The importance of data and its management has seen exponential growth over the last few years. From hardware solutions once giving you an ‘ample’ 1GB of data to today’s 100’s of GB not being enough, the adoption of cloud storage options has significantly increased. A typical user usually just considering the first thing in front of them but are these the best options out there?
With almost everyone owning a Gmail account nowadays, storage on Google Drive is a no brainer. Each account gives you 15GB of space for free which is quite generous to start with. But the biggest advantage Google’s Drive has is compatibility. With support for Android devices, Apple devices and Windows 10 PCs, you can access your files from virtually anywhere. Adding to that support for real-time cross collaboration and a variety of different file formats means anyone on your team can contribute.
Once your free 15GB of data runs low though, you will need to pay for additional storage. The most basic package gives you 100GB for Dh74.99 for 1 year. Aside from the cost though, if you deal with larger files, Google Drive does come with a few disadvantages. Its user interface is not the easiest to understand for newcomers especially if you must work in large teams. Normally, working in larger teams means more data which subsequently could also lead to sync issues and delays with work, slowing down productivity.
While still accessible to Windows PC and Android users alike, iCloud is best optimized for Apple users. Activating it is easy and it can sync all your data from various Apple products. This means syncing your iOS files on the cloud and easily accessing them through your Mac and vice versa.
For non-Apple product users, you can still access your iCloud from these devices on the web and find all your files. But it isn’t the best experience when it comes to syncing nor user interface. And by default, you only get 5GB of free storage which is the least of any other cloud storage service. In this case, you will more than likely need to pay for extra storage with the most basic plan giving you 50GB of storage for Dh36.99 per year.
Microsoft’s cloud service often tends to go under the radar among the other two we’ve mentioned. But come to think of it, it may be one of the better alternatives if not the best options out there. Like Apple’s iCloud, it too offers a default storage space of 5GB which again is low. But its storage can either be bought separately or is tied with an Office 365 subscription. And it’s the latter that we are interested about.
Chances are that you have an Office 365 subscription to access programs like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel among others. And interestingly with this subscription comes 1TB of storage space, considerably more than the default of any other cloud storage alternative. The most basic Office 365 subscription will run you Dh293.8 a year. Additionally, OneDrive maintains the advantage of cross compatibility and access from multiple devices. It even lets you collaborate with your peers in real time. Essentially, it combines all the benefits from Google’s storage solution and Apple’s making for an unbeatable deal.
Which one is right for you?
Each cloud storage option has its own advantages and disadvantages. And while some may have their preferences depending on the system they use; Microsoft’s OneDrive storage solution stands out for a big reason. 1TB of base storage is significantly more than the competition and getting it as a by-product of a software like Office 365 is an added benefit. So, instead of investing in another cloud storage option on top of your Office 365 subscription, you could be saving yourself money and the hassle of managing your files.
This article was originally printed in the Techtalk Supplement published by GNTECH on Thursday 27th June 2019.