The latest storage options all have free trials but will eventually cost you a monthly fee (which is less if you pay annually). It is compatible with Mac OS and Windows, is built in on Amazon mobile devices, and there is an app for iOS and Android phones and tablets.
  2. Dropbox – The original cloud storage service, Dropbox knows what they are doing and expect you to pay for it. You do get 2 GB for free, and even more if you use the mobile app. 1 TB of storage will cost you $10/month and unlimited is $15/month. It works across all platforms and is simple to use.
  3. Drive (Google) – This is really your only option if you use Chromebooks. It is paired with Google’s office suite (Google Docs) and is compatible with Microsoft Office. Monthly storage rates are cheap at $2 for 100 GB and $10 for 1 TB. If you need more storage, Google Drive for Work lets you pay for unlimited storage by the number of users you have ($10/user monthly).
  4. iCloud (Apple) – Built in for Apple products, and available for Windows, iCloud comes with 5 GB of storage for free, and tacks on storage in 20 GB increments for $1/month (or you can jump to 200 GBs at the discounted rate of $4/month). Between speed, sync issues, and no business plans, this is more for backing up your selfies than a company storage service.
  5. OneDrive (Microsoft) – 15 GBs of free storage is a great incentive for those who need just a little more free space and don’t want a monthly fee. This is the cheapest 1 TB service at only $7/month. By the way, the 1 TB service comes with Office 365 Personal, which gives you the full version of Microsoft Office on one computer and one tablet (even an iPad). It’s clearly the best option for some businesses.