Whenever we talk about Data, the very next thing that comes in our mind is Data Storage. Even if you are having small chunks of data or large bulks of it, you definitely will need a storage solution for saving your important data. In the early days of computing, the physical storage mediums such as floppy disks, compact disks (CDs), digital versatile disks (DVDs), etc. were commonly used to store data. These disks ruled over the IT industry for a very long time however, all of these physical storage mediums have certain benefits and drawbacks.
For example, the data stored on these disks was always prone to all kinds of damages and corruption. Therefore, people started realizing that these data storage mediums were not reliable and their drawbacks overpowered their benefits. This gave rise to a new dimension of research in which the IT professionals tried to find dependable alternatives to physical data storage solutions. The result of these efforts was Cloud Storage.
Cloud Storage refers to a logical storage space where your data is safely and securely stored. This logical storage space generally comprises of huge servers and the assembly of these servers is managed by a Cloud Storage Provider. Following are the benefits that Cloud Storage has over the physical storage:
- Cloud storage is highly cost-effective as compared with the physical storage because the Cloud Services normally work on the principle of pay-as-you-go which means that you will have to pay for only those resources that you utilize at a time.
- You do not have to worry about the management of the storage infrastructure because the Cloud Service Provider will take care of it.
- Cloud storage is highly scalable which means that you can always claim for more resources depending upon your storage requirements.
- Cloud storage is highly accessible because the data stored on the Cloud is not confined to your own personal computer rather you can access it anytime from anywhere you want.
- Cloud storage is considered very secure because if any natural calamity or any other disaster hits your main workstation, your data will still remain safe because it was not stored locally rather it was remotely stored.
So now we understand it perfectly well why Cloud Storage took over all other traditional storage solutions. The next thing that we should discuss is the types of Cloud Storage. Depending upon certain parameters, Cloud Storage has many different types however, the ones that we are interested in are: Cloud Storage for Business and Personal Cloud Storage. As the name implies, Cloud Storage for Business is solely dedicated to be used in organizations and firms where shared access to the Cloud Storage is given to a particular group of employees.
However, if we want to store our personal data to the Cloud, then we absolutely do not need to get the Cloud Storage for Business rather we can fulfill our purpose with the Personal Cloud Storage. In this article, we will share with you a list of the 5 Best Personal Cloud Storage. After going through this list, you will be in a better position to choose the best cloud storage solution for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Let us just get started.
1. Google Drive
Google Drive is a great option for Personal Cloud Storage for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android operating systems because it is available absolutely for free. You can conveniently access this service if you have a Google Account. It allows you to store any sort of files on it including videos, images, documents, text files, audios, drawings, etc. The most fascinating feature of this cloud storage is that you can access your files from anywhere without any difficulty. It means that it does not matter which device you used to store your data on the Cloud, you can still access it and modify it from any other device on which you are logged in with your Google Account.
File Sharing is also a very interesting feature of Google Drive. You can easily generate shareable links of whichever files you upload on Google Drive and grant the access to your documents to whosoever you want. This feature promotes collaboration and teamwork because anyone who has the link to your files can access them. Moreover, you can also modify the access rights according to your own will. For example, you can either allow people to only View your documents or you can even give them the privileges of Editing them. All these amazing features of Google Drive make it a perfect Backup Solution.
2. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is a versatile Cloud Storage for the Windows operating system that is equally popular for Personal as well as for Business use. The Access Files from Any Device feature of OneDrive enables you to view and modify your files from whichever device you are currently using and the changes that you will make will be reflected across all of your devices. This cloud storage solution even lets you access your files without an Internet connection because of its Offline Access feature. This makes things even easier for you because your important files will always stay with you no matter if you are connected to the Internet or not.
OneDrive always takes care of your important data because even if something bad happens to any of your devices, you will not have to face data loss because your files are no longer just locally stored rather they are saved on OneDrive. The Share and Collaborate feature of OneDrive allows you to share your files with your friends or colleagues just with the help of a link. With the Files on Demand feature of this cloud storage solution, you can access all of your OneDrive files on your Windows 10 PC and that too without letting these files occupy any space on your computer system.
OneDrive also presents you with a Document Scanning feature with the help of which you can easily scan your paper-based documents such as prescriptions, receipts, identity cards, etc. and then conveniently upload them to OneDrive. As far as the security aspects of this cloud storage solution are concerned, then it offers us a feature known as Expiring Links through which you can set the desired date for the links to your files to expire. It means that after this expiry date, the people with whom you have shared the link to your files will no longer be able to access or modify them.
The pricing plans of OneDrive Personal are listed below:
- Office 365 Home- This plan costs $99.99 per year. A free trial is also available for this plan.
- Office 365 Personal- The price of this plan is $69.99 per year.
- OneDrive 100 GB- This plan is worth $1.99 per month.
- OneDrive Basic 5 GB- This plan is free of cost. All you have to do is to sign up for OneDrive in order to avail it.
Dropbox is a cross-platform cloud storage solution. It can literally be used to store and access your files on any device with the same level of convenience no matter in which part of the world you are residing. Moreover, the data stored on it will automatically be synchronized across all of your devices so that they can easily stay on the same page. The best thing about Dropbox is that it has a very minimalistic and simple to use interface. The powerful Security features of this cloud storage solution are responsible for keeping all of your files safe from every kind of damage or unauthorized access.
The biggest advantage of Dropbox is that it lets you share your files with those people who do not even have a Dropbox Account. You can easily collaborate with your team and share your ideas with them by making use of the Dropbox Paper feature. The Showcase feature of this cloud storage solution enables you to turn your files into a beautifully packaged page for keeping them more organized. Moreover, you can also keep a track of the people who have seen your Showcases. Last but not least, Dropbox allows you to Connect all of your favorite applications because it seamlessly integrates with all the applications that you and your team use on a daily basis.
As far as the pricing of Dropbox is concerned, then it offers us the following three plans:
- Dropbox Basic- This plan is free of cost. You just have to sign up for Dropbox in order to avail it.
- Dropbox Plus- This plan costs $11.99 per month.
- Dropbox Professional- This plan is worth $19.99 per month.
Nextcloud is a free cloud storage solution for Home Users. This is an open-source cloud storage solution which you can access anywhere from any device. The Share with Nextcloud feature allows you to share all of your files uploaded on Nextcloud with your friends and colleagues. With the Self Hosting feature of this cloud storage solution, you can conveniently run your own servers. Nextcloud works on the Security First approach. Its security standards are aligned with ISO270001. Moreover, it also incorporates the latest end-to-end encryption technologies.
With the help of the Privacy Center of Nextcloud, you can manage all the privacy settings related to your important data and can also define the access privileges for other users. The best thing about this cloud storage solution is that it is available for Desktop as well as for Android and iOS devices. It also presents you with the Calendar and Contacts feature with which you can share and synchronize your important events and contacts across multiple devices. Nextcloud even lets you make good quality Audio and Video calls. This feature-rich cloud storage solution also facilitates visually impaired users by providing them with Extensive Keyboard Accessibility and Screen Reader Support.
Nextcloud even allows you to build and modify your websites with the help of its PicoCMS feature. This cloud storage solution supports Collabora Online Office because of which you can view and edit your documents very easily. It also comes with Outlook and Thunderbird Integration which means that you can share your Nextcloud files very conveniently by making use of these email clients. It has a very efficient Workflow Management with which the system administrators can control and direct the workflow between different users. Last but not least, Nextcloud even enables you to track the changes to your files that are made by your friends or colleagues.
pCloud is a famous cloud storage solution that is easily accessible across all of your devices. The Share and Collaborate feature of this cloud storage solution lets you give access to your files to other users depending upon your own choice. It has a very efficient File Management feature which enables you to stay organized all the time. It allows you to Search, Filter, or even Trash the unnecessary or unused files. As far as the security aspects of pCloud are concerned, then it uses the most efficient TLS/SSL encryption while transferring your data from your device to the pCloud servers.
Apart from these amazing features, another fascinating feature of pCloud is File Versioning. With the help of this feature, pCloud keeps all the different versions of your files stored on its servers so that you can easily get back to any of the previous versions at any time you want. By making use of its Revisions feature, you can keep a track of the changes made to any particular file. The Rewind feature helps you in going back in time and having a look at all the previous versions of a specific file. Moreover, pCloud also has an Extended File History feature with which you can record all the changes ever made to your files for up to 360 days and easily recover your data within one year of editing or deletion.
pCloud offers us a free trial version whereas its paid plans come with a 10 Days Money Back Guarantee and their detailed prices are given below:
- pCloud Premium 500 GB- This plan costs $175 which is a one time cost.
- pCloud Premium Plus 2 TB- This plan is worth $350 which is also a one time cost.