If you are new to the idea of cloud storage, chances are you’re looking for some advice with picking the best cloud storage provider for your needs. Fortunately, this is exactly what we aim to do through this website, so you’re in the right place!
Since we have covered a comparison of the top 10 cloud storage providers in a previous article, this time we’ll focus more on the best/unique features of the top 5 consumer cloud storage providers. This means that we’ll analyze what we believe to be the top 5 services, and outline the feature(s) that are not only useful and interesting, but also unique in the market.
The services that we are going to review today span from cloud storage to online backups, and each of them comes with certain features that you’re not going to find anywhere else. If you’re looking to learn more about a certain service, make sure you read the full review for that service on our websites.
Zoolz Pros & Cons:
- Will never delete your files
- Remote downloading limited to 1GB per day
- Does not support remote uploads
Zoolz is basically an unlimited online backup provider that offers its services for ca. 1.08 $/month per machine. Sure, there are quite a few providers that allow unlimited online backup space, but Zoolz is unique because it will never delete your files.
With all other unlimited online backup services, your files will be removed from the server in 30 days once you delete the files from your computer. Example: when you delete that 1080p video that you took during your latest vacation, you have 30 days to restore the video from the cloud. Once that time period passes, the video will be deleted from the cloud as well, meaning that your memories are lost, probably forever.
With Zoolz, you don’t have to worry about this restriction, as the company will keep your files on its servers for an unlimited time period. This is a feature that only Zoolz offers for the time being.
If you’re looking for a way to dump large video collections online without having to retain copies on your computer, Zoolz is probably the best online backup service available.
Unfortunately, Zoolz also comes with some disadvantages as well, such as the fact that you’ll have to restore backups and upload files from your main machine. Downloading files from a remote location is limited to 1GB per day, while remote file uploads are not allowed.
SugarSync Pros & Cons:
- Can sync any folder
- 30 day trial
- No free plan
SugarSync is a cloud storage provider that aims to dethrone Dropbox and Google Drive as the best cloud storage provider with a folder sync feature. While most of the features that SugarSync’s cloud storage service offers are available on both Dropbox and Drive (such as folder uploads, file-sync, etc), SugarSync is special in the way that it can sync any folder on your computer, not just the special folder.
All you need to do in order to sync a folder to the cloud (which basically means that you upload it to the server so that it can be synced on other machines), is select the respective folder and click Sync. This is very useful since it removes the limitations of having to drop files/folders in the sync folder so that they are uploaded.
Although SugarSync does not offer free cloud storage, the company does offer a free 30-day trial for all of its plans. The free trial should allow you to fully understand what it is that you’re getting out of a SugarSync subscription.
This is what SugarSync currently charges for its cloud storage service:
|60 GB||$ 7.49||Save 17%
|100 GB||$ 9.99||Save 17%
|250 GB||$ 24.99||Save 17%
Google Drive Pros:
- 15GB of free space
- Real-time document collaboration
- Very cheap
Although Google Drive has been in the cloud storage game ever since the birth of the market, it looks like Google has started to aggressively promote its service in the last few months.
Here is the current pricing structure for Google Drive:
|100 GB||$ 1.99||$ 23.88
|1000 GB||$ 9.99||$ 119.88
|10000 GB||$ 199.99||$ 2399.88
The one thing that makes Google Drive special in such a crowded market is an advanced web-interface, one that can be used to edit documents (Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides), view images in the browser, play music and videos, as well as take previews of .zip archives. Additionally, Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage space (a common space shared with Gmail, Google+, and other Google services).
Google Drive also offers advanced real-time collaboration features. This means that multiple persons can edit the same document at the same time. All you have to do in order to collaborate on a document is to share the respective document with other people. From there on, every edit will be updated in real-time.
Furthermore, Google has recently slashed prices for paid Drive plans, meaning that at this moment, Google Drive is probably the cheapest cloud storage provider with file sync functionality.
- Connects as an external hard drive
- Upload links & upload email addresses
pCloud is a new cloud storage provider, and probably the least popular service in this list. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that pCloud doesn’t pack a decent punch.
pCloud is full of interesting features, but the one that is truly unique is the pCloud can generate upload links (or upload emails) that other people can use to upload files to your cloud. All you have to do is select the folder where the uploads should be made, and tell the pCloud app to generate a link or an email address. From there on you can pass that link/email to the person that should send you files.
Another unique feature of pCloud allow the app to integrate into your computer as an external hard drive. Unlike other cloud storage providers, pCloud will not eat up from your hard disk space. With pCloud you are basically using the cloud as an external drive. This is certainly a feature that we’d like to see implemented by other consumer cloud storage providers as well.
- Unlimited backup
- Sync folder
- Unlimited remote downloads
For a detailed analysis, make sure you check our review, but in a nutshell, JustCloud is probably the best consumer-level cloud stroage provider that there is. This is the current pricing structure of JustCloud:
|Storage||Monthly||1 Year||2 Years|
|75 GB||$ 6.95||Save 29%
|250 GB||$ 7.95||Save 25%
|Unlimited||$ 4.49||$ 53.88
JustCloud is surprisingly easy to use: just install the app, and all of your files will be backed up to the cloud on a daily basis
Unfortunately, the standard JustCloud subscriptions will not back up your video files and any file over 1GB in size, but you can pay a small monthly fee to remove this limitation.
On feature that many will love about JustCloud is that the service also offers a file sync feature to complement its online backup functionality. The size of the sync folder varies in size depending on your plan, but again, you can pay a fee to extend it.
A very cool thing about JustCloud is that you can remotely download any file that you have previously backed up on your main computer. If you ever need to pull a presentation from your home computer, all you need is to enter JustCloud’s advanced web interface and download the file. Additionally, the JustCloud’s web interface allows users to preview image files right from the browser.
What do you guys think? Are these the top 5 consumer cloud storage providers in your opinion as well? You can use the comment section below to let us know if there’s another killer feature out there that we’ve missed out on!