Let’s Talk about Cloud

Hey guys & gals.

As we move more and more into the future, cloud computing is also on the rise. With the likes of saving files using OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox and now iCloud Drive from Apple, plus the many more services out there, it’s hard to get a grip on who is better, not to mention the paid services they offer.

Ok, a lot of you have chosen out of loyalty and/or convenience, this is great! but what about those who are not sure…? Well, it depends on how far you want to go with cloud storage.

Everyone offers free service with limits. Some have big limits of space before you must pay for more, some not so much. So the question is, what do you want to save? just a couple of documents here and there?

Well it’s best to go with the service that matches your devices, Apples to Apples, dust to dust :-), but, if its office docs you have a lot of among the rest, well it actually would benefit you to use OneDrive by Microsoft.

It’s not that shocking that Microsoft has the best office of all the land, so the benefits are the abilities to save and edit on the fly and great for sharing, especially for business. But MS have a limit, an upload size limit of 2GB, which has been admitted to be down to the fact that technology was not to be seen, especially cloud saving to get so rapidly popular and used that MS thought 2GB limit of be plenty as most files would be small (in those days).

But here is the thing, the fact people want to upload large files, essentially being video to a cloud is not viable at this time in Australia, more so since we have missed out on a good infrastructure opportunity through Fibre to the Home. For now, upload is slow aswell as download for most.

So why do we do it? Accessibility!

At the end of the day, for me personally, I don’t have the need to have The Avengers or Ted ready to go when I wanna watch it somewhere via access through the internet, I usually take it with me using another form of device.

The next issue is, security. We must put trust in these service providers that nobody will have access to our personal life through files we save on the cloud. At this time, especially with hard-line hacking attacks for the past months, We are not quite ready to have full trust with backups of our lives entrusted to the internet.

Ok, this sounds very negative but hey, its not everything that needs to be private. Photo’s can’t hurt (depending on the view!) and business files, as long as it doesn’t have things that could harm, its all good.

This is where how much you want. Well, business may want to upload and keep hundreds of files at a time that can be accessed via one location, this is good to start paying for increased space. For the average user, well, it comes down to what you wanna save.

Apple will make sure all devices can backup their content, Dropbox is very basic, you can only upload/download, but very popular as it is easy to use. Google allows more better control over files but Microsoft once again are ahead of the pack with the most features and can be used on all mainstream devices. OneDrive backups up your whole user setup for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. It is capable of proper uploading of photo’s from your phone and much more.

For free space however, Google takes the cake, giving you 15GB to save with. OneDrive has 7GB plus if you have a Windows Phone, you get a dedicated extra 7GB of space for photo’s and video. You get 0.5GB per friend you get on OneDrive (up to roughly getting 5GB), They sometimes give out loyalty increases for a few months.

Even though you are paying something, you get 20GB if you use Office 365, which is worth while as you get Skype credit and all the Office Apps for which you will get all future upgrades at no extra cost. Then soon, if you are real desperate for space and want to put effort into getting it, once Australia gets Bing Rewards, you can sign up, spam Bing searches and gain points with Xbox (for all you Xbox Users) and spend it on 100GB of space, FOR FREE! Then you can do what many do, that is use multiple services.

So the best options…

Business should use OneDrive, getting Office 365 for the greatest Office Suite, more space and more features and usability of which works well for those who use Windows 7 but very well for those who have gone with Windows 8 and even more so using Windows Phone.

That’s 27GB of space, extra 7GB for Camera (using Windows Phone Devices), 5GB for referrals.

Home should use the service you use with your device with a mix of other services if you get short of space or if people use other services that don’t accept what yo use. If you want office power, use OneDrive.

If you want to pay for more storage, here is the current price comparison (Subject to Change)

Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive’s individual plans are billed annually. There 1TB OneDrive for Business option has a promotional price of $2.50 per user per month until September 2014. After that, it’s $5 per user per month.

  • Free storage: 7GB
  • Free Camera Storage: 7GB (with Windows Phones)
  • Office 365 Personal includes 20GB for 1 user/device for $89 per year (paying annually saves you 17%)
  • Office 365 Home includes 20GB (per user) for 5 users/devices (PC, Tablet, Mac & iPad) for $119 per year (paying annually saves you 17%)
  • Office 365 Small Business (follow link for details) $13.50 per user, per month up to 25 users
  • 50GB for $25 per year
  • 100GB for $50 per year
  • 200GB for $100 per year

This includes all the features you need to get going with Cloud Storage.

Apple iCloud Drive

Apple iCloud Drive will be available for Mac, iOS, and Windows 8;  Windows 7 has not been announced support yet.

  • 10GB: $21 per year
  • 20GB: $42 per year
  • 50GB: $105 per year

Google Drive

You share your storage space between Gmail, Drive, and Google+ Photos accounts, if you use those services.

  • Free storage: 15GB
  • 100GB for $1.99 per month
  • 1TB for $9.99 per month
  • 10TB for $99.99 per month
  • 20TB for $199.99 per month
  • 30TB for $299.99 per month

Dropbox

Dropbox gives you a discount if you pay per year, and you can earn extra free space from referrals and through promotions from the company.

  • Free storage: 2GB
  • 100GB for $109 per year
  • 200GB for $219 per year
  • 500GB for $549 per year
  • Unlimited business plan costs $15 per user, per month, with a minimum of 5 users. Plus you get some extra security and team based features.

BUT,

We actually think it’s better to just buy external storage and save onto that. It’s cheaper and you can get more space at better price plus it’s a one off deal.

You can just connect it directly to your computer. If you want easy access for multiple devices, you can find modems and routers with USB ports to attach and gain access via the network or some external caddy’s have Network Ports so you can connect via that. You have better security then over the internet but yet you can buy modems and routers that allow you to connect to them via the internet, thus connecting to “your own Cloud”.

One of the benefits of Cloud is of course when disaster strikes, like a fire. But you can buy passport sized Drives that you can put in a fire proof safe or wherever you keep important paper documents of which you may be putting effort in with them, so one more thing couldn’t hurt. Keep what’s most important to you on the drive, keeping up to date, and there you have it.

It’s all down to what you are willing to pay for what you want out of your service, online or offline.


Any questions, please comment below or contact us.