Head in the Clouds: The 5 Best Online File Storage Services

As the digital revolution continues to improve on file creation and sharing capability, we need more and more storage space to keep up. All our .docx’s, mp3’s, PDF’s, and JPEG’s need somewhere to go — and the container to hold them has to be large as well, as common file sizes are increasing in size. Outside of purchasing additional hard-disk space for your computer, which can be expensive and inconvenient, what options are there to store our growing file collections? In answer to your question, here is a list of the top five online storage services available to date, and a short review of each. Long live cloud technology!

Mozy

Mozy is the oldest of the online storage options, created in 2005, having changed corporate hands a few times between then and now. Regardless of the ownership, however, Mozy provides both home and office storage solutions, priced by how much space you use. There is a free 2GB option — which admittedly won’t get you very far, considering that most computers come with 500GB of hard-disk space — and from there you can get 50GB for $5.99/month and 125GB for $9.99/month. Your data will be encrypted locally with military-grade encryption, and the storage centers are SAS70 and ISO certified, so your stuff will be safe. Furthermore, Mozy just added a new feature, Mozy Stash, which syncs your files automatically to the storage space, and lets you access the data from multiple computers. Plus, like most storage services, Mozy is now mobile, so you can access your data from you mobile devices on the go. Read more about Mozy Home review and price .

Carbonite

Tied for oldest online storage service, Carbonite is also the first online service to offer unlimited backup space for a fixed price. Carbonite also has the honor of being named “Best Windows Backup Tool” by Lifehacker, “Labs Winner” by PC Pro, and won “Editor’s Choice” at NextAdvisor. And it’s not for nothing. At just $59/year Carbonite is extremely affordable, especially given that you have infinite available storage space. When you install Carbonite, it automatically starts backing up your files — no add-on necessary — in the background, and lets you access and restore your data and incredible speeds whenever you want. Like Mozy, Carbonite also gives you access to your files from your mobile devices, and has different plans available at different prices, though all of them are unlimited. And you data will be encrypted and stored using the same security systems as online banks and e-commerce transactions.

SugarSync

Much like the other storage services, SugarSync automatically syncs your data and offers different plans at different prices, depending on the amount of storage you want, ranging from 5GB free to 500GB for $39.99/month. What differentiates SugarSync from other services is the emphasis they put on mobile accessibility. In addition to the ability to sync your stored data to more of your mobile devices than any other service, SugarSync also boasts real-time updating to all the files you store. So if you make a change on a file, the change will instantly be reflected across all synced devices. This can be especially useful for students at online colleges, who often have a flood of files that they might need to access on a variety of devices, whether it’s to work on homework, finish a project, or study lecture notes. Read more about Sugarsync free trial.

Dropbox

While it offers many of the same features as the other online storage services, Dropbox is probably the best known of them all. Dropbox creates a single directory across all computers and devices a user has, and stores backup information in those folders. The fee schedule is more or less the same, too — first 2GB are free, with higher capacity packages starting at 50GB for $9.99/month and team plans for businesses or groups starting at 1TB. Plus, if you refer Dropbox to a friend and they install it, you get additional free space! (That’s probably why it’s so popular.) What’s also pretty cool about Dropbox is that you can a) access all your data on the Dropbox website, and b) share entire Dropbox folders from your directory with friends and family, instead of sending individual files one at a time.

Just Cloud

By now, you probably get the gist of online storage services. Just Cloud is another very popular service that allows you to upload your data to cloud servers and view and update them from any device. It works in much the same way as the other services do, and is just as reliable and secure. Plus, if you click the “Secret Link” on the bottom of the page, you can get a discount on the Just Cloud service! Just Cloud is the newest of all the services, but it’s simplicity and ease of use are quickly making it one of the best. Read more about justcloud.com review and price.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a student in an online university, or a professional who’s always on the go, one of these top five online storage solutions will be perfect for your data storage and access needs.

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