Cloud Services Review

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Why Use Cloud Computing Services?

Cloud computing refers to using a third-party network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store and manage all your data, rather than locally. Simply put, cloud services provide you with your own hard drive in the cloud – or on the internet. Such services have become popular because they are affordable, convenient and provide ample storage space. But perhaps the biggest appeal of such services is their accessibility; you can access your documents, photos, videos and any other saved files from any device with internet access. With cloud services you can connect at home, work or on the go via a laptop, desktop, smartphone or other handheld device.

Some of the world’s largest tech companies have launched cloud services, including Apple, Amazon and Google. These tech giants, along with some notable up-and-comers, provide several storage tier plans tailored for both consumers and businesses. It should be noted that Microsoft Windows also offers cloud solutions. But unlike its competitors, Windows provides such a small, limited amount of free storage (with no option to upgrade) that it’s difficult to compete with the rest of the services in our lineup.

The services we reviewed provide robust features and ample storage space so you can access any file you saved in the cloud no matter where you are. Be sure to check out our articles on cloud services, as well as our side-by-side comparisons and reviews of the top services, including iCloud, Egnyte and Google Apps.

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Cloud Services: What to Look For

Some companies may tout themselves as cloud services but are more akin to online backup or file sharing services. While there is certainly some overlap between each of these services, cloud services are unique because they allow you to view, edit and share files saved in the cloud. With some services, you can even sync your content across all your computers and devices. While no two cloud services are identical, each of the services we reviewed provide the same fundamental features and functionality.

Features
The most important factor to consider in a cloud service is features, including the type of content you can store. The best cloud computing services are those that allow you to upload and save any type of file you would save on your local hard drive, from word documents to music files and everything in between. Some services even allow you to keep email, contacts and your calendar in the cloud. Any cloud service you consider should also allow you to view, edit and share your content regardless of what computer or device you are using. Other features to look for include automatic syncing of your files across all your devices, and password-protected sharing and file encryption to safeguard your content.

Mobile Access
Arguably one of the biggest selling points of cloud computing services is their wide-ranging access. Whether you’re on your work computer at the office or at home on your iPad, cloud services allow you to access your content anywhere, anytime and on any one of your devices. Look for services that offer the greatest range of mobile access, including apps for popular smartphones and the ability to log into your account from any mobile browser.

Ease of Use
Considering how often you’ll likely be accessing your content in the cloud, it’s important to select a cloud service that is intuitive and straightforward. The service’s interface and tools should be easy to navigate and convenient to use.

Help & Support
Getting help when you need it is crucial when using any type of technology, including cloud services. Available support options should include technical assistance via telephone, email and live chat. The service should also provide a knowledgebase and user forums as resources.

Cloud services are an ideal way to manage all your digital content without limitations.

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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
iCloud Egnyte Google Apps OpenDrive Dropbox Amazon Cloud Drive
iCloud Egnyte Google Apps OpenDrive Dropbox Amazon Cloud Drive
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Ratings
9.70
9.65
9.38
9.23
8.90
7.98
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9.38
9.38
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.88
9.38
10.00
8.75
9.38
9.38
10.00
8.75
8.75
9.38
10.00
7.50
8.75
9.38
10.00
6.88
7.50
7.50
10.00
 
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Price Comparison
Lowest Monthly Cost $1.66 $24.99 $5 $5 $9.99 $1.66
Storage Space 15GB 150GB 1GB, 25GB for email 100GB 100GB 20GB
Content
Email
   
Contacts
   
Calendar
   
Documents
Spreadsheets
Music
Photos
Videos
Slideshows
 
Features
View Files
Edit Files
 
Automatic Sync
 
 
Password Protection
File Encryption
Media Streaming
  
 
Share Files  
 
Desktop App/Access  
 
 
Mobile Access
iPhone
 
iPad
 
Android  
 
Windows Mobile  
   
BlackBerry   
 
 
Mobile Browser  
Help & Support
Phone Support
 
Email Support
User Forums
Knowledgebase
Online Ticket Form
 
 
Live Chat   
   
Supported Configurations
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Mac OS X
Linux