My comparison of cloud storage (file hosting) services that can be used to store and send files over the cloud.
"Cloud storage is a model of networked enterprise storage where data is stored not only in the user's computer, but in virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties, too."- Wikipedia
I'm actually going to talk more about file hosting services rather than enterprise level cloud storage.
The following chart is a list of file storage services that I have run across. These services all have a free option. Depending on the requirements, some features are more valuable than others. There are a number of uses for online storage that include:
- Online Backup (Such as photos or server backups)
- Share a file with the public (Public Mirror)
- Send Large Files by Email (Public Sharing)
The chart lists the services that I have reviewed and relevant information about them.
Click on the table headings to sort the table. Hover over the headings for more detail.
|Service||Storage||Filesize||Enterprise||Bandwidth||Public Sharing||Private storage||Premium|
|Dropbox||2 GB||0.3 GB||yes||20 GB||yes||yes||$0.0999|
|My Free File Hosting||0.1 GB||0.1 GB||no||Unknown||yes||no||Free Only|
|Ubuntu One||5 GB||5000 GB||yes||Unlimited||yes||yes||$0.1495|
|Gett Sharing||2 GB||Unlimited||no||Unlimited||yes||yes||$1.00|
|4shared||2 GB||2 GB||yes||Unlimited||yes||yes||$0.0995|
|DivShare||5 GB||0.02 GB||no||1.6 GB||yes||yes||$0.0999|
|File Factory||2 GB||2 GB||no||Unlimited||yes||yes||$0.12|
|Google Drive||15 GB||25 GB||yes||1.2 GB||yes||yes||$0.05|
It is hard to compare services with just numbers, there are other factors that come in to play such as policy, design, speed, location, backend technology and trust.
Overall Google is the clear winner in all categories, except for client sync. If you have a paid Gmail account you get more storage for cheaper.
Personally I use Ubuntu One to to store my backups because I don't need more than 5GB and I like the ability to sync my android phone and Ubuntu computer easily. You don't need linux to run Ubuntu One it works just as well on Windows and Mac.
Send Large files by email
When I receive large files by email, the service of choice seems to be dropbox. I myself prefer a service not listed above (because it's just for sending large files, doesn't really fit in the above list). We Transfer is a great service that sends large files by email. We Transfer doesn't really act the same as file host (although the technology is pretty much the same). We Transfer allows you to send up to 2 GB of files to up to 20 email addresses. Free! It takes a long time to upload the files and they are removed after 2 weeks.
The reason I'm hooked on this service is because We Transfer tells you when recipients have actually downloaded the files you sent them. Also the design of the site is clean and safe to send to a business client.
Open Source Alternative - OwnCloud
If you are not satisfied with any of the above solutions and prefer to run a cloud storage system on your hardware; I'd recommend checking out OwnCloud. OwnCloud allows you to make your own rules where your only restriction is your hardware. If you are a larger company OwnCloud can reduce the amount of bandwidth your company uses by having the files synced on your internal network.
For more information and comments on all my researched file hosts, take a look at my Free File Hosting Bookmarks.
I want to hear from you, do you use any of the above services? Do you have a service that didn't make the list? Leave a comment below and let's disscuss this further.