When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only thing that keeps the attacker away from your encrypted data. Some keys are usually treated with the appropriate level of respect. Security professionals in the payments industry, or those that have deployed a PKI, know all too well about the importance... 

Richard Moulds

Best Cloud Storage Options For Cash-Strapped Startups

Best Cloud Storage Options For Cash-Strapped Startups.

Edit: March 14th, 2014 – Since our article went up yesterday morning, Google has updated and lowered their prices. They now have the lowest cost of the 3 providers.

Startups have a ton of things on their plate, and IT services should be working for them, instead of wasting time, money and other precious resources. If you want a safe, inexpensive and useful cloud storage solution for your startup, there are solutions out there. Here are the three major players in the cloud storage game and here’s what each has to offer:

Google Drive

Best Cloud Storage

If your company has Android phones, it’s a no-brainer – Google integrates so smoothly into the mobile OS that it just blows competition out of the water. They offer 15 GB free storage right off the bat, but you can store an unlimited number of photos in your drive if you compress them to 2048 px – which is definitely more than enough for most uses. If you want more storage space, Google has larger plans that come with a monthly rate:

  • 100 GB for $4.99 a month
  • 200 GB for $9.99 a month
  • 400 GB for $19.99 a month
  • 1 TB for $49.99 a month
  • 2 TB for $99.99 a month
  • 4 TB for $199.99 a month
  • 8 TB for $399.99 a month
  • 16 TB for $799.99 a month

I don’t suppose startups would actually need 16 TB a month, unless it’s for some heavy duty photo or video editing, but even so you have some pretty inexpensive options from Google Drive. Read more about this service here.

Best Cloud Storage

Microsoft OneDrive

This is Microsoft’s service, and its strong point is the integration with Windows, especially Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. OneDrive, when it used to be called SkyDrive and when it was first introduced, offered 25 GB for free, but they have since reduced it to 7 GB. If you want more, you can get one of the following plans:

  • 50 GB for $25 a year
  • 100 GB for $50 a year
  • 200 GB for $100 a year

Note that all of these are an addition to the existing 7 GB, so you get to keep the free package no matter what. Not a lot, but a nice touch from Microsoft. Learn more about their plan here.

Best Cloud StorageDropbox

Even though it’s not backed by any of the big names out there, Dropbox has become one of the big names all on its own. It’s worth noting that even though Dropbox has a smaller initial free storage offer, this free storage can be boosted up to 120 GB by taking advantage of one of their many offers – for instance, you get 50 GB if you activate a Samsung phone, you get free storage when you invite your friends to use the service, and so on. But if you want more storage with less hassle, here’s their offer:

  • 100 GB for $9.99 per month, or $99 per year.
  • 200 GB for $19.99 per month, or $199 per year.
  • 500 GB for $49.99 per month, or $499 per year.

A nice touch from Dropbox including a 17% saving for yearly purchases. Check out their offers here.

There are, of course, many other offers to consider when looking into storage space, but these three are the “big kids on the block” when looking for the best cloud storage services. If your startup is strapped for cash and money is the big priority, Dropbox falls short by offering huge prices, by comparison. Google Drive is second, and Microsoft OneNote is the cheapest solution there is.

By Andrei Maguleanu

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