Best Cloud Data Storage For Your Money
August 24, 2011
The best cloud services for your data was the topic of a recent research article by Gizmodo best way to store stuff in the cloud.
They provided a great summary chart of the various cloud storage services they reviewed and how much data you can store in each. The thing I was looking for was a way to easily search them by price instead of by available storage. So I enhanced the charts I used in my credit card bonus comparison post and put the cloud services into another table where you can filter the services based on a combination of cost and space available. Here’s an example of how you can use the filter.
In the filter example image above, I set the Cost slider from $0-40 and the space slider from 20–30GB to find the services that offer at 20–30GB of space for under $40 a year.
Checkout the cloud storage comparison table below, play with the cost and storage filters to find the right mix for you. It only shows 10 services at once, you can use the arrow below the table to scroll back and forth if your current filter settings return more than 10 cloud data providers. You can also click the column headers to sort the options. The default view is showing all the free cloud storage options first.
Cloud Space vs Storage Price
You know what they say about how long it takes to complete a task, the time necessary will expand to fill the amount of time available. Well, I think something similar applies to how much storage space you need to save your data. The less you have, the more carefully you manage it, the more you have, the more casual you are about filling it up.
It is nice to not have to worry about running out of space, but I also like to keep the cost in mind when choosing a service. I know when comparing prices and space my first instinct is to sign up for a plan with more space than I think I’ll need. That way I won’t run into a space limitation at an inconvient time and have to hassle with upgrading or changing services.
On the other hand, I hate paying for something that I’m not using. Granted strage space isn’t that expensive but recurring expenses have a way of creeping up on you over time and adding up to more than you’d planned to spend. Of course it depends on what you’re using the space for – whether it’s your only copy of the files or its serving as a backup.
Obviously, you don’t want to cheap out and not have enough space for what you’re storing – particulary if it’s something really important or is your only copy. So if you’re short on space and end up not storing everything you could cost yourself a lot more than you save on the cheaper plan. The time and cost of recovering your files can be pretty high.
Best Cloud Data Storage
That’s one thing I liked about the Gizmodo article, they picked out their favorite cloud storage servcies based on how you’re using the cloud. The budget winner was Google Docs (if you’re looking for the most space for your money), the free winner was Microsoft SkyDrive (25GB at no charge), and for ease of use they liked Dropbox. Their favorite overall was SugarSync – 5 GB free, good features, and reasonable prices.
Hopefully the chart above will let you filter down the services to the price and amount of storage space you’re looking for. If nothing else, I’d recommend signing up for one of the free services and giving it a try. The main thing I hope you take away from this post is that you have lots of options and the pricing on most of them is quite reasonable. It’s much better to spend a little time now and backup your data in the cloud than to lose it to a corrupt hard drive or a broken mobile device a few months down the road.
Cloud Upgrades & Free Trials
Something else to keep in mind is that many of the services that do provide free online storage make it easy for you to upgrade to a paid account if you find yourself needing more disk space than the free version offers. This is nice because it lets you stay with the same service, you don’t have to spend time opening a new account and re-uploading your data.
If you’re using a free service then this doesn’t apply, if you want to try out one of the paid cloud storage companies, most of them offer a free trial or discounted first month.
All posts by Ben Edwards